Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

TRAVEL FEATURE: FINCA CORTESIN, SPAIN – Golf News

By admin Jun11,2024

course and its many challenges proved invaluable. As you’d expect, the course was in incredible condition, with the fairways like carpets and the greens running at about 12.5 on the stimp.

They could have held the Solheim Cup again that day, it was that good.

We started at what is normally the fourth hole, which is one of the course’s many signature hole
– a downhill 280-yard par 4 that wraps around a lake.

It’s drivable for the big hitters, but the smart play for most is an iron up the right and a wedge on. From there the course meanders its way around the diverse site, with elevation changes coming throughout as well as doglegs, beautiful views in all directions, and plenty of variety.

We stopped for a food break on the 10th tee, which must have spurred me on, as I made birdie on this stunning par 3, which plays severely downhill with a backdrop of the mountains.

STOPPING FOR LUNCH AFTER NINE HOLES IN TRUE FINCA CORTESIN STYLE

All the short holes are superb, with my favourite being the 12th, where Denmark’s Emily Pedersen enjoyed a hole-in-one for just the second ace in the history of the Solheim Cup.

The par-4 15th is another visual treat and it’s one of the toughest par 4s on the course, where you drive over the native land before turning uphill and left.

Nacho’s clubbing was a great help, and this paid off when I holed a 5-iron from 180 yards on the par-four 16th for a rare eagle.

Being a little greedy and trying to go eagle-birdie, I went directly at the flag on the par-3 17th, with the pin just over the bunker and trying to emulate Carlota Ciganda’s birdie over World No 1 Nelly Korda that saw Europe retain the Solheim Cup, as they tied 14-14. Sadly, it didn’t pay off for me and I found the bunker.

The dogleg-left par 5 finisher plays downhill on the second shot and then rises back up to a green that is very well guarded with bunkers. It might offer the occasional birdie but it’s definitely one where you’ll be happy to finish with a par.

Grinning like proverbial Cheshire cats, our group left the 18th green on a golfing high, having experienced one of Europe’s finest courses presented in superb condition.

SUPERB SPA

Needing to wind down after such a high-octane morning, I spent the afternoon in Finca’s impressive 2,220m2 spa enjoying the steam room, Turkish bath, sauna and ice bath combination to ease some tired limbs.

The spa also boasts a 25m indoor saltwater pool, a Technogym, Snow Cave, and 10 rooms for a wide range of Oriental-themed treatments, while there’s a outdoor swimming pool and for racquet sports fans there are tennis and padel courts.

PRIVATE VILLAS

That evening we had dinner in a private villa – one of 16 on the estate – which offers a different type of accommodation for families or larger group of friends.

The villas, which boast five en-suite double/ twin rooms, feature private gardens and swimming pools and enjoy magnificent views of a mountain range and the sea.

Following a fabulous dinner in the villa, we headed back to the hotel where we were royally entertained by the hotel’s resident band, which took request after request from our group, despite some of very questionable musical choices.

A COLLECTION OF LUXURY PRIVATE VILLAS PROVIDES ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION TO THE HOTEL FOR FAMILIES AND LARGER GROUPS

The hotel, which was designed by the late Portuguese designer Duarte Pinto Coelho, has
a classically Andalusian feel, with darkly cosseting lounges, fabric-swathed walls, and the suite doors that once sealed the rooms of Benedictine monks.

Despite being unquestionably upmarket, it still feels very homely, and this is all down to the staff, who seamlessly blend in with the guests, while anticipating their every need with almost alarming accuracy.

The following day we played the golf course once again, but this time as the member or regular green fee player would do. It made for a slightly different, but nonetheless memorable experience, with opportunities to be more conservative on some holes and more gung-ho on others following our previous day’s experience.

SEAFOOD HEAVEN

After lunch in the clubhouse and another visit to the spa, it was time for our farewell dinner at
REI, another of the hotel’s four restaurants, with this one specialising in Japanese cuisine with a Mediterranean influence.

With so many tempting dishes to choose, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the tasting menu, which includes a heady mix of seafood, including wild red tuna, smoked salmon sashimi, sea bass (pictured below), oysters, razor clams, prawns, scallops and squid.

For those nights when you want something a bit simpler, Don Giovanni offers an Italian menu with a Sicilian twist, with fresh pasta, pizzas and steaks among the popular choices, while the Beach Club, which is located 1km from the hotel in the Bahia de Caceres, also has a restaurant, where paella and freshly-cooked Mediterranean dishes are the order of the day.

Our final day of our action-packed itinerary allowed us just enough time to brush up on our golfing skills at the driving range and have lunch at the Poolside Bar before I headed back to Malaga to catch my flight back to Gatwick, and to the harsh realities of life outside the luxuriously welcoming bubble that is Finca Cortesin.

For details of all the golf packages available at Finca Cortesin, including green fees, stay-and-play rates, and the Finca Cortesin Experience, visit fincacortesin.com or email [email protected]

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