Played by NCG: Lumine (Lakes)November 17, 2016 Courses and Travel
Try to keep your head - and your ball - above water when you take on this Spanish test...
Reason for a Lumine (Lakes) Golf Club review
I was a guest of Lumine Travel on a three-day excursion to play the courses at Lumine and scout the surrounding area.
Where is Lumine (Lakes)?
Around an hour’s drive from Barcelona’s El Prat airport, and still in the heart of Catalonia, is Lumine Mediterranea Beach & Golf Community.
Lumine is a short pit stop from Salou and can be found in La Pineda, close to the ancient Roman town of Tarragona.
What to expect
Water, water, everywhere! The Lakes will drown you if you are not on your game. The course is laid out around the Sequia wetlands and you can go scuba diving for your balls without due care and attention.
Seven holes on the front nine and six on the back all have large amounts of liquid as a central feature.
But this makes for some dramatic holes, none more than the par 3 6th.
It’s only 155 metres off the whites but the lake juts into the tee and makes it all carry. With bunkers set like a compass protecting the putting surface, only a well-struck shot will put a smile on your face.
Sometimes the hazards are only a mirage – although not quite an oasis in the desert. Take the par 4 13th.
You’ll drop your head in despair you don’t find the fairway on this short 310 metre hole.
To hit the water, though, would require a hook so wild you’d discover your shot in the nearby PortAventura World. There’s a substantial waste area to miss before you’ll hear a splash.
With its fairly generous fairways, well placed bunkering (the traps down the right hand side of the 8th are a killer) and the expectation of excitement throughout, it’s easy to see why the European Tour chose Lumine’s Lakes for second stage qualifying.
There’s birdies and double bogeys available in equal measure.
My best bit
Lumine Lakes was playing nice when I took my sometimes fragile game to its fairways. A deluge of rain the day before had softened the greens and made it fairly easy to carry approaches all the way to the flag.
It meant the course gave up pars aplenty.
I do like to see a strong finishing hole. They are obviously the last shots you’ll play but the 18th is the first hole you’ll talk about afterwards. A weak closer can mar a proper day out and so I was pleased to see one of this course’s most testing designs saved for last.
A 493 metre par 5, it begins innocuously enough but bunkers in the middle of the fairway are there to make you think on your second shot before the real fun starts.
With the galleries watching from the clubhouse terrace, you try to find a green that’s packed tightly against the water.
Anything left is wet, anything right or poorly hit will find some deep sand. It’s a fine finish.
Off the course, the service – from the caddies guiding you on your way to the staff in the clubhouse – is absolutely first class. No wonder everyone always seems to be smiling at Lumine.
When I go back…
I’ll try to play in the high season. When the sun is out, this will be resort golf at its best.