PGA Catalunya (Stadium)

PGA Catalunya (Stadium)

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Course Information

One of the continent’s strongest modern courses, this brawny course on the southern outskirts of Girona would have made a fine host of the 2022 Ryder Cup. The PGA Catalunya Stadium course – the Tour course here is also of a high quality – was designed by Dave Thomas and Angel Gallardo on undulating land populated by mature trees and water hazards. This is a successful resort, one with two new hotels and lots of residences, but that bustle does not disturb the tranquility of the golf experience thanks to the spaciousness of the site.

Rarely do you see other golfers unless you hit something especially bad and the routing does an especially good job of darting around the varied topography so you are never quite sure where you are.

It begins with a big bang, an all-world downhill opening tee shot that doesn’t lose too much in comparison with the revered opener at Doonbeg in Ireland. It is a spectacular start to this European Tour venue, and starts a theme for the front nine – namely that all the odd-numbered holes possess thrilling (largely elevated) tee shots.

While the evens are less dramatic, those holes compensate for their relatively sedate beginning by instead offering varied and interesting approaches to intriguing green complexes.

So it is that the 2nd has an acute dip before it, the 4th plays over a pond to a small sloping target, the larger 6th green is set among mounds with bunkers peeping out of them, and the short 8th is tiered.

Well conditioned and well routed with lots of variety, the Stadium is an impressive all-round modern course.

It continues on the back nine too, with the funkiest green on the course at the 12th, and at the impressive 14th, where the sleepered green is edged by a stream from 20 yards short of the green that extends all the way across it. The odd holes work in the reverse way; after delicious drives come less memorable if hardly modest approaches.

The 11th is arguably the highlight, a fine downhill par 3 with water circling the green from 7 o’clock to 2 o’clock while the 7th is not far behind, beginning with a drive that replicates the 1st then snaking along attractively between tall pines and staggered bunkers to an elevated but flat green with run-offs all around it.

The 13th and 17th are just as exciting off the tee, the former following its shoulder-opening elevated drive with an approach over a lake while the latter sweeps right to left in dramatic fashion.

Well conditioned and well routed with lots of variety, the Stadium is an impressive all-round modern course.

Chris Bertram

 

Information

Dave Thomas & Angel Gallardo

+34 972 472 577

PGA Catalunya Resort , Caldes de Malavella , Girona , Spain , 17455