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Polaris Golf News with,
Welcome to the latest edition of the golf review on Condado De Alhama services.
I played in the Hi-5 pro-am at El Valle last Sunday, and had an absolutely fantastic day out, The format was a 4-man Texas scramble with one pro and three amateurs making up 25 groups that all started at the same time through a shot gun start, and yes I started on the 14th which is the furthest point on the golf course.
I turned up at El Valle at 9am where we were given coffee and biscuits, we were then assigned our pro, we got a young man from Canada called Brad Clapp.We were then given a goody bag which contained a polo shirt, hat and pen. Everyone then walked out to their assigned starting tee box. After a few holes the marshalls came around with ham rolls, coke, water and a banana for each player. After the round there was tapas and free beer for all the players. We finished 4th on the day, with a score of 10 under gross, one less stroke would have given us 2nd and 2 less strokes would have given us the victory on the day with a first prize of two nights in the Intercontinental Hotel and four rounds of golf.
I would like to thank my playing partners for the day, Brad Clapp… pro, Jean Booth from Mar Menor and Antonio Gonzalez from Madrid who all performed fantastic on the day, Had our putters performed on the day we could easily have finished 16 under.
The cost for the day was €65 which was great value for money and I would highly recommend anyone who gets the chance to play in one of these events, It was great to be playing with a top class pro, and the gap between these guys and the pro’s on the European tour is so small that it shows the difference between success and failure of a touring pro when you get to this level.
I am also a member of the Mar Menor golf society and last Saturday night we had our annual “get over the winter blues” dinner dance. The event took place in the La Perdiz restaurant in Pozo Aledo which is close to San Javier. It is a traditional Spanish restaurant, and 140 of us sat down to a seven course meal of the finest Spanish cuisine. The night cost €30 and included a seven course meal and all the beer or wine that you can drink for the night. There was music playing after the meal until 2am and it was refreshing to see Irish, British and the local Spanish sharing a packed dance floor and having a great time. I can only hope that in the future we have as many permanent residents on Condado that will give a close community feeling and that our own society grows into the same success as the Mar Menor society under the guidance of Barry and Grahame. And a big thank you to Jill and Terry from myself and Jacqui for minding the brats for the night which gave us the opportunity to have such a great night.
And now onto our own course at Condado. I played with seven of the pro’s that are playing in the Hi-5 tour at the weekend before they played their event here at Condado and I was asking them their opinion on the course. They said that they thought that El Valle was excellent but that Condado was something very special. They said that in a couple of years when the grass completely beds in that it will be up to Ryder cup standard, So I don’t think I need to say much more, when the pro’s are telling you that you have something special you tend to believe them.
As for myself I am still trying to break 80, I seem to have three disastrous holes in every round, but the fun is to keep on trying and I am sure that I will shoot 79 or better soon.
I look forward to playing golf with everyone in the future in the golf society
Yours in golf
Welcome to the third edition of the golf review on Condado De Alhama services.
First of all I was back in Ireland for the last few weeks which is why it has taken me so long to get this edition up on the web site, so I would like to apologise for that, and all I can say is that after suffering freezing temperatures, high winds and non stop rain that it is great to be back in Spain.
I took a stroll around our own signature course on Saturday and it really does look fantastic. The signs are up the tee box markers are in place, the flags are in and even the distance markers have been fit on the fairways, So I really can’t understand why the course is not open yet, I suppose only Polaris can answer this one. I have today heard a rumour that the course will now not open until January, We will just have to wait and see.
So on to the business at hand of El Valle Golf Resort,
After playing the course the first thing that came into my head was WOW what a golf course, The course was in excellent condition and the scenery on every hole was to die for.
