The culmination of the project is testament to the vision and passion of both the owner and the course’s designer, Robert Trent Jones Senior; the older Trent Jones is widely accepted as the finest golf course architect of his generation, and Valderrama will arguably be the brightest light of his impressive legacy.
Now regarded as the best course in continental Europe, the awe-inspiring layout is matched by its consistently impeccable condition, but this was not always the case; between 1987 and 1997, Valderrama’s bunkers were totally restructured, and the drainage system throughout the courses was entirely revamped. The result was that Valderrama coped admirably with the deluge during the final day of the 1997 Ryder Cup that closed every other course within a 200 mile radius. Those Ryder Cup matches brought Valderrama prominently to the golfing world’s attention, but thankfully, the course is carefully managed to avoid too much play ruining its condition. In fact, the club is extremely exclusive, but Ortiz-Patiño has been kind enough to make it available to the public as well, and it remains high on the list of ‘must play’ courses.
While Valderrama is notoriously difficult, there are tees to suit most players, but matching your handicap is an achievement to remember around the 6,951 yard layout. Valderrama’s wares continue to be showcased by the European Tour’s climactic Volvo Masters every autumn, which merely whets the appetite of serious golfers around the world. Rest assured, Valderrama is as good as it looks on television, so be sure to experience continental Europe’s finest course for yourself.
Go for broke at the penultimate hole – take on the water, and if you succeed, the bragging rights will be yours for years to come!