Finca Cortesin Unveils a Spectacular New First Hole for the 2023 Solheim Cup
Finca Cortesin, the course that will host the next Solheim Cup from 22-24 September 2023, has unveiled a brand-new first hole: a drivable par four where players will face the challenge of reaching the green with their tee shot while a bustling grandstand full of spectators creates a unique atmosphere.
It was agreed by the event organisers that the first hole of the 2023 Solheim Cup should be a place where a large number of spectators could gather and also be a hole that would be challenge for the golfers.
A suitable location existed at Finca Cortesin but it was not the first hole of the golf course, it was on hole 4. The team at Finca Cortesin, with Vicente Rubio, its Managing Director, went to work to make the necessary changes.
As a result, the new first hole at Finca Cortesin is now a 256-metre par 4, with a large lake on the left side that reaches the front of the green, a narrow, well-protected fairway and a large but lively green.
"It is a good decision to have made this change. The characteristics of the new hole one will allow us to accommodate more than 1000 people over the tee, which will make for a great atmosphere. I think it's the perfect hole to start a Solheim Cup," said Vicente Rubio.
"This hole is, as they say, a risk and reward hole. Players can either try to reach the green with one shot or play more conservatively. The design of the hole and the great difference in height between the tee and the green will make it a spectacle, and I have no doubt that it will be a success," he concluded.
Players already experiencing this hole include Suzann Pettersen, the European captain, who with nine appearances in the Solheim Cup, knows extremely well what it feels like when a player prepares to take that first shot.
Suzann Pettersen from Norway is familiar with Finca Cortesin and the Costa del sol, for many years her parents have owned a house at Aloha Golf. She also was a member of the junior Ryder Cup team at Valderrama in 1997.
On Wednesday 20th September alongside Alan Solheim, Suzann unveiled the "One year to Go" countdown clock on the driving range at Finca Cortesin before giving an exhibition of her skills on the new first hole. Happily she reached the green, more than can be said for some of the other golfers who reached the lake.
"The sensations you experience have nothing to do with other moments you can experience in golf, like leading a major, because in this tournament you don't just play for yourself, you do it for your teammates, for your team.... you put all your heart into it and you want to give your best. That first tee of the Solheim Cup is all adrenaline and energy," said Pettersen.
Stacy Lewis, the American captain, has also had the opportunity to check the characteristics of the new first hole at Finca Cortesin and did not hesitate to praise the choice: "I don't think we've ever had a first hole like this in the Solheim Cup. You can reach the green but the water comes into play quite a lot".
Lewis also highlighted the shape of the tee of this hole, as "It's like an amphitheatre, the stands are going to be high up, practically above you, which will make the public feel very close. It's definitely a great hole for the Solheim Cup," she concluded.