The facilities were also excellent, They have a fine driving range, putting green and chipping/ bunker green all right beside the first tee box. The club house is top quality as well with superb changing facilities and a bar that also serves food, It has a beautiful outside terrace overlooking the 18th green so you can watch your fellow competitors finishing off their rounds. The course measures 6500yards off the back tees and is a desert/links style course. In typical Jack Nicklaus fashion there are bunkers everywhere and the greens are very undulating which means that a three putt is never far away. There is only four holes that have water and all are on the back nine, holes 13,14, 17 and 18. Holes 13 and 17 are challenging, good drives are required on both to miss the water and the bunkers, Holes 14 and 18 are short enough holes with wide open fairways, longer hitters will only be hitting wedges into the greens so there are some birdies available. I would say that 18 is the only thing that I find disappointing about the whole course, in my opinion the finishing hole on a golf course should be one of the toughest where in this case it is one of the easiest on the course.
Other holes of note are the 8th, 10th and the 11th where you feel like you are playing around a mountain top while playing these holes. In general the course is fairly flat and unless it is extremely hot makes for a very scenic walk. I have added some pictures but they do not do justice to the course.
I have also played the new nine holes on Mar Menor and it has definitely added another feather to Mar Menors hat. Holes 8 which is a 200m par 3 and hole 9 which is a 400m par 4 have made this a much tougher test of golf. Holes 13, 14 and 15 all play around a new lake with 14 being a fantastic par 3 over the water. So although not quite as tough as Hacienda or El Valle I think it is well worth a play.
I think that anyone who is planning a golf week with their friends should take them to El Valle, Hacienda Riquelme and Condado (if it ever opens) and I will guarantee that no body will go home disappointed.
Next time I will give a review on La Torre and I will try and find out more information on our own course.
So until then keep it dry
Yours in golf
Welcome to the second edition of the golf review from Condado De Alhama services.
First I would like to say that work on our own signature course at Condado is coming along very nicely with bunkers being filled with sand and the waste areas are being cleared of weeds and new shrubs being planted every day, so our opening on the 16th of November still looks to be on target.
If you have seen the pod-cast with Terry and Jill last Thursday they had a guest by the name of Ian Ferguson who spoke very well about his plans to open a golf tour company that will be based here on Condado from January. He will be providing a full golf experience that will include collection from the airport, accommodation, booking of tee times, transport to and from the golf courses and any other requests that the group of golfers might have like restaurants. This can only be a good thing for property owners on Condado as there is a very good chance that he will be looking to rent properties for his clients who wish to stay on the resort. Ian did mention on the pod-cast that our course is made up of 18 of Jack’s best holes from around the world so I will have to correct him on that. The signature course at Condado is a brand new design by Jack Nicklaus himself, The other two courses that are to be built at Condado sometime in the future, The Bear’s best 1 and 2 are going to be made up of 36 of Jack’s favourite holes from his courses around the world..
I finally got to play Hacienda Riquelme, the first attempt led to a very early retirement due to the thunder storms that rolled in that day. My second attempt was a much more enjoyable experience, The course measures about 6500yards of the yellow markers and is a par 72, the course is a real golfers course with every sort of lie possible, There are holes that play uphill, downhill and some that slope left to right and right to left that will leave you with hanging lies where the ball can be either above or below your feet. There is water on eight of the holes making the course a real challenge and probably the need for a bag of spare balls or a life jacket for the one you are using. Driving the ball well off the tee is a must as there is very little room for error on most of the holes, If there is no water on a hole you can be sure that there will be plenty of bunkers to catch the wayward shot and if there is water on the hole there will still be plenty of bunkers to catch the player that tries to play too safe away from the water. Even after a good drive and approach shot to the green the work is only half done most of the greens are very undulating so leave your ball in the wrong spot and 3-putts can easily follow. I do have to say that the greens were in excellent condition with the ball rolling very fast and through. The best par 3 on the course is the 7th, Depending on the wind it can be anything from a 7 iron to a driver and plays completely over water so its all duck or no dinner, The 18th is a fabulous finishing hole with water all the way down the left hand side, even after a good drive you are left with a mid-iron that will test your metal as the water juts in from the left at the front of the green, so a real match winner or loser of a hole. Overall I have to say that I rate the course very highly and I would recommend it to anyone, The only place where I think the course loses merit is on some of the walks from the green’s to tee’s are very long and I feel Nicklaus design dropped the ball a little in this respect. The practice facilities are good with a decent driving range, chipping green and putting green all a short distance from the first tee. The changing facilities on hacienda are very poor with only a few porta-cabins as toilets and showers, There is a temporary bar which is just ok for a nice cold pint after the round. I have no doubt that in the future when the club house gets built that Hacienda Riquelme will be on every golfers schedule. I had a minor camera malfunction while playing (the batteries were dead) so pictures of Hacienda will follow soon.
