Teyco l'Ampolla, Tarragona, Catalonia
This months FIPPA web Course of the Month is a new 18-hole layout close to the fishing town and tourist resort of Ampolla on the southern Mediterranean coast of Catalonia. The name Ampolla translated means a bottle, due to the shape of the bay close to the mouth of the Ebro river.
To get there embark on C-32 direction Tarragona / Valencia and take the exit for PA-7 in the same direction. Take exit 39A for N-340 towards L'Ampolla and turn left toward L'Ampolla/Deltebre. After about 800m turn right and continue 1.5 km in the direction of Camar.
It's on the Carrer Amsterdam, 14 (El Roquer), L'Ampolla 43895, Tarragona that one finds Teyco, the host course for the III International Ladies Open in November 2009. The club boasts the following services: clubhouse (featuring the "Forat 19" Bar and Restaurant and changing rooms), practice ground, putting-green, and a school with expert teachers.
The course has fairways between 55m and 105m with permanent EPPA/FIPPA tee boxes on seven holes to facilitate EPPA rules events and international competitions. In addition to the bunkers that dot almost every hole (many of the greens are well protected with bunkers), the principal difficulty on the 16th and 17th is pitching across a ravine. One of the curious aspects of this course is that it is divided into two sections by the coastal railroad. Four of the 18 holes are separated from the rest by a bridge. Players use the bridge to get to the 5th hole. Many will slow down to appreciate the spectacular views of the National Park and the Bay of the Ebro river (Ebro Delta).
Around the turn, a lake captures players' attention. The 10th obliges one to play over the lake which is used to irrigate the course throughout the summer. The green slopes wickedly towards the bottom right.
Hole 11 measures 77 metres (Index 12) from the back tee. Reduced to 51 metres for FIPPA, there's potential double trouble here. The lake is on the left and a gaping bunker lurks on the right. Mounds behind the green complete the assignment.
The third hole (57m) is indexed as the easiest hole but one must be careful not to overshoot the green as there is a particularly steep mound at the back and a number of trees. The green slopes towards a difficult bunker at the front. The narrow 4th hole has mounds both left and right with the added danger of the out of bounds on the left. The greens have been very professionally constructed and are well maintained. Care on the putting surfaces is called for, as they tend to have dips and slopes which could add more than a few strokes to your score. Perhaps the largest green is the 9th but it is well protected with a shamrock shaped bunker at the front.
The 16th and 17th holes look daunting from the tee as one must shoot over pretty savage rough in the river bed. Rarely is there any water in the river! The clubhouse is modern though cosy and with a good restaurant.