Golf Around Girona
After last weeks review of some of the best golf the Costa Blanca has to offer, this week’s edition of the ClubstoHire.com Travel Blog focuses on the area around Girona – The Costa Brava. Girona is located in Catalonia in the north east of Spain. Barcelona is the major tourist destination of the area but the province of Girona is host to a number of quality golf courses. The area is serviced by Girona Airport, which I first encountered flying to ‘Barcelona’ with Ryanair. Clubs to Hire have a ground handler that will meet and greet you from the plane in Girona Airport and collect your clubs when you are ready to depart.
Girona is however a city with a vast history. At over 2000 years old, Girona has various historical influences that include the Ausetani, Goths, Moors and Charlemagne. The magnificently named Wilfried the Hairy incorporated Girona into the County of Barcelona in the 9th century.
The turn of the 2nd millennium saw the Jewish community of Girona prosper until the late 1400s. Catholic Monarchs outlawed Judaism and the Jewish community were forced to convert or exiled. The Jewish quarter or Call remains a top tourist attraction of the city to this day.
Girona can be quite cold during the winter months of November – January where temperatures stoop to 8° C. The six months of May – September provide the best average temperatures for golfing when it ranges between 18° C to 23° C. Sea Temperatures are at their most comfortable from June until October at between 19°C and 23° C.
Attractions of Girona
Girona’s historical influences provide a wide variety of tourist attractions. The Girona Cathedral or Cathedral of Saint Mary of Girona, is a Roman Catholic church with a record breaking 22m-wide Gothic nave. Sant Pere de Galligants is a medieval church & monastery. Now home to an archaeological museum showcasing historic relics. The Girona Art Musem is a historical palace-turned-museum with a collection ranging from Romanesque art to current-day pieces. La Devesa Park is a city green space with trees, sports fields, picnic facilities & a twice-a-week street market. The La Devesa Gardensare also located in this park and are well worth a visit if strolling about the city.
Golf around on the Costa Brava
The golf around Girona is of high quality. The Costa Brava tourism board have made great efforts in having the Costa Brava recognised as a leading golf location in Europe. This is highlighted by the amount of very popular pitch and putt facilities in the area. A sign of how the area tries to facilitate every golfer’s need. For now though we’ll focus on the golf facilities that make this a top location.
Torremirona Golf & Spa Resort
This track is located to the north of Girona and is very welcoming to the travelling golfer. The course was designed by Eugenio Aguado & Jordi Soler and opened to the public in 1993. Located in the foothills of the Pyrenees this course offers beautiful views of the mountains.
A par 72 that is nearly 6000 yards in length, the course itself is a generous resort style course. On the front nine fairways are large and forgiving. Water comes into play only a few times around the course.The residential complex of the resort can be a little off-putting over the first few holes and traffic can be loud in the area. However once you get over these minor details the golf course itself is nice and the people are warm and inviting.
Golf de Pals
The Golf de Pals golf course is built in a large pine forest next to the Pals beach. It is a course all types of player from the least skilled to the most experienced can get excited about. Since opening to the public in 1966 numerous professional, amateur and European tournaments have been played here. Significantly the Spanish Open of 1972 was hosted here, the first ever event of the PGA European Tour.
The course is well protected by slim fairways lined by umbrella like pine trees and well positioned bunkers. With 5 par 5’s on the card, you would imagine that there are lots of scoring opportunities around this course. The truth is however, even after an opening 3 holes of less than 350 meters, very different. The back nine is very challenging and requires accuracy and control. Bad shots will be punished and luck is at a premium.
You couldn’t write a review on golf around Girona and leave out the PGA Catalunya. Home to the Stadium and Tour courses the PGA Catalunya is ranked in the top 100 resorts in the world. The Stadium course was designed over a decade by Angel Gallardo & Neil Coles. It was to be the European version of TPC Sawgrass and the result is a job well done.
The PGA Catalunya is a challenge to all kinds of golfers, but with the beauty that this course holds, the game takes a back seat and the joy of walking around a beautiful piece of land takes over. There are only a few “must see” golf facilities around the world and the PGA Catalunya is certainly up there on that list. Thankfully it is right here in Europe on our doorstep. Held in higher regard than Valderrama by a lot of golf writers, little more needs to be said really!
The Costa Brava has a lot of other great golf facilities too. Honourable mentions go to Golf Club Peralada – an outstanding 18-hole par 71 course, Montanyà Golf Club and the Real Club de Golf El Prat.