AN EVER-IMPROVING COURSE
Do not just take our word for it. Ask any golfer who knew El Paraiso six or seven years ago and who has re-visited lately! Where grass used not to grow, there is grass! Many new tees have been constructed, a number of them supported by attractive Casares rock walls. Pride is now taken in achieving a high standard of maintenance.
The Course was designed by Gary Player in 1972 and the greens are therefore forty-six years old. While they still play wonderfully well, in this climate their life expectancy is limited! New greens on the 1st, 2nd 12th and 14th have already been constructed and add new challenges to the course. The Board of Directors decided to commission the USA based company, Gary Player Design, to provide advice and drawings for fifteen of the greens and many of the key bunkers around the course. It is very exciting to have their Vice-President, Steve McFarlane, a Scottish golf architect, working on this project with the Club.
The most recent of these has been the, downhill, short 14th. Many visitors will remember playing to the old green, needing to carry an enormous bunker stretching the full width across the front of the green. For the older golfer and many ladies this meant taking a lot of club. Even if successful in negotiating the bunker safely, the chances of keeping the ball on the green were slim. This bunker was not part of the original Player design, and was considered unfair by many. Steve McFarlane’s design provides a larger green with many more pin positions available. The old green was the flattest on the course and the new one offers more interest with gentle borrows. An inviting opening is presented now at the front left, with a front bunker just guarding the right half of the green. However, those who choose that “safe” route will have a very long putt to a back-right pin! Also, if they play a little longer than intended, they face a bunker on the left which is deeper than before and moved much closer to the side of the green. The greens’ renovation programme has been and will continue to be carried out while maintaining a full eighteen hole course, and the results are making it all worthwhile.
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