ARTICLE #16 – 23rd SEPTEMBER, 2017
ANDALUCIA VALDERRAMA MASTERS, 2017
If golf is on your mind, Marbella and Real Club Valderrama are where you want to be heading in the fall.
This year, between the 19th and 22nd of October 2017, with the participation of about 150 professional of the highest calibre, the Real Club Valderrama hosted the Andalucia Valderrama Masters golf competition. It has been the last stop on European soil before the European Tour heads to China, Turkey, South Africa and Dubai.
In the past, Valderrama played host to the 1997 Ryder Cup matches between the USA and Europe when Europe prevailed over the USA team 14.5 pts to 13.5. It has also hosted WGC Amex World Stroke Play Championships and is a regular host to Volvo Masters, which traditionally closes the European Tour season.
The course was originally known as Las Aves (The Birds) and Robert Trent Jones first laid it out in 1975. The course’s layout remained relatively anonymous until ten years later, in 1985, when Jamie Ortiz-Patino, the industrialist billionaire, bought the golf course. He then spent an absolute fortune on it to subtly reshape Valderrama. The club has not looked back since; it is now one of the best-looking golf courses in the world.
Valderrama’s golf is one of the world’s greatest golf courses and is often ranked No 1 in continental Europe. It is called “the Augusta of Europe”, Augusta being the home to the Masters and one of Earth’s most exclusive clubs. It is located on a prominent hill above the old Andalucian village of Sotogrande. In 2012, Juan Carlos, the Spanish Majesty King granted Valderrama with the Royal title. Immaculately maintained, Trent Jones’ superb design winds its way over gently undulating terrain through a former forest of cork-oak trees. Valderrama is said to be a very demanding course that doesn’t give its players any breaks. “It forces to keep thinking and stay focused. You must respect this course or it will turn against you”, says Sergio Garcia who took the trophy home this year too. In April 2017, he also won the Masters Tournament making him the third Spanish player (after Seve Ballesteros and José María Olazaábal) to win the Masters.
The Sergio Garcia Foundation
In 2002, with help of his family, Sergio Garcia set up a charitable foundation to support deprived children and youth through social assistance benefits and the practice of sport as a free-time activity. Last year, they managed to raise €65,480 for the Spanish Cancer Association of Castellón. The means were used to rent apartments for the families of cancer patients who couldn’t afford them so that the family could stay together during treatments.
Costa del Sol, affectionately called “Costa del Golf” is the region in Spain that boasts one of the highest representation of first class golf courses in continental Europe. Not without a reason, it has become the golfing Mecca of Europe.