City break: Barcelona, SpainJune 1, 2018 Courses and Travel
It’s got culture, nightlife, and Lionel Messi – and Barcelona also boasts super golf options, as Chris Bertram went to find out
Where to play in Barcelona
El Prat: This historic club, the home of Pablo and Alejandro Larrazabal, was initially right next to the city’s airport but now sits on gently undulating, forested land north of Barcelona near Terrassa. Greg Norman designed 45 holes here with the Open & Rosa the premier combination.
Sant Cugat: You can enjoy the work of a Golden Age designer in Barcelona. Harry Colt laid out Sant Cugat on the outskirts of the Catalan capital in 1914 and although short by modern standards, the tight par of 70 allied to tree-lined fairways and clever green complexes mean you will face plenty of challenge.
Terramar: This historic club, founded in 1927, sits in Sitges and enjoys a terrific setting on the edge of the Med. Has had a recent refresh by Mackenzie & Ebert.
Lumine: The Lakes (above) is technically the No.1 course at this club an hour south of the city. It is designed by Greg Norman on flat marshland that has been painstakingly preserved and is a sanctuary for rare birds. It’s backed up by the excellent Hills. In holes such as the beautiful short 8th over water, the even better par-3 10th, and the back-to-back 4s at 12 and 13, the Hills is an under-rated venue.
Barcelona Golf: Solid course with a fine on-site hotel. A Continental Europe Top 100 Resort.
Bonmont: This (below) is a Robert Trent Jones Jnr layout that is set among an arid, rocky landscape. Opened in 1990, it is characterised by intimidating ravines laid over the routing like a lattice.
Where to stay
The city: No need to explain about the accommodation options available in Barcelona – they cater for every pocket and taste.
El Prat: If you want to stay on site it is very easy to do so because El Prat has a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel adjoining its 45 holes.
Salou: Lumine works with hotels in Salou to offer terrific play-and-stay packages. The H10, for example, is a super four-star hotel just half a mile from Lumine’s courses. Seek the help of Lumine Travel to secure a good-value break at lumine.com.
Barcelona Golf: Stylish and comfortable hotel with 150 rooms and lots of the amenities you’d expect of a modern hotel.
What to do
Barcelona: Taking in a match at the Nou Camp has got to be high on the agenda, with Messi, Suarez and Coutinho likely to be entertaining. The tour of the stadium is also well worth it to soak up all sorts of history. If Barca are away when you visit, there’s also Espanyol – fewer stars, lower cost.
PortAventura Water Park: If you travel with your family you can possibly arrange a perfect day when the kids head off to this huge water park while you play 36 at neighbouring Lumine!
La Rambla: This legendary promenade that stretches down to the beach is one of Europe’s great eating and drinking opportunities. You might well prefer doing that over checking out Gaudi’s masterpiece Casa Mila.