Valle del Este golf course is one of Spain's most prestigious golf courses, it was designed by Jose Canales Galvez and opened in 2002. It is an 18 hole, par 71 course of approximately 5700 metres (white tees) covering 56 hectares. The course offers a mixture of well playable holes for all levels of golf ability and holes that represent a real challenge for more experienced golfers. An unusual feature of the golf course is that the tees are positioned on small raised platform, as well as wide generous fairways
The two words heard most by people having finished their first round at Valle del Este Golf Resort. Designer Jose Canales, has managed to create a golf-course that is already considered one of the top new courses in Europe.
Is it a difficult course? With ample fairways, large receptive greens and measuring only 5700 yards of the back-tees and par 71, it should not be. Yet, somehow the course manages to extract every bit of skill from even the most seasoned of golf-pro, without ever becoming unfair for the beginning golfer.
Desert surroundings with the occasional view of the Mediterranean, rolling hills and steep cliffs make it visually spectacular. Its small round tee-boxes, as many as six on some holes, provide daunting looking carries. However, because most tee-shots are downhill, they seem much tougher on the eye that on the swing.
The fairways wind their way through a landscape that rivals some of Arizona’s best desert style courses. Cacti, large boulders and the occasional water-hazard only punish the severest of misses.
The greens, both very fast and true, due to their size, offer a large variety of pin-placements, on some holes up to a 4 club difference.
At par 71, the three par 5’s are all reachable with two good hits by tour-pro’s, but when you gamble and miss, you will pay the price. For the beginner, spectacular as they may look, they can be managed without difficulty by 3 or 4 more conservative shots.
The par 3’s, two of them uphill, are all completely different. Number 2, a long uphill hole with a large green requires a well struck long iron or fairway wood. Holes 6 and 14 can be reached with a mid-iron, and even a missed shot still leaves an opportunity for an up and down.
On hole number 3, the player is forced to take a gamble. The further left the tee-shot the easier the shot into the green, but this means flirting with the out of bounds that runs down the entire left side of this 390 yard hole. Play it safe and to the right and you are forced with a large lake that encroaches into the fairway and the right side of the green. From here, nothing but a career-shot will find the green.
The course is maintained to the highest standards, together with the regions ideal climate, they make Valle del Este a golf-course that can be played all year round.
Beginners can take classes in the Golf School and practice on the driving range and all golfers can make the most of the Club House and Pro Shop.
Go back a decade and imagine a desert scrubland with a small white cortijo sitting in its midst surrounded by a few goatherds and the odd almond tree. Picture the local colours of yellow soil, crimson rocks, black granite and burnt orange sandstone sitting in the gentle contours of the land. Olive and carob trees dot the countryside as rabbits rush around, perhaps fleeing the odd pot shot from a local hunter.
Press the fast forward button and bring yourself to 2007: similar colours, still much the same landscape with the same ancient olives and carobs.
Probably not the same rabbits, but definitely their descendents and plenty of them.
But look closely and in between the shrubs and trees, are tees and fairways. The cortijo is no longer here – the typically Andalusian farmhouse has been replaced by local ‘Indalo’ architecture in the form of a four-star hotel and discreetly-placed residential areas, all part of Valle Del Este Golf Resort, situated near Vera.
A modern Pro Shop is located within the Valle del Este Hotel facility. It is a well stocked with golfing equipment and a range of fashionable sports clothing. The hotel facilities includes a very comfortable sports bar and restaurant with large TV screens and terrace bar, games room, an outdoor swimming pool and changing rooms.
Sercotel, Urbanizacion Valle Del Este Resort, 1, 04620 Vera, Almeria,Spain