Golf Courses

    Valderrama launches major renovation plan to upgrade the golf course and practice areas

    Valderrama(4-14) _Page_05_Image_0001

    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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    Final Adios to a Golf Visionary

    José María Olazábal, Jaime Ortiz-Patiño, George O’Grady and Ángel Gallardo (Photo: Getty Images)

    It was July 1990, the British Open was being played at St. Andrews, and an earlier (and less bald) incarnation of OzinSpain was sipping a Scotch in the downstairs clubhouse lounge area set aside for press and players that week. (Those were the good old days when press and players cheerfully mingled – some even bought us drinks!)

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    VAT increase for spanish golf

     

    As many of you might already have heard, changes in the Spanish legislation relating to VAT (IVA) will have a serious effect on golf, which will be re-categorised from the reduced rate (currently 8%) to the new general rate applying from 1 September (21%). In the case of hotels, the rate will rise from 8% to 10%.

    After the increase was announced by the government, the industry waited too long to respond, hoping there would be an 11th hour change in the legislation, which ultimately did not eventuate, and this resulted in an excessive delay in the application of the new rates – barely days before their introduction. Our own booking system reflected the new prices as soon as they were confirmed.

    Bookings confirmed before the increase

    The main problem has arisen with bookings confirmed before the change in legislation. As far as we are concerned, golf courses should have accepted the agreed price or, alternatively, have offered a form of credit voucher to clients with the objective of encouraging full advance payment during August as a means of avoiding the IVA increase. Unfortunately, in more cases than we would like to report this has not been the case, and the list of courses that are insisting on charging 100% of future bookings in advance in August is increasing, in spite of our efforts to explain the drawbacks and potential damage caused to our tourist destination.
    This means we have been required to contact – one by one – all clients with confirmed bookings (including a large list of clients with bookings for spring 2013) to advise them of the situation and, if they are planning to play at one of the courses that has decided to take this course of action, give them the opportunity of paying the full booking price over the next few days (i.e. up to 31 August) as the only way of avoiding the aforementioned increase, or alternatively cancelling their booking or changing it to another golf course.

    Courses that have respected the initial agreed rate

    At this point we believe it is important to note and – on our own and our clients’ behalf – thank those courses that have confirmed they will accept the booking rate previously agreed, and in some cases not even increase their prices at all, at least until the end of 2012, as a way of easing the problems caused by this tax increase. They include:

    • Alcaidesa
    • Aloha
    • Atalaya
    • Barcelona Golf
    • Bonmont
    • Cabopino
    • Chaparral
    • Doña Julia
    • El Paraíso
    • Finca Cortesín
    • Flamingos
    • Greenlife
    • La Duquesa
    • La Marquesa
    • La Quinta
    • Lauro Golf
    • Lumine
    • Marbella Club
    • Marbella Golf & Country
    • Miraflores
    • Montecastillo Golf
    • Montenmedio
    • Montenmedio golf
    • Parador de Málaga
    • PGA Catalunya
    • El Prat
    • Real Club de Golf de Sevilla
    • Real Club Sotogrande
    • Santa Clara Marbella
    • Santa Maria Golf
    • Son Antem
    • Valderrama
    • Vall D’Or
    • Valle Romano
    • Villaitana

    This is a provisional list – taking into account any possible errors or omission – of those courses that have informed us of their intentions, and we will continue to update the list in the coming weeks. There are many commercial courses that are still sending out their new rates. We only include commercial courses with which we have contracts in force.

    Even though we are sure our clients will understand that this whole matter is beyond our responsibility, we would nevertheless like to apologise for the resulting problems during a month when we should all be enjoying some well-deserved holidays.

    If you want to offer an opinion on the matter, we would be delighted to hear your view and forward it on to the relevant golf courses – or publish it with this article.