Two par 3s finish each nine; Top the 234-yard, 18th and above the 183-yard, 9th hole
You canít help but look in awe at the stunning Pyrenees that dominate the horizon. This really is a beautiful place to play golf, and after a quick warm-up on Peralada Golf Clubís perfectly-placed range Ė which is right by the clubhouse and hotel Ė itís a short walk to both the first and tenth tees.
The first is a gentle opener of 314-yards but a skied drive by yours truly leaves me a 9-iron in which I leave just short and make a five. Not the start I wanted, but with these stunning views itís no biggy. After a winter under water in the UK, itís nice just to be playing golf in just a polo shirt again with the sun on my face.
The course gently meanders through olive, cork and pine trees and is the perfect opener for a golf trip to the Costa Brava. Youíre not going to lose many balls but itís also no push-over. The second turns out to be one of my favourite holes on the front nine. Again itís not long but you really need to be in the right-hand side of the fairway to have a good look at the green. It sits below the fairway and is played through a narrow gap in the trees and across a dry river thatís grassed over and runs in front of the raised putting surface.
The dog-leg left third is another beautifully designed hole and with the old stone buildings sitting behind the green, it all adds to the grace to the course. Youíll also enjoy the par-5 fourth Ė another great looking hole but again no piece of cake at 542-yards and played to a twisting fairway that first goes left and then to a green below you and to the right. There is also a false front on this baby, so not only do you have to smash your ball a long way down a very narrow fairway, it has to carry all the way. At this point I would say: well, you are on holiday but believe me the best shot (unless you are Seve reincarnated) is to knock a 5-iron down there and have a go at the birdie with your wedge.
There are two great par-3s on the front nine which closes with the 183-yard ninth hole with water in front of the green and those Pyrenees as a backdrop. Itís a great hole Ė but beware it could be a card wreaker.
The back nine opens with two gentle par-4s and then you hit the first of the two tough par-3s. The twelfth measures 176 yards and is played over or through a narrow gap between two very tall clusters of oak trees from a raised tee. Itís a great hole but with the two bunkers at the front protecting the green, a par here is a great score.
Like the front nine the back nine comes to a close with another par-3, this one weighing in at 235 yards from the back tee over water to a green protected with two bunkers front left and right and out-of-bounds on the right. Itís a great finishing hole and with the banking that surrounds the hole could make for the perfect amphitheatre for a touring group of golfers.
The good news is, if you finished badly the patio that sits in front of the bar and looks out to the majestic Pyrenees is just to the left of the 18th tee. It wonít belong before you start to reflect on what a great little track this is and what a setting for the perfect start to your Costa Brava golf tour. Iíll raise a glass or two to that.
The beautiful Par 5, 4th holeTight par 3, 6th holeAnother tight par 3, at the 12th