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New Course at Zagaleta Country Club. Zagaleta boasts two very exclusive and private championship golf courses – 36 holes of world-class golfing, and with memberships reserved only for residents and hand-picked guests it is without doubt, the most exclusive in Europe.
Unique, that is the word that bests describes the stunning New Course at Zagaleta.
As a European Tour member for over 15 years and a golfer since I was 10 years of age, it is safe to say that I have played on over 300 golf courses around the world. From Links to Parkland and from Heathland to Dessert courses, I thought I had seen and experienced it all until I arrived to Zagaleta´s New Course.
Totaling a mere 5,900 yards from the back tees, this jewel can play much tougher than most 7,000 plus yards golf courses, especially if you are too brave and take too bold of an attitude into your round.
As soon as you set foot on the first tee, you get a glimpse of what you are about to face for the next few hours; a splendid array of green tongues that wind through different shades of rocky brown canyons, making you wonder how in earth this masterpiece was ever imagined and furthermore conceived.
As you progress through your round, nothing really changes. You are constantly being challenged and it is a must to keep your focus at all times if you wish to tame this short but daunting layout. Keeping the ball on the fairways becomes primordial, if somehow you manage that task you could be in for a career round as your approach shots onto the greens come mostly from short range.
As you make your way to the end of the round you realize on the large amount of holes in which a risk-reward strategy is present. From drivable par fours to short par fives, this strategy is never more present than on the 18th hole, a 570 yards par 5. This hole plays mostly downhill and requires a carry of about 190 yards from the back tees to just reach the fairway. If you are brave enough with your tee shot and hug the ravine to the right side, a steep downslope will kick your ball 50 yards forward and allow you to go for the green in 2 shots. The green is then well protected by a huge lake to the right side that will make you think twice before you pull the trigger and fire at the pin.
The smarter and more conservative way to play this signature hole is to drive it down the left side to a much wider landing area; this risk-free approach to the hole will surely land you a par far more often than its riskier counterpart.
Golf courses are getting longer and longer through the years in order to counterbalance the improvements in technology and the genetic aspect of human beings which make golfers hit the ball further. Nevertheless, this is one of the shortest 18-hole track that I´ve ever played on and I can guarantee you that it brings no advantage to longer hitters, a rarity nowadays. It has kept its teeth intact and is target golf on its finest essence. I must say that is very difficult not to get drawn into the natural beauty that surrounds the New Course at Zagaleta.
The peace, tranquility and silence of this environment are only broken occasionally by the sighting of pheasant, deer, buck or mouflon, again something that makes this place extraordinary and unique.
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