The legendary and acclaimed Old Course, located in the premises of The San Roque Club in Cádiz province, has reopened its doors to visitors after an extensive renovation lasting almost one year.
The reopening is a great event for golf connoisseurs, as the Old Course is one of the true classics of Spanish and international golf. A magical place where the greatest golfers, including Seve Ballesteros, chose to have a home so they could spend pleasant seasons enjoying the fantastic climate and views of the Old Course.
The club first opened its doors in 1991 and its Old Course, originally designed by Dave Thomas, quickly became known – together with Valderrama and Royal Sotogrande – as the “Golden Triangle” of golf in Sotogrande.
The clubhouse, former residence of the Domecq family, now completely renovated and with both a fresh and a classic look, is an incomparable setting to start a round on the Old Course, a layout that winds in a pleasant and gentle way surrounded by lush hills, majestic cork oaks and charming villas.
Regarding the technical aspects of the Old Course, and after an extensive renovation that has lasted 11 months, The San Roque Club has re-confirmed its commitment to excellence by implementing the highest maintenance standards that can be found at the best courses in Europe.
As for the criteria used for the extensive renovation, Project Director Stephen Dundas explains, “My first thought was to always make the golf course as firm as possible; I wanted it to be played hard and fast. But it also had to be sustainable. Many projects start off with great designs, but they can't be sustained after three or four years."
After a first look at the course, it is pleasantly surprising to note that the new layout eliminates the old rough areas and replaces them with “mulch” areas, which produces an effect similar to that at Augusta National and gives it a very different personality from the rest of the courses in the area.
“We reduced the grass area from approximately 55 to 37 hectares, with such a dramatic reduction aimed at both minimising the water and labour required for the golf course and giving a sharp definition to the design."
The greens, bunkers and all the playing surfaces have been redesigned and are now comparable to the best courses in the world.
With these ingredients, it would be easy to think of The San Roque Club as something of an aspirational club, a "once in a lifetime" experience for most players, but nothing could be further from reality.
The club’s objective is that players choose The San Roque Club year after year as a destination for their golf holidays – or they become members. For this reason, the managers’ main philosophy is to maintain an environment of the highest quality, but relaxed and friendly, where all players who appreciate good golf are welcome and where attention to players’ needs is the centre of operations.
To make the visitor experience even better, work will begin on a hotel and villas, which are due to be completed in early-2023.
The first accommodation option already available is a villa located next to the first hole, with capacity for 10 people and which, if clients wish, can include all the services they want, from cook or service personnel to personal trainer.
The San Roque Club is one of those places where players can feel an authentic golf atmosphere cultivated over the years and soaked in the history of unforgettable golf days enjoyed by its illustrious visitors. As an example, the hotel was the official accommodation for both 1997 Ryder Cup teams.
The Old Course was also the venue for the finals of the European Tour Qualifying School for 13 years. "See you in November in San Roque" was a phrase frequently repeated throughout the golf sector, with players such as Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Justin Rose, among others, earning their Tour cards at San Roque. Later in 2005, the Old Course hosted the Spanish Open, a championship that returned in 2006, this time on the New Course.
The Old Course returns to the elite of European golf in grand style, following this superb presentation of a totally renovated and magnificent club that is re-consolidated as a must-stop for golf lovers. A true modern classic where the best is yet to come. The San Roque Club, a place to add to the agenda for your next golf holiday.