City guide: Madrid, SpainApril 17, 2019 Courses and Travel
The Spanish capital has five courses of Top 100 class as well as being one of Europe’s great cities, writes Chris Bertram
There is plenty of options for golf in Madrid. We round up the best…
Golf in Madrid: The courses
The North course of RSHE showcases modern Spanish golf, built on severe terrain that could have compromised the quality of the course in lesser hands than Robert Von Hagge.
It hosted the Spanish Open in 1982, Sam Torrance winning, and there are some standout holes with distinctive fairway shaping in a natural setting.
This historic club stretches back to 1901 but moved to this site – which also boasts the hillier South, also by Von Hagge, in the ‘80s.
There are four 18-holers at one of this club, one of Spain’s biggest. They are headlined by No. 1 and No.3 by Jack Nicklaus plus No.2 and No.4 by Nicklaus Design led by Ron Kirby. No.3 (which sits alongside No.4 close to RSHE) is regarded as the finest, and is renowned for its outstanding condition, interesting green complexes and strategic early holes.
La Moraleja No. 1 staged the Spanish Open in 1986 (Howard Clark) and No.2 (Mark James) in 1997.
Puerto de Hierro (Arriba)
The Arriba boasts a fabulous routing, a terrific collection of par 3s and an excellent set of greens.
This undulating property 10 minutes away from Madrid city centre is maintained beautifully.
Puerto de Hierro (Abajo)
However, some like its sister the course even more. Abajo’s routing might not as good, but it is more demanding – with very tough par 4s and an exacting finish that make it the better players’ choice.
Villa de Madrid
This is a huge sports club close to Puerto de Hierro north west of the city and its Black course by Rees Jones has a clever routing that makes good use of severe terrain.
There is a very good set of par 3s and interesting greens.
Villa de Madrid staged five Spanish Opens in seven years, including a Seve Ballesteros win in 1995, a victory that turned out to be his last.
Golf in Madrid: Where to stay
Naturally there are a wealth of options in the city but if you want a play-and-stay option, El Encin Golf Hotel is 20 minutes north-east of the centre.
It opened in 2011 and incorporates a course by Robert von Hagge that has hosted two events on the Challenge Tour and a neat four-star hotel with 39 rooms.
Golf in Madrid: Away from the course
Madrid is, you won’t be surprised to hear, full of bars and restaurants, with the Literary Quarter, Malasana, Cueca and Princesa areas all really good.
And you’ll want to watch Gareth Bale, Luca Modric and co at the Bernabeau.
There is lots of history and architecture to explore in the city, as well as extensive shopping areas that rival Milan.