Hcp 1, Sant Andreu de Llavaneres, Catalonia
From Barcelona, access the A-19 exit 17 at St. Andrew Llavaneres within 3 kilometres of Handicap 1. From Girona, travelling on the same highway, use exit 18 at the town of San Vicente de Montalt.
It's a fantastic facility. There are 28 practice tees (16 covered and 10 open air) along with a putting green, approach area and practice bunker. Equipment may be rented. Lessons are available (individual and collective). Other features include a golf shop, parking for over 100 vehicles, playground, restaurant and bar. The course is open in Summer from 8:00 to 21:00 every day and in Winter from 9:00 to 19:30 (closed Mondays).
The Catalan course is an 18-holer with an average of hole length of about 85 metres, reaching almost to the maximum 120 metres and with a shortest hole of 62 metres. The first 9 holes are more straightforward and shorter. The second nine is more demanding and has 5 holes with water hazards. Fairways are lined with trees that require precise shots. The course boasts a total of 19 bunkers and three artificial lakes.
Some of the feature holes on the course are:
Hcap 1's 18th is one of Catalonia's most challenging holes. Several rows of trees guard the green, so the pitch must rise rapidly. Playing left is not advised as 2 lakes await Out of Bounds lies to the right, and to the left of the green there is a bunker. Having survived all this, there's a viciously sloping putting surface. Making par here is a very good result.
16 is another difficult hole. Trees to the right of the elevated tee make the hole appear quite narrow. Further tall trees adjoin the fairway left and right. There is a bunker front right of the green along with out of bounds left and behind the green. The green has some pronounced slopes. Deep rough around the fringes makes recovery chips quite tricky.
Hole 3 is complicated. Little of the green is visible from the tee. The Out of Bounds net lurks down the right. To the left there's a bunker that is anything but easy to recover from.
Although the 10th at 63 metres is short by Catalan standards, water front left protects the green as do trees on both sides.
GPS co-ordinates are: 41º 34' 30" N 2º 29' 42".
Director Santiago Sans is joined by key staff Imma Canal, José Pérez Saldaña, Jaume Roqueñi, Joaquim Mora and Jordi Graells.
(special thanks to Quim Riera for the information provided for this article)