Travelling golfer Ian Cross begins his tour of Spain in the Basque region. Arriving in Bilbao he travels to the remote Izki course deep in the countryside.
Designed by Spanish golfing icon, Seve Ballesteros , this is a public course and one of the quietest golf courses in Europe. Situated in a national park far from roads and built up areas,it’s a popular birdwatching destination. Local twitterers have even set up birdwatching pavilions on the course.
After traveling to the Rioja region, where he does some wine tasting , Ian then heads east to Catalonia , and the region’s top golf course, PGA Catalunya.
Designed by the European Tour, the course has hosted many professional tournaments including the Spanish Open. It’s tight fairways, water and bunker hazards, tests the skills of the most accomplished golfer.
Ian stays at PGA Catalunya’s fabulous five star resort before travelling south to Andulucia and the Costa del Sol.
This region is home to so many golf courses – almost 100 – that it’s also been named the Costa Del Golf.
Ian plays one if the three courses at the Villa Padierna golf complex and has a lesson with US Open winner, Michael Campbell, who runs a golf academy here.
He stays in the Villa Padierna hotel which also displays an exotic collection of Roman antiquities.
Inspired by the collection, Ian travels an hour and a half south to the coast near Cadiz where at Cape Trafalgar, site of the famous naval battle between Nelson and the French, he visits the little known seaside Roman ruins at Bella Claudia.
Back on the golf trail , Ian visits one of Europe’s top golf courses, Valderamma , famous for its beautuful landscaping and ancient groves of cork trees. He speaks to the head greenkeeper as he prepares the course for a major tournament.
Ian’s final course is Alhaurín, a mountain course designed by Seve Ballesteros. Designers needed to move tee and green positions on some holes because they were so difficult.
The dramatic mountain backdrop and appearance of Alhaurín provide a challenging but picturesque ending to our Spanish golfing adventure.