El Vendrell, Catalonia
El Vendrell first entered the public consciousness in the autumn of 1997 when the touring Irish played a Tarragona provincial selection at the water strewn course in preparation for the first international v. Catalonia at Solius. Ireland won 10-0.
The course has actually been open since 1993 when the original nine holes were built with an adjacent driving range. Nine additional holes were added in 1995 and the clubhouse arrived in 1997 in time for the Irish visit.
Gradually, the course and facilities at Carrer Schubert, Urb. Vendrell Mar. (30 kilometres from Tarragona and 60 kilometres from Barclona) have evolved into one of the most popular Pitch and Putt sites in Catalonia. Judicious tree planting have added to the visual appeal of the course and have defined each individual fairway.
The complex boasts an illuminated golf practice area of 22 bays, two putting greens, an approach shot area, a bunker area, a pro-shop, bar and a restaurant. There is a large terrace with a sea view and marquee for major events.
Carob trees are a major feature of this course, designed by Laureano Nomen. The sloping terrain and the water hazards certainly make for a difficult, but certainly not monotonous test.
The long thirteenth is the most difficult hole on the course. The tee is raised high above the fairway. A long hole's complexity is topped off with water in front of the green with out of bounds left. The green is flat and huge.
The fifth is another stand out hole with a stone wall situate to the left of the severely undulating green. One of the longest holes on the course, the tee is much higher than the fairway. The green is protected by a bunker to the right and another to the left.
A pine tree in the middle of the fairway provides plenty of complications on the 92 metre seventeenth. In case of any complacency, betyond the tree is a small wall and irrigation ditch. The large green is relatively flat.
The twelfth is one of the holes that has been modified recently ad lengthened to 70 metres. A water hazard right and a bunker left complete a tricky assignment.
El Vendrell is run by Josep Maria Roqueta, assisted by receptionist Eva Ciórraga and teacher Jesús Martínez.