Top the 11th and 3rd greens and above make sure you hit the fairway at the 12th!!
I was so looking forward to playing PGA Cataluya Resort and as I step on to the 10th tee Ė weíre playing the back nine first Ė the rain is still tipping it down but there is no way I am going to give this chance up. Itís only a month before the Espana Open and the course is looking immaculate. Apart from a few pitch marks on the greens which Iím sure will grow out in the two-week shutdown before the tournament starts, the greens even through the casual water are looking pretty slick. Itís strange because this course could be set in the middle of England as it cuts through a forest of trees and the grass isnít what you would normally expect from a Spanish course Ė something youíll notice if you play the courses Iíve played this week.
But like me you will love PGA Cataluya Resort. Itís a course which golfers of every ability will be able to play from the four teeing options that are set up. The pros will be playing the better part of 7,174 yards while from the red tees it plays 5,565 yards.
Youíll probably start from the first so I will begin from the 435-yard downhill dog-leg left opening hole. What you canít see from the tee is the water that creeps in on the left-hand side from behind the trees, so make sure you aim for the left part of the fairway to give yourself a good look at the green.
By the time Iíd hit the front nine the sun was out, which gave me a chance to put the waterproofs back in the bag, and I duly made my first birdie of the day at the short second. I was slightly lucky as I couldnít see all the green from the left-hand side of the fairway but with only a wedge in I managed to knock it over the trees and hole the putt.
The third is all about risk-and-reward. This 531-yard par-5 is reachable in two and itís a big green. Your problem is that itís all water down the left-hand side from 60 yards in, and if that worries you, then to make matters more complicated you have three large bunkers on the right-hand side. But hey, this is holiday golf, so after I drop out and wedge up I manage to can the putt and walk off with a big smile on my face, but a ball down.
The front nine has a couple of great par-3s and the fifth is probably the one that will test you the most with water on the left and bunkers on the right. It rightly has a stroke index of seven!
The front nine comes to a close with the beautiful dog-leg right 478-yard par-4 ninth. That is the hardest hole on the course. I hit a great drive and still have a 2-iron in, but itís one of those greens that you look down on from the fairway but is raised once you get down the hill, with three bunkers at the front and one at the back. This hole is like a blowfish. It looks stunning but cut it the wrong way when you eat it and it will kill you Ė and this hole could destroy your card. Anything from a par to a cricket score is possible here.
The back nine starts with another great par-4 and then probably PGA Catalunya Stadium courseís signature hole Ė the par-3, 188-yards downhill to a green that backs onto water with a very large bunker that protects the front and left of the green, and at only 24-yards deep you need to stop the ball quickly.
Even in the rain it looks great and I am sure you will love it when you get here and the sun is high in the sky. I loved the run home from here and they are all great golf holes. Placement is at a premium here as I think it should be, but I think you are going to love playing the eighteenth with its stadium-like green. You can even wave to the imaginary crowd in some of the apartments that look down on to the green on the right hand-side!
The tough par 3, 5th holeMorning mist at the 10thLooking back down the 15th