Tecina is one of the most spectacular courses in the Canary Islands, occupying a sensational cliff top setting within a former banana plantation on the south side of the small island of La Gomera. Laid out by Martin Ebert when he was part of the Donald Steel design company, the course opened for play in 2003 and its 18 holes are laid out above the upmarket Hotel Jardín Tecina complex.
Indeed, the fairways at Tecina are routed in a most ingenious way, slaloming down a hillside with a drop of over 500 feet between the first hole at the top and final hole at the bottom, next to the clubhouse.
Indigenous plants, shrubs and cacti have been planted over substantial swathes of the property and these extravagant botanical arrangements – along with wonderful views of the Atlantic and Mount Tiede on nearby Tenerife – present a beautiful backdrop when playing at Tecina.
It’s not often a course can justifiably lay claim to possessing a trio of signature holes but Tecina certainly can and downhill shots played to the exposed greens at holes 4, 10 and 12 are golfing highlights during a round here that will live long in the memory.
The club hosted the Canary Islands Championships in 2005 and more recently, Welshman Rhys Davies claimed first prize in the inaugural Fred Olsen Challenge de España event on the European Challenge Tour in September 2009.
The Fred Olsen shipping company own the course and it offers either stay and play packages through its Hotel Jardín Tecina facility or day excursion trips by fast ferry from Tenerife so it’s very easy to sample some holiday golf on the beautiful island of La Gomera.
Played Tecina once during Christmas 2016. We made a day trip from Tenerife and was so amazed so we decided to come back. We stayed at the excellent Jardin Tecina during Christmas 2017 and played four nice rounds of golf. The course has been hosting some events on the European Challenge Tour. The course is really fantastic. You are bused up to the first tee and then you play down hill from there to the club house. The course is quite forgiving from tee with wide fairways. The greens are really tricky to read. I had a greenbook as a help. The sea views from every hole is breathtaking. It is a quiet place and easy to get a tee time. I will come back for sure.
If you in the process of planning your next golf trip and Tenerife is on the agenda then do not miss out on beautiful Tecina. It requires a little bit of effort as you must first catch the ferry across to La Gomera and then drive (or catch a shuttle bus) over mountainous terrain for about 40 minutes to reach the course. On arrival the small car park and modest clubhouse are more in keeping with a small 9 hole set up back home but don’t be fooled. From then on all comparisons will be with the world's most breathtaking courses.
The round begins with a 15 minute buggy ride steeply uphill to the 1st tee from where you will slowly zigzag your way back down to the clubhouse without playing one single uphill hole. The interesting layout measures 6,900 yards from the back tees and although far from easy it is playable for all standards with reasonably wide fairways on most holes. As good as the holes are, and there are a few real crackers here, the incredible views are present on every single shot. The clever planting of trees, flowering bushes and other tropical plants only adds to the stunning panorama of the ocean backdrop.
As for the best holes, well the downhill short 4th is a real beauty with a ravine swallowing up anything left. Precise clubbing is required on the spectacular downhill 10th, too much length from the tee could lead to a reload and the approach to a beautifully positioned green simply cannot be long or left. The dog-leg right 12th is another great design followed by the short par-4 13th which is driveable for some if you decide to take on the bunkers. The18th requires two well struck shots to get home, the entrance to the green framed beautifully by two impressive palms. A great way to finish on what is one of my favourite courses in the Spanish rankings.
A truly memorable experience.
The round here begins with golfers being shuttled several hundred feet to the top of the course by minibus then, around four hours later, they magically appear back in front of the clubhouse, having gradually descended to the 18th over the span of the preceding holes! The 4th is a fantastic downhill par three but my favourite on the front nine was the par four 6th with a lovely saddleback green offering no easy pin positions. Holes 10 and 12 play downhill to infinity greens that somehow cling to the side of the hillside and these two holes are nothing short of sensational.
Mount Tiede on Tenerife lurks on the skyline when playing to seven of the holes on the scorecard so don’t forget to bring a camera for some spectacular greenside snaps. I have never before played a track containing such a wonderful variety of eye-catching foliage and the flowering shrubs, bushes and palm trees that line many of the holes are a sight to behold, though the final four fairways do open out, ending at a home green protected by three tall palm trees in front of the putting surface. Tecina really surprised me with its clever design and quality of floral presentation around the course plus, when did you last play a round at a resort venue where you did not have a single water hazard to contend with on the course? No tricks to be found here; just good, honest golf holes that may be a little bit different from those on the other Tenerife golf circuits but are well worth the extra effort to play, nonetheless. Jim McCann