The 12th hole of the Links course has disappeared below the water. The bridge access to the green on the 7th is wrecked. The Heathland fairways are a complete muddy mess, with branches, sand, rocks and debris from the mountains. The bunkers have been devastated. There’s still a trunk floating around at its own will on the course. This is the horrific panorama at Alcaidesa after the severe flooding that affected the entire province of Málaga and Gibraltar this past week.
There was more than 400 cubic meters of rainfall in two days and it’s still continuing to rain today. When Mother Nature rebels, there’s little to be done. There was no option other than to cancel the two Geck Tour tournaments scheduled for this week on the two courses at the Alcaidesa, the Links and Heathland. “We’re going to try to open Heathland to the public on Thursday, to our members, but it’s impossible to have it for a competition like the Gecko. As far as the Links, we’re going to try to have it ready for the weekend. The entire staff at Alcaidesa has been summoned for tomorrow, even though it’s a holiday, to start working on cleaning and repairs. There’s still a lot of work to be done. It was incredible. There are even concrete paths that have been destroyed because of the water”, says Alcaidesa director, Juan Pablo Arriaga.
The main task at the Alcaidesa in the next few days will be clean-up. It’s done by hand on the fairways, while the bunkers are bombed to get the water out and then need to be refilled with sand. No, no it can’t be done in two days. It’s impossible. The easiest are the greens. They were flooded but as soon as the water stops they’ll be good to go. The Links got the worst of it, mainly because the drainage system isn’t as good as on the Heathland. It was simply just one of those unexpected events. “It’s a shame. I feel sorry for the Gecko and, above all, for the golfers. I know they don’t have a lot of opportunities to play throughout the year and we love that they come here. Saturday there were already a few who were practicing. We’re going to try to look for another date in January because we want to host the Gecko”, assures Arriaga.
Thus, there will be no competition in the Gecko this week. It will return next Monday and Tuesday with the Lauro Golf tournament. That being said, it’s not all bad news. The best winter tour in Europe announced the introduction of two new tournaments to the calendar today. They will be played at Baviera (January 12th and 13th) and at the Westin La Quinta Golf (February 2nd and 3rd).