There are a number of world-famous golf courses that avid players would list among their must-play venues.
I recently had the pleasure of ticking one of these off my own list – as you may recall from my previous blog, I was set to play PGA Catalunya Resort’s Stadium Course, Spain’s No.1 golf course and a World Top 100 venue for one of my first rounds of 2012.
Teeing up the week after the US Masters, I had Bubba Watson’s emotional victory fresh in my mind. I recalled watching the charismatic, Florida born, golfer perform one of the most creative golf shots in living memory – during a play-off with Louis Oosthuizen – on his way to a first Green Jacket.
It seems that every year, there is a memorable moment, which goes down in the annals of Masters history. Each year, I anticipate watching the tour pro’s take on Augusta National, the first major of the season, where the beguiling course promises to delight, confuse, enrage and enthral, making the illustrious prize all the more alluring.
Following the excitement of the Masters, I was reminded how lucky I was to have the opportunity to play a course where I could retrace the steps of great players who’ve played in the European Tour events held there.
Before teeing off, I took to the new 2,000 metre squared practice green, determined to correct the faults in my short game before they proved to be my undoing out on the course.
As I reached the practice area, Alan, PGA Catalunya Resort’s Course Marshall, pointed out the five surrounding bunkers and the different types of sand featured in each – PGA Catalunya Resort’s Stadium Course, St Andrews’ Old Course, Pebble Beach, Hawaiian Volcanic and Augusta National.
I immediately threw a couple of balls into the Augusta-styled bunker and imagined myself needing to produce my own ‘magical moment’ on the 18th hole for my very own Green Jacket – all without having to travel to Georgia, US! It was brilliant (even if my bunker shots left a little to be desired)!
After playing out this scenario on a few occasions I spent some time tinkering with my swing before attempting golf fantasy number two: winning Q School with a record-beating score on Spain’s Number One golf course.
Unfortunately, my golf wasn’t even close to being worthy of Q School or a Green Jacket – despite the magnificent course more than living up to expectations.