Condado de Alhama - Golf Monthly Review
“The latest gem within the Polaris portfolio is the signature track of Mr Nicklaus, Condado de Alhama. We were fortunate to be one of the first groups to play this absolutely divine course.If ever a track has been designed to hold a pro event this surely is it. This is a club that is ‘going places’, as shortly Jack will be giving us two of his Bear’s Best courses to sit alongside this, his main offering.
Obviously still in its infancy, the course has some way to go before it beds in, but already the greens are quick and pure running- maybe about 10 on the stimpmeter. The third, whilst appearing on the card to a ‘long slog’ par 3 of 226 yards, is in fact a tremendously difficult, exhilarating challenge- especially if the wind is from the west and the pin is on the right/ Our friend Jack has given us many examples of severe run –off areas around the green and here we have some vicious examples front left and middle right. I made a mental note for the next round: hit the green and stay there.
After another great par 3 at the 7th, play turns thorough 180 degrees and you are faced with the largest area for one hole my playing partners and I have seen this side of St Andrews.
The 8th is 430 yards from the back tees, and presents two routes to the green. Play down the left and it makes the hole 20%longer, but with a nice view of the green for your second shot; play directly at the green and just pray you land on the short grass because if you don’t you’ll be in one of seemingly dozens of bunkers. Here, we had to wear shades in the glare of the crushed marble white sand!
If your bunker play is not up to scratch- as ours wasn’t- then a horror score is easy to acquire.This will surely become a ‘hole to play before you die’.
Typically Nicklaus, and with the possibility of staging big events in mind, the 18th coupled with the 9th and constructed in a small valley.In the middle is the lake that is mandatory in most Nicklaus designs, with the 9th requiring a small fade off the tee ad the 19th a slight draw.Putting on both greens might be helped if you have a degree in physics.
Only a 10 minute drive from the sandy beaches of Mazarron, at the foot of the national park of Sierra Espuna, with views all the way to the snow-covered peaks of Sierra Nevada, the Jack Nicklaus Signature course is a masterpiece that already - after only a few months - is recognized as one of the best courses in Spain.
As a whole the Jack Nicklaus Gold trail is a remarkable concept by the Polaris people, and in time will rival any group of courses.
Article from golf monthly magazine – June 2010 www.golf-monthly.co.uk