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History permeates the venue for the DP World Tour event to be held October 19-22

The Real Club de Golf Sotogrande adds flavor to the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters

Aerial view from the 17th hole of Real Club de Golf Sotogrande. © Real Club de Golf Sotogrande
Aerial view from the 17th hole of Real Club de Golf Sotogrande. © Real Club de Golf Sotogrande

Late in his career, Robert Trent Jones was proud to say that the sun did not set on his courses, since the legendary British-born American designer left his signature on courses in 35 countries around the world. This phrase, heir to the sentence defining the empire forged by Charles I and Philip II, only began to make sense precisely in Spain, in a Real Club de Golf Sotogrande that was his first European course. Excellence, quality, and a privileged environment make this design its best letter of introduction, a course that players and fans alike will be able to enjoy from October 19-22 at the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters.

The perfect integration of the course among dunes and cork trees, the variety offered by its holes and the demanding layout have served to test the best players, both in the historic Sotogrande Cup with the best European amateurs (many of them with successful professional careers later) and in the elite tournaments hosted by the Real Club de Golf Sotogrande.

“Robert Trent Jones’ design was a great novelty in European golf, since it was the first seeded with Bermuda 419 and equipped with automatic irrigation. The best players loved it from the start for its ample tees, wide fairways, white bunkers with spectacular shapes, fast, large greens, and lakes that affected up to seven holes. It was and still is an excellent test of golf where players of all levels have fun,” says golf course manager Patrick Allende.

Passing the test of time, this course, that is about to reach its 60th anniversary, maintains its vigour thanks to the painstaking work of the greenkeeping team led by Patrick Allende and the remodeling carried out during 2015 and 2017 by architect Roger Rulewich, a close collaborator of Robert Trent Jones, and David Fleury, with the essential supervision of Allende. The recovery of the bermuda on tees, fairways and roughs, and the Agrostis A4 on the greens is perhaps the most striking aspect of a deep restoration work, although it reached many other areas so that the spirit of the Real Club de Golf Sotogrande devised by Robert Trent Jones remains more alive than ever.

“The greens had lost an important part of their surface, and it was necessary to restore them to give the course back its original character.  The restoration was carried out with great fidelity to the original design; in fact, the hand drawings made by Jones were taken as a reference”, Allende points out.

“The greens were made following the latest USGA construction specifications and was one of the first courses in Europe to install the “sub air” drainage air extraction system. In addition, 37 kilometers of drains were constructed throughout the course and 75,000 tons of silica sand were used, allowing us to carry out much more efficient and environmentally sustainable maintenance,” Allende finally adds.

DP World Tour’s best golfers will have the opportunity to emulate the achievements at the Real Club de Golf Sotogrande of players such as Rory McIlroy, José María Olazábal, Shane Lowry, Padraig Harrington or Francesco Molinari, all champions at the San Roque club. The ninth edition of the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters will serve to crown another great champion who will undoubtedly feel the pride of joining such an illustrious list of golfers in the jewel designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. in the heart of Sotogrande.

The stellar field, the attractiveness of the new venue and the location in the schedule, in the decisive stage of the Race to Dubai, will be unbeatable assets to turn the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters into a unique spectacle, ideal for all audiences. Tickets are already available with preferential rates for federated golfers and free entry for children aged twelve and under, and can be bought at the event website.

The Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters, an event in the DP World Tour’s Race to Dubai made possible by the essential contribution of the Real Club de Golf Sotogrande, is sponsored by Estrella Damm and the Consejería de Turismo, Regeneración, Justicia y Administración Local of the Junta de Andalucía, jointly funded by the EU and was declared Event of Exceptional Public Interest by the Government of Spain.