Las Colinas

Las Colinas

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Course Information

Cabell Robinson’s work has been some of the most impressive by architects in Continental Europe in recent times.

He has been responsible for success stories at Finca Cortesin and Praia D’El Rey, and is an expert at making the most of the site he is given.

Las Colinas is another such example. It is one of the most impressive modern ‘ resort’ courses on the continent with an uncommon cleverness, consistency and variety.

It is routed in two spacious loops, with impressive scale and holes sited well away from the high-end residences that surround the perimeter.

Many modern courses are created for the pros in mind first. Here, though, everything is tailored to the 18-handicapper not the +5 player.

Water plays a part as you might expect but don’t pin this down as ‘just another’ muscular resort course, because it has a good deal more charm than that.

Cute par 3s mix with robust ones and reachable par 5s follow stringent two-shotters, with a lovely flow to the sequence of holes; you never feel like you are constantly ‘hitting’ or indeed struggling to get to grips with fiddly shorter tests.

What Robinson has done especially well is design this for the average golfer. That sounds like an obvious thing to do, given average golfers will form 99.9% of the rounds here (it hosts some pro events too).

Yet this is not always the case, and many modern courses are created for the pros in mind first. Here, though, everything is tailored to the 18-handicapper not the +5 player.

So Robinson’s prime focus was on how the course works from the Yellow tees, which add up to a very appealing 6,226 yards.

The White tees at 6,653 yards are also very playable but there is also a set of Blacks that takes it over the 7,000 mark.

The landscape and terrain is the same for the whole journey but that doesn’t mean the course is; Las Colinas’ variety is another of its strengths.

You get ‘breather’ holes between the stiffer ones, and even on those more exacting tests you are usually presented with a tantalising chance for glory, where a big carry or a brave line will reap rich reward. Las Colinas loves to try to tempt you into attempting spectacular shots.

There is minimal rough but plenty of water hazards to lose balls in, and there are lots of bunkers to avoid. Fairways often rise and fall pleasingly, there are several notable changes in elevation, and greens are often nicely tucked into the side of hills.

The landscape and terrain is the same for the whole journey but that doesn’t mean the course is; Las Colinas’ variety is another of its strengths.

You will reach for every club in your bag at some point in the round, stout par 4s are allied to more sporty ones, greens vary from the flat to the undulating while short and tricky par 3s mix with exacting ones.

This all combines to make you think over many more shots than you would on a similar ‘resort’-style course, so if you don’t enjoy consulting a Strokesaver to plot the best route to par, you will likely be caught out by Las Colinas.

It is routed around an ‘island’ of land that contains much of the residential development but these chic villas are barely really in view and certainly never close to the playing corridor.

The front nine works around the inside of the northern part of the island and then returns on its outer edge.

In superb condition as befits a high-end destination, Las Colinas will surprise those expecting something a typical Spanish resort course.

The back nine starts around the outer edge of the southern section and follows the inside of the island coming home. The 3rd and 14th greens are just a few yards apart.

The 14th starts a run for home where only the penultimate hole does not strongly feature water.

There is a terrific driving hole on 15th to enjoy, where the course clearly shows you that the best route is down right so you can hit up the green with your second or third, then a super dog-leg left on 16 and finally a slow-burner at the last, where you drive semi-blind over the brow of a hill and then emerge to be presented with a stellar approach to a lakeside green.

In superb condition as befits a high-end destination, Las Colinas will surprise those expecting something a typical Spanish resort course.  Chris Bertram

 

Information

Cabell Robinson

+34 965 324 004

Avenida de las Colinas 2 , Orihuela Costa , Alicante , Spain , 03189