Italy is a beautiful country full of art and culture with monuments, churches, landscapes, and rich agriculture. All small towns have a castle and a story to tell especially in Tuscany and Veneto which were both gateways to my travels. It seems that in Italy art is in the blood of all architects, designers and artists both past and present generations.
Having the opportunity to experience this trip filled me with a great sense of thankfulness and appreciation for many things.
I am thankful
Valderrama Golf Club is the most prestigious golf course in Europe. Located in the resort of Sotogrande in the Andalusia region of southern Spain, Valderrama is a members-only club that has hosted several notable tournaments through the years. Some of them include the Ryder Cup in 1997, Volvo Masters, Amex, Andalucia Masters and Spanish Open.
The superintendent of the course is Adolfo Ramos. He extended wonderful courtesy to me and took the time to show me around the whole course.
This course, Golf della Montecchia, is located in the mountains of northeast Italy, east of Verona and close to Padua. The course has twenty-seven holes with A4 bentgrass putting surfaces, and a world renowned restaurant. The superintendent is Brian O'g O'Flaherty.
Golf della Montecchia stands apart in Italy for their long-term commitment to the environment. They have received numerous awards for environmental stewardship and have presented at many golf and environmental conferences around
Exciting renovations have been taking place at Real Club De Golf Las Brisas in Marbella, Málaga, Spain. The Director of Golf, Rafael Gonzalez-Carrascosa, shared details with me on what has been done and what is still in the works.
Five years ago it was decided to completely reform all 18 holes in two phases. The reform entailed:
New greens (design, soil, grass)
New tees complex (design, soil, grass)
However, initially in the redesign nothing in the
Real Club de Golf El Prat near Barcelona, Spain, has 45 holes designed by Greg Norman and has hosted the Spanish Open (Open de España) ten times, most recently in 2015.
The property covers 550 acres and surrounded by 32,000 acres of national parkland. The 45 holes can be split up into five 9-hole courses, giving a combination of up to 9 different courses. Each tee box has seven different markers, ranging from black to pink, for all levels of play.
It also has a driving range with covered
Finca Cortesin is a private 18 hole course located in Cazares, Spain on the Costa Del Sol. I was met by the superintendent Ignacio Soto and his assistant Antonio when I visited. They provided me with top notch hospitality and were eager to show me their course and the exciting things going on.
Me with Ignacio Soto and his assistant, Antonio.
Finca Cortesin is the first golf course in this area that is trying to convert their greens from Bentgrass to Mini Verde. The plan is to complete th
The Costa del Sol ("Coast of the Sun") is a golf-rich region in the south of Spain along the coastline of the Province of Malaga.
On July 25th and 26th I visited Real Sotogrande Golf Club in Sotogrande, and met with Patrick Allende, Ignacio Soto and his assistant, Antonio. The course has recently undergone reconstruction. The Bermuda 419 is superb and the fairways and greens show high quality. In the afternoon I was invited by Ignacio Soto and his assistant Antonio to play the course. Part of
The first few days of my trip were spent in Madrid, Spain, and were full of relaxing and enjoying the culture of Madrid with my wife, Linda.
We began our tour at the center of Madrid at 0 km, La Puerta del Sol. Spain is rich with history. We visited monasteries, basilicas, the Palace which has housed numerous kings, Kings Philip II, Philip III and Philip IV. We have also been enjoying lots of tapas and wine!
With my wife, Linda, at the Palace in Madrid.
We then boarded the AVE, a trai
So why am I doing this? For more reasons than one would probably expect.
My family is originally from Colderu' in the North of Italy. My grandfather immigrated to Mexico in 1883 to help bring Italian knowledge of agricultural practices to that country. Having the opportunity to explore the roots of my ancestors is a great privilege. Italy and Spain have some of the richest history and culture in the world and I am looking forward to exploring and learning more. I am also excited to soak up
Welcome to the next chapter of TurfNet on Tour! This blog series was originally established to showcase TurfNet's contributions to the maintenance team for the Irish Open at the K Club in May.
Longtime TurfNet member Jorge Croda, CGCS from Southern Oaks Golf Club in Burleson, Texas is headed back to Europe (we say BACK since he joined us on the 2015 TurfNet Members Trip to Ireland.) While there he will visit a number of course managers in Italy and Spain so it only seemed right to continue T