Sotogrande Finest Golf Courses
Real Club Valderrama
A Review by Trevor Ledger
Valderrama takes the best of Finca Cortesin, La Reserva and Sotogrande, shapes it beautifully and adds even greater use of the Alcornoques trees to complete the near perfect test of golf.
But Valderrama is far more than a well-tended turf nursery – the strategy required to get around this golf course is phenomenal.
Like Finca Cortesin, the different tee options really do offer up different golfing experiences.
From the yellow ‘Executive’ tees the course is eminently playable yet by no means a pushover and strategy is everything; from the whites, ‘Championship’, the task is more vexing – still strategic but a good deal more penal; the black tees, ‘Pro’ (positively illegitimate to most of us) retains the strategy, increases the penal element and often demands the heroic.
The challenge that Valderrama presents is immediate: the very first hole demands a strategy to be decided upon the tee and this depends on pin position some 350 metres away.
Thus Valderrama takes the best of Finca Cortesin, La Reserva and Sotogrande, shapes it beautifully and adds even greater use of the Alcornoques trees to complete the near perfect test of golf.
If it placed front right then the bunker protecting it will need to be negotiated and thus a long drive to the left of the fairway is required. If the pin is to the left then a shorter drive to the right is needed in order to avoid the encroaching cork oak forty metres or so short of the left edge.
If new age, Zen thought has any place in golf then Valderrama is the place for it – somehow the need to become immersed in the entire experience seems necessary if a good score is to be made. Thankfully the award-winning flora and fauna make such immersion eminently more possible.
Valderrama is magical and the ease with which it can be walked rather than driven, makes it even more of a pleasure.
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Trevor has worked as an editor and contributor to many golf industry publications. In the past he has held the position of Editor at ‘Golf Course News International’ and ‘The Golf Course Magazine’, as well as Contributing Editor of ‘Golf Inc.’.
In a freelance capacity he has contributed to publications such as Golf Punk, Golf World and Golf Monthly.