Its an early start but I am excited as I have heard a lot about this course, I jump my buggy and head to the first tee pull out my driver and climb up to the tee and I am certainly impressed by what I see. Tall pines, lush green fairways and white sanded bunkers greet me and the Atlantic Ocean sitting as a backdrop in the distance and with the early morning golden sun casting shadows across the course Abama looks stunning.
The hole just invites you to play your best, the fairway dips and rises before me and I land my ball on top of the hill and I race to the buggy, I am not sure why I am just excited by the look of the course. I get to my ball and have a half wedge shot in to a green that lies across and is surround by mounding at the back and two bunkers at the front. The green is as you would expect of a modern course plenty of complexes to test your reading ability and fast to test your putting stroke and I duly miss my birdie putt, but I am just buzzing on how good this course looks.
The 2nd just reaffirms the lushness of the course and on reaching the green – which sits slightly below you are again surrounded by mounding at the back but this time protected by three bunkers, two short and left and one right – it's the aesthetics and the juxtaposed green against the red tinged dirt, rocks and palm trees that give the course its beauty.
Top: The sunning 6th hole with backdrop: Above LtoR: 9th, 11th
and 13th holes.
The first par 3 arrives at the 4th hole and is all what you would want, elevated tees with four teeing options, water to play over, palm trees, white sanded bunkers, the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop and the green sits nestled down to the left of a rock and cactus plant covered hill, it's a golf course designers dream piece of land.
Abama is the course that keeps on giving one great hole after another, stunning view after stunning view especially as I look down to the green from my ball on the 6th fairway. The green just seems to sit in the sea, its an illusion of course as we are above the sea in the hills but the back of the green that has seven palm trees surrounding just seems to fall away into the ocean.
If you thought the first par 3 was a great hole the second on the front nine comes at the 7th played over a small barranca that is filled with rocks and cactus plants, the green sits on a plateau and if you miss it your ball will bounce off down the slopes, hitting the green is key here.
The front nine finishes with a wonderfully designed hole but I don’t really appreciate it until I reached the green. It plays downhill from an elevated tee and the green sits below you but its when I reach the green then look back up to the fairway that I see the amphitheatre of rocks and waterfall feature in them, it really is a great way to finish the nine.
Wondering if the back nine could keep up the pace I pull up at the tee and have a little chuckle to myself as I walk out onto the 10th tee. The Moroccan inspired red terracotta bricked hotel and palm trees frame the green and this par 5 hole plays downhill from an elevated tee with water on the left, all framed by the Atlantic Ocean, yes I’ll give you the front nine and raise you one more, just like a poker player.
Water features on all the holes on the back nine with a semi island green at the par 3, 14th hole, but as I miss another birdie putt on the 18th – I am not too bothered as I birdied 8, 9, 10 and 13 – I take a deep breath and savour the moment as I look out to the Atlantic Ocean. I have to admit I am not a fan of golf course architect Dave Thomas but he deserves every accolade that comes his way for this design, it is a wonderful course and one that you will want to play again and again, this has truly been the crescendo to a wonderful few days golf
View from the fairway on the 16th with water feature