Just to let everyone no that all of the offers that polaris had on for golf are now finished, All of the courses now cost €55 for eighteen holes and €40 for nine holes. These rates are for residents There is no twilight offer anymore.
In the next review I will be letting you know about El Valle and the new nine that has opened on Mar Menor, So until then play well
Yours in golf
Condado De Alhama Services
Welcome to this new section on the Condado de Alhama Services website, where, over the coming weeks we will be bringing you reviews and recommendations from the local courses in the area, We are going to start with the Polaris World courses.
First of all we will just give a quick update on our own signature course on Condado de Alhama, The latest information that we have is that the course will be opening on the 9th of November, but only to professionals for the first week, It will then open on the 16th to the general public.
After walking the course in the last week I cannot see any trouble in achieving this date, The course is looking in fantastic condition and when they finish putting sand into the bunkers and clearing the weeds from the sides of the fairways we will be ready to go. The course is truly fitting of a Nicklaus Signature Course and is without question going to be the toughest of all the Polaris courses and would have no trouble hosting a Spanish Open or Ryder Cup, When the wind picks up in the afternoon it will be tough for any of the world’s best players to break par, so we will look forward to a top tournament coming to Condado in the coming years.
This week we were at the Mar Menor Golf Resort. At present it is a nine hole course with the second nine due to open around October/November.
Mar Menor was the first of the Polaris courses to open, The facilities at the course are fantastic. For the golfers, there is good practice facilities and the 19th hole is very pleasant. For the non-golfer there is the 5 star Inter Continental Hotel with its health spa and large out door pool. So this can be a pleasant day for golfers and non golfers alike.
The golf course on Mar Menor is at present nine holes and has a par of 36, It is probably the easiest of the Polaris courses, but don’t let that fool you as there is trouble around and a good round can turn sour very quickly.
The course is kept in top condition, which in fairness to Polaris World is the status quo on all of their courses.
The 3rd hole on the course is the jewel in the Mar Menor crown, And would be fitting on any top course anywhere in the world, It is an index one par four and measures 400 metres and always plays into the strong prevailing wind. The tee shot requires accuracy because there is trouble left and right, After hitting a good tee shot you are left with the question of whether or not to go for the green as you will be left with nearly 200metres and a lake to carry the whole way to the green, Most people will play down the left and hope to make par by hitting a good pitch shot.
The 5th hole is also challenging, similar to the 3rd hole but much shorter, so everyone can feel the adrenalin of having to carry over a lake on their approach shot to the green.
More notable holes on the course are the 7th which requires a quality approach shot to a green that is well protected by bunkers, and the 9th hole where your approach shot to the green has the back drop of the hotel,
Be careful not to overshoot this green as the out door pool is very close by, and the last thing you want to do his hit your wife or husband that have been lazing in the spa all day, Well I suppose that is depending on how good your round has been.
The cost of playing is €25 for 9-holes and €35 for 18 holes
Next week we will be visiting Hacienda Riquelme and we will give you an over view of the course and the facilities, So until then play well
Yours in golf
Condado de Alhama Services
CONDADO DE ALHAMA GOLF COURSE PICTURES AND REVIEWS.
Hole descriptions in the presentation below were provided by Steve Mcgill pictured here. Steve is an owner on Condado De Alhama in Penthouse 13.
Steve lives in Scotland where he explains they are spoilt for choice when it comes to top courses to play. “I’ve been fortunate enough to play a few of these championship courses over the years such as St Andrews, Gleneagles, Kingsbarns, Troon, Archerfield and Turnberry, and what I have seen so far of Condado De Alhama, it will be just as much of a test of your golf as any of the above.”
CLICK ON THE PICTURE BELOW TO VIEW ALL 18 HOLES OF THE
JACK NICKLAUS SIGNATURE GOLF COURSE
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