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Valderrama Golf Club : What to Expect

Posted in Spain Golf by Golf Spain Vacations on the January 10th, 2011

As reported by Brian Tucker in World Golf News

Jones built nine courses on the Costa Del Sol, and many of the region’s top clubs are within a short drive, like San Roque Club and Sotogrande Golf Club – but Valderrama is unmistakable from the rest.

No. 1 is a prime example of what to expect. It’s a subtle dogleg off the tee, but if you find the right side of the fairway, the green is blocked out by cork trees. Similarly on No. 2, if you’re on the right side, you’ll have to take a short-iron over trees onto another tiny green. The course gets narrowest and most uncomfortable on the short, par-4 eighth hole, “El Bunker,” but stay patient, eventually there are a handful of spots where you can finally open up the shoulders.

The second nine gets decidedly more undulated than the front side (which is probably a reason why the nines were flipped years ago), with numerous vantage points high enough up to see the Mediterranean in the distance. Two par-4 greens are steeply elevated – No. 10 and No. 14 – while No. 11 requires a blind shot to an elevated green from where most drives land in a sloping valley.

The par-5 17th got plenty of ink after Tiger Woods’ incident in the 2000 World Golf Championships, when his ball went from pin high to rolling back in the water. Ortiz-Patino has stated he doesn’t exactly understand what all the fuss is about regarding No. 17:

“Most members consider the 17th to be one of the more enjoyable holes on the golf course,” he’s written. “And yet I am told by some commentators that it is ‘controversial’ or even ‘notorious.’”

And for visitors, the sight of the spacious 17th fairway will fill your eyes with tears of joy after so many tighter holes previously. If there is a par 5 to be reckoned with at Valderrama, it’s the signature No. 4 “La Cascada.” This is Jones’ favorite hole on the golf course, but it required tons of renovations to make it so, including the moving of dirt to flatten it a bit and sub-air under the green, as this small surface is protected by constant shade.

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