GOLF NEWS 2013
Golf News in 2013 for Costa del Sol and Andalucia. Keep up to date with the news highlights from the world of golf on the Costa del Sol and Andalucia, Spain.
World Corporate Golf Challenge in Sotogrande
World Corporate Golf Challenge (WCGC) announced today that the 2014 WCGC World Final will be held in Sotogrande, from 1st - 6th July 2014. Players and guests will have the privilege of staying at the NH Almenara Hotel and Golf Resort and competing at La Reserva Club de Golf.
The World Corporate Golf Challenge represents one of the biggest corporate golf tournaments in the world. Since its inception in 1993 WCGC has grown to such an extent that over one million golfers have taken part in more than twenty countries. The 2014 World Final represents a fantastic opportunity for players to represent their company and country at one of Spain's finest golf courses. Participating in the World Final is an experience of a lifetime. Last year's World Final was held at The Carrick on Loch Lomond in Scotland, and the WCGC organising committee is thrilled to be bringing the event to Spain but in particular Sotogrande. Some of the world's and Europe's greatest golf courses are also in Sotogrande, including the 1997 Ryder Cup venue Valderrama, Real Club De Golf Sotogrande, Almenara Golf and lastly, La Reserva, the venue for the 2014 World Final.
José Guerra, Chairman of the WCGC, said, "We are extremely delighted that the WCGC World Final will be held in Sotogrande, and we are sure the event will be a great success. Sotogrande's facilities are outstanding and the Almenara Hotel and La Reserva are first class venues. We really look forward to being hosted there."
Sotogrande is the largest privately owned residential development in Andalucia, Spain. Originally a gated community, Sotogrande is located in the municipality of San Roque, Cádiz, Spain, and is situated within a 20 square kilometer (8 sq. mile) stretch from the Mediterranean Sea 25km east of Gibraltar. The venue site stretches back into the foothills of Sierra Almenara, providing contrasting views from the sea, to the hills, cork forests to green fairways, and even to the Rock of Gibraltar and Morocco beyond.
The WCGC's return to Spain, will be enhanced in every way by the facilities provided by the host venue. Apart from presenting the most select offering of luxury homes in Spain, every convenience can be found in Sotogrande: wide avenues, a leisure harbour, two beach clubs, the best hotels, a colourful marina and all kinds of services including restaurants and shops.
Sotogrande is also world famous for its polo fields with Santa Maria Polo Club, owned and run by the same owners of the WCGC, hosting international polo events throughout the year. This expertise in running events in the area will surely enhance the overall delivery of the event, and ensure that the WCGC continues to deliver professional quality events to the international amateur golf community. Sotogrande will support the WCGC Final and join a prestigious list of world class resorts that have played host to the World Final.
Ramón Luengo, Director General of Sotogrande said, "To host the final of the World Corporate Challenge 2014 at our exclusive Golf Club La Reserva de Sotogrande is an honour and combines a top worldwide destination in the form of Sotogrande in Southern Europe with a world class amateur corporate golf event.
The celebration of this prestigious international event will give us the opportunity to bring players from around the world to this excellent tourist destination, where they will experience great golf, water sports, polo, wonderful cuisine and a magnificent hotel, the NH Almenara Sotogrande, all in a unique natural setting on the coast of southern Spain."
Juan Alvarez Lozano, Manager of Golf Club La Reserva de Sotogrande, said "To be selected by the organisation of a tournament that has reached over one million people worldwide motivates us to attract even more visitors, who we are certain will make this one of their favourite golf destinations. We believe that the excellent design of Cabell B. Robinson, together with the care we put into the golf course maintenance, will provide a great test for all the competitors and will ensure this golf course continues to be one of the best in Spain and Europe."
Valderrama launches major renovation plan to upgrade the golf course and practice areas
Club de Golf Valderrama, the venue for the 1997 Ryder Cup, two World Golf Championships and 16 editions of the Volvo Masters, is currently undertaking major investments. Valderrama has been consistently ranked among the best courses in the World since 1988. The fairways and greens have always received unanimous appraisal from players and experts. However, the Board of Directors has approved a major investment plan to upgrade the golf course and improve its position among the best manicured courses in the World.
The first investment undertaken at this famous course in southern Spain, has been the complete renovation of the pumping system. A brand new pumping station, with the most advanced technology available on the market, was installed six months ago and it has produced excellent results. Fairways and greens are now much more consistent in colour due to the absence of dry spots or waterlogged areas. Apart from the visual effects and the improvement in the playing conditions, the new system has significantly reduced water and energy costs.
The second major improvement on the course has been the new bunkers. All traps have been renovated by installing new drainage, liners and sand. The new sand conforms with USGA specifications and has been chosen after months of testing. Valderrama's bunkers are now consistent in colour, texture and playing conditions thus improving the overall standard of the course.
"Bunkers have always been an issue at Valderrama. We have rebuilt the bunkers following the strictest and highest specifications and I am proud to say they are now matching the quality of our greens and fairways" says Valderrama's general manager, Javier Reviriego.
"We conducted many tests in our Par 3 course with different types of sand and we concluded that the current one fulfilled our expectations in terms of quality, playability and aesthetics. I'm confident the overall standard of the course has dramatically improved with this investment".
However, this is only the first phase of the renovation project, Valderrama is currently working on the improvement of many cart paths and the landscaping of the course. During the coming three years, the course will be improved in many areas: several greens and collars will be renovated so they remain completely free of Poa-Annua, which has always been one of Valderrama's main assets. "One of Valderrama's stamps of identity," says Javier Reviriego, "is that all greens and fairways are free of bad weeds, so all areas that are slightly contaminated will be re-turfed with healthy grass".
Planned for the immediate future is the construction of a new pitching and chipping green, in a large area next to the current practice range. The new area will be designed by a renowned golf course architect and will resemble the playing conditions of the actual course. The last phase of the program will include a major renovation of the irrigation system; it will be redesigned and changed from the current hydraulic one to an electric system. This will considerable improve the optimization of water and the uniformity of fairways and greens.
"We believe there is still significant margin for improving the golf course. Our goal is not just to be number one in continental Europe, as we are now, but to be among the very best in the World. Our members and visitors demand the highest quality and we will do all within reach to provide it", notes Reviriego.
Valderrama has been recently ranked in 45th place in the World and number 1 in Europe by "Golf Architecture Magazine"; this top 100 ranking is elaborated with votes from the most prestigious golf course designers and architects in the World.
With a total investment for the golf course of over 3 million €, one would think that a major golf tournament might be soon announced for Valderrama.