Club de Golf Valderrama, the most known Spanish golf course internationally, has announced a series of improvements to the field with a total investment of 3 million euros.
The venue for the 1997 Ryder Cup, two World Golf Championships and 16 editions of the Volvo Masters, is currently undertaking major investments. Valderrama has been consistently ranked among the best courses, recently ranked in 45th place in the World and number 1 in Europe by Golf Architecture Magazine, this top 100 ranking is elaborated with votes from the most prestigious golf course designers and architects in the World.
The first investment undertaken has been the complete renovation of the pumping system, this new system has significantly reduced water and energy costs. The second major improvement on the course has been the new bunkers. All traps have been renovated by installing new drainage, liners and sand. The new sand conforms with USGA specifications and has been chosen after months of testing. “Bunkers have always been an issue at Valderrama. We have rebuilt the bunkers following the strictest and highest specifications and I am proud to say they are now matching the quality of our greens and fairways” says Valderrama’s general manager, Javier Reviriego.
This is only the first phase of the renovation project, Valderrama is currently working on the improvement of many cart paths and the landscaping of the course, in order for the greens and fairways to be free of bad weeds.
Planned for the immediate future is the construction of a new pitching and chipping green, in a large area next to the current practice range.
With the announcement of these improvements and the mention in the press release itself, one would think that a major golf tournament might be soon announced for Valderrama.
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Barely five months ago, Miguel Ángel Jiménez was laid up in a hospital bed recovering from an operation to his tibia, which he had broken in a skiing accident in Sierra Nevada. Now, in just his second tournament appearance since putting the crutches aside (he missed the cut in the Spanish Open in El Saler in April), the European Tour’s oldest winner produced a remarkable performance to close birdie-eagle at the daunting Wentworth course and finish joint fourth (with overnight leader Alejandro Cañizares) in the flagship BMW PGA Championship.
It was the Málaga-born star’s 600th Tour appearance – joining Sam Torrance (706), Barry Lane (682), Roger Chapman (619), Eamonn Darcy (610) and Malcolm McKenzie (605) in that select group – an achievement that was officially recognised on the eve of the tournament with a special presentation by chief executive George O’Grady and tournament chairman Thomas Björn: a tantalus decanter containing a 600-year-old whisky
“It’s been an amazing journey,” said Jiménez, during the presentation at the Players’ Awards dinner. “The game has given me an amazing life and amazing experiences and I have enjoyed almost every minute of it. I have had some special victories and experiences and it is difficult to pick out one highlight.
“This year is my 25th year in a row on the European Tour and I have seen so much change, and so many players. I think I have survived four generations on the Tour. When I started I was playing with Seve, with Lyle and Woosnam and all those players. Then came Olazábal, Faldo and Monty and their generation. Then you had Clarke and Westwood, guys like that. And now when I go on Tour they are kids. Rory and all of the these young boys are children!”
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