PGA Catalunya: Jewel in Costa Brava crown

Fabulous golf just 15 minutes from Girona airport

Bob Warters's picture
Tue, 13 Apr 2010
PGA Catalunya: Jewel in Costa Brava crown

On land close to Girona airport, originally earmarked for a Formula 1 race track, PGA Catalunya has emerged as the jewel in the Spanish Costa Brava's crown of challenging courses, inland from its rugged Mediterranean coastline.

Indeed this spectacular resort just 15 minutes from where Ryanair delivers twice-daily flights, has two golfing gems - the Stadium and Tour course - where club golfers from Britain and Europe can test their skills against those of the best players in the world, recently contesting the 2009 Spanish Open.

Many holiday-makers will be familiar with the popular beaches of Tossa de Mar, Lloret  and Blanes - less than two hours flying time from most UK airports - but the golfers among them might not have realised that the area around the ancient city if Girona is home to some of the finest golf courses in Europe, many of which have staged important tournaments.

 After hosting The European Tour Qualifying School Final last year, the PGA Catalunya course, described by many experts as the most photogenic on the circuit and sweeping through a valley of pines, Spanish oaks and olive trees, accepted the challenge of staging the Open de Espana at the end of April.

It might have been F1 drivers like Lewis Hamilton, Jensen Button and Philipe Massa who were driving here but instead it was the likes of Thomas Levet - the eventual winner - John Daly and local favourite Miguel Angel Jimenez who were driving their golf balls around the par-72 Stadium course with its immaculate fairways and billiard table-smooth greens.
Designed to a backdrop of the distant Pyrenees by Tour veterans Neil Coles and Angel Gallardo as part of the European Golf Design team, PGA Golf de Catalunya has matured magnificently in its 10 years and with upto six tees for every hole, makes it playable whatever your ability.

You'll love the elevated tees which lay out the holes in front of you, the closely mown fairways and the subtle borrows of the greens and wonder how the Frenchman Levet negotiated his way around the Stadium course in a breathtaking 64 shots in his opening round.

But it's something to ponder as you enjoy the atmosphere of the sparkling new clubhouse and the adjoining Meliá Golf Vichy Catalán Hotel with its quality rooms, restaurants and service.