Destination Golf - August 2017 * - Page 67

Recently upgraded to include full greens as targets, the practice ground in front of the clubhouse was called one of the best in Europe by Nick Faldo. But golfers must remember that it is not an easy course - nor was it intended to be. Its undulations, slick and sloping greens, overhangs and tightness require thought and precision on every shot. Robert Trent Jones created three outstanding par 5s that define the test and appeal of Valderrama. While the 11th is a fine hole that ends with the best view on the property, the 4th and 17th are images from a ‘picture postcard’ with the elevated tiered green guarded by cleverly placed water hazards. Valderrama was well known for many of their prestigious tournaments, particularly know as to be the Home of the Volvo Masters from 1988-1996 and also from 2002-2008. Also the venue to the 1997 Ryder Cup, where victory fortunately went to the European team, but it is not this victory which gives the course its fame, but the spectacular round which makes the Valderrama the best course in Europe. The Open de España (formerly the Spanish Open) is the national open golf championship of Spain. It was founded in 1912 and has been part of the European Tour’s schedule since the inception of the Tour in 1972. Except for a five- year period in the early 1980s, the tournament has been played in April or May. In 2005, it was one of five European Tour events to be held in Spain. Former champions include Arnold Palmer, Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer, and Nick Faldo. Francisco Javier Fernández, the Tourism & Sports Minister of Spain, presented the town of San Roque, the Valderrama Masters tournament, a competition that places the destination in the elite of the European Circuit of golf and to be held this October 19th-22nd, 2017 with the participation of one hundred and fifty professional players of the highest level. Sergio García, who will be co-hosting the 2017 event through his foundation, won the title in 2011 after Graeme McDowell had been victorious in the inaugural tournament in 2010. Last year (2016), Valderrama hosted the Spanish Open which was won by Andrew “Beef” Johnston. During the official presentation, the minister noted that the tournament date “is very Volume 3 • Issue 40 67