This is an incredible place for good golf courses .. all can be reached within an hour’s drive from either Girona or the beach at Pals and the variety of courses is thoroughly captivating and entertaining.
Take it from me. I’ve lived here since 1979 and have played all of these courses many times.
I rate the courses based on design, maintenance and scenery. Practice areas, putting and chipping areas, staff and food also play a little part in my criteria.
My first choice, above all other courses in the area is the PGA Stadium Course… now on track for getting the nomination for the Ryder Cup. There are already plans to re-do all 18 greens in the next three years. Its in contention of being second best course in Spain to none other than the Vallderama course. Technically, you have to be long and precise and putt like you sleep with your putter (and not your partner).. You will be challenged with every shot and when you finish your round, you know you either have barely survived the course or passed with flying colors. You can’t be timid and you have to be more intelligent than the designers of this course. Its brilliant and well worth a long weekend of total emersion .. with great food and a spa to go along with a hard day out on the links. Take advantage of the great practice area along with a good practice putting green and chipping green.
Every hole is a beauty but that first hole is unbelievable.. great drop off and onto a sweeping dog-leg to the left with water and forest on the left and if you hit too far, or too straight, you’ve gone into the tough rough or even out of bounds. I love the 7th and the 15th.. two great par 5’s, tricky, narrow and requires precision with every shot and don’t take for granted two easy putts. Everything is dangerous on this course. Talk to my pal Enric, he’s one of the local pro’s. They just played the Spanish Open here, after four days, the low score was only 4 under.. so … you will get your money’s worth!! If you want to just relax, play the other 18 holes.. for a pleasant walk through the woods with no stress except for a little near the water holes!
The Empordà Links Course.. for beauty and variation in holes is my second choice! Designed by Robert Von Hagge. Nice long open holes with tricky raised greens. Always a challenge in the wind (usually there is a nice breeze in the afternoon but stops in the evening). My most favourite time of playing is after 3 p.m. on the weekends. The course is virtually mine. Sunsets have a way of transporting you the the African Savannas. The lighting over the fields and touching the Montgri Mountain is worth playing late. No waiting. My favorite holes are the 8th, 12th and 17th. All long par 5’s always tempting you to explode on your drive but if you miss, well, so you miss. The greens are nice and modulating and will hold a good shot in. There is also a really good practice range, putting green and a secret area for chipping and bunker practice at the other end of the practice range. Lots of Swedish and Danish pros come down in the winter and show us how its done!
Ok, my third place favorite is Torremirona. I know lots of you will argue with me, but I like the design and I like the flow of this course. It was designed by Eugenio Aguado and constructed in 1993. I think its good for long hitters. The setting is spectacular with views of the snow capped peaks of the Pyrenees. Usually there is a wind or you can fry in the heat in the summer because it really is located at the base of those mountains. Forget about playing there with the Tramontana wind. I love the three finishing holes.. long par fours and a great par 5 on the 18th. It can seem an innocuous hole but under pressure, all of sudden that water hazard in front of the green really comes into play on your psyche can be affected. Go and sign up with Steve Scott at the Golf Academy. Once I made a deal with the hotel for three days of intensive golf and spa… I loved it. Morning golf, lessons on the course in the afternoon and spa in the evening. Total bliss. Go for it! One of the neat things about this course is that you can rent your own house right on the course and have room service.The neighborhood is chalk full of courses.
After you play Torremirona, drive 20 minutes across Figueres and hit the Peralada golf course which was designed and built in 1993. This is a wonderful, tactical golf course with a great hotel and Wine Spa and worth signing up for the weekend. The course is relatively gentle, just stay out of the rough and don’t play with the wind. If the Tramontana is not blowing, there will be a breeze in the afternoon in the summer.Late afternoon and evening golf is superb. The course is well maintained and the staff is good and helpful. And don’t forget the Casino in the Peralada Castillo.
Ok.. so you want a view.. well try this one on for size…Club Golf D’Aro (Mas Nou) Best to take a cart on this course. Once you play it, you will be amazed at how much terrain you covered. Great course on top of the mountain with drop-off to never-never land. Don’t hit over some of those greens and DON’T even try to look for your ball. It’s a gas, just be sure to bring extra golf balls. Once I played with a guy who was really prudent. Only hit irons off the tees.. he lasted five holes because he ran out of golf balls. It’s really a fun course and usually in pretty good condition. Juan Anglada is the pro there and has been teaching for years. He is an excellent teacher. Designed and built in 1990 by Rámon Espinosa. The views are outrageous!
Costa Brava Golf Club in Santa Cristina, next door to Playa d’Aro. It was designed by Hamilton Stutt in 1962. They have invested a lot of money into this course and its paying off. The course is in great condition and seems to be that way all year long. Fun dog legs, long par 3’s and good par 5’s plus another new 9 holes up on the back. Don’t miss the restaurant. Its great food at good value.
Golf Platja de Pals.. One of the oldest courses on the Costa Brava, built in 1966 by F.W.Hawtree.. It has seen better days and they really need to re-do all the greens. It was designed with the idea that the fairways were so narrow and long, that to get on the green, you could rest a little. Well, now that with the new clubs and balls, the fairways are relatively short and the greens don’t have enough undulation. Ther are a few difficult holes, but with good course management, especially on the first two holes, where you can tee off with irons, its usually a low-scoring holiday! I have always had a beef with Pals because they don’t cut the greens enough and the putting surface is just too slow and over watered. Maybe things have changed for the better. I hope so. However, the best thing in the world is to play early in the morning and then spend the afternoon on the beach and you never need a car.
Have fun and play well!!! If anyone wants information regarding golf on the Costa Brava, don’t hesitate to call or write us at Masia Store Properties.