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September 2003

Golf de Cambrils, Barcelona

While the UK has been sizzling with record temperatures

GRN visited Golf de Cambrils, just south of Barcelona, to see how ranges work in hotter climates

Ildefonso Puertas Rivera is the director of golf at Cambrils. The golf centre has a 32 bay range and an 18 hole par three course, which has been built to a high standard, landscaped with water features, bunkers and fully irrigated, lightning-fast greens.

Golf de Cambrils opened 18 months ago and is situated just off the N340 , the A road linking Barcelona and Valencia. Access is directly off a roundabout and is shared with a a four-star hotel which the range and course surround. The club house consists of a large, air-conditioned shop with changing rooms for ladies upstairs and men on the ground level.

Outside there is a wonderful 19th hole bar, run by George. The bar is a charming wooden pavilion, overlooking the range and first hole and serves coffee, light snacks and a full selection of beer, spirits and wines.

The course is run on a pay and play basis with 18 holes costing e18 (about 13) except between 2 and 4pm when the price is reduced to e12. This is the hottest part of the day and most people are enjoying their siesta and avoiding the intense heat. The course is at its busiest early in the evening, when the day is slightly cooler and the beach holds less appeal. There are no formal dress regulations, but golfers manage to look cool and elegant even though their clothing would not be tolerated at some British clubs.

The course has a strong local following, with regular players competing against other par 3 courses in the area. The course is finished to such a high standard, particularly around the greens, that many good golfers play, as well as beginners and juniors.

The range attracts all standards of golfer and is open every day, but despite having a full floodlighting system, it closes earlier in the winter with last balls at around 7pm, due to the reduced number of tourists. Much of Spain closes down for siesta and the range is no exception but by 5pm it is very busy. The range has no back wall to allow maximum airflow, with the roof designed to provide shade rather than shelter from the rain.

With such a major tourist trade, few golf centres will match the hire income of Cambrils around 50% of all customers hire clubs, so a major area behind the counter is dedicated for hire club storage. The hire clubs and bags are all of good quality and are quite new.

Ildefonso is delighted with the first two seasons, but would like more signage so that more tourists are aware of the centre. The centre is well situated and caters well for the market it is aiming at. It can only prosper.


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