The Valle del Este desert course is tucked away in the south east corner of Spain, between Almería and Murcia, and the harsh terrain at this location was first tamed in 2002 when this 18-hole layout arrived on the Spanish golf scene.
The course is an integral part of a massive hotel and residential complex and its fairways are routed in a figure of eight between and around these buildings with water hazards incorporated into half a dozen of the holes.
Valle del Este’s desert undulations have been used to great effect by architect José Canales with most tee boxes played from an elevated position where the landing area for the tee shot is wide and in full view – that is not to say that there are no uphill fairways or semi-blind approaches as there are a few, but in the main, everything can be clearly seen.
The run of holes from 11 to 13 are particularly pleasing and the par three 12th is considered to be the signature hole on the course. Measuring 167 yards from the back tees, it plays across the dried up bed of the River Nuno to a raised green with two small bunkers at the back of the putting surface.
I had played this course once about 15 years ago.My wife and I were pleasantly surprised when we played it again recently. It was a very enjoyable course with lots of variety and many challenging holes. We had a buggy which was good because it is quite hilly in parts and was very hot. The bunkering is good and there is certainly water in play but not to the extent that it would spoil your round. The routing is interesting and you are never quite sure where you are going next but the length and style of golf hole changes all the time and makes for an interesting and challenging game.