The Murcia Region of Spain is establishing a reputation as a Premier Golf Destination. The Spanish weather and the famous Jumilla wines are a welcoming and distinctive finishing touch but key to the growing reputation are the Golfing challenges that lay in wait and the leading Course Designers and Golfing Legends behind them.
Jack Nicklaus is creating a unique golf experience in Murcia. When the most successful golfer of all time visited the warmest part of Spain, he discovered the ideal location for his most ambitious project yet. The Nicklaus Golf Trail is a unique Golf circuit which will include a total of 9 Golf courses, all within a radius of 25 km. His vision for the best golf experience in Europe is taking shape with the latest Nicklaus Design, Hacienda Riquelme Golf Resort due to open soon. The Nicklaus Golf Trail currently consists of El Valle, La Torre and Mar Menor* Golf Resorts.
Seve Ballesteros is another legend that needs no introduction. In this Ryder Cup year, few golfers can forget the inspirational impact Seve had on the European Team during his career. Seve’s contribution in Murcia is equally inspirational. Club de Golf La Peraleja is one of best Golf Courses in the region and since it opened in November 2007, it has received rave reviews from both Amateur and Professional players alike. Even European Tour Professionals such as Bradley Dredge have been known to take time out to play this well designed course.
Greg Norman aka the Great White Shark, has had more than 90 career victories and with 20 years experience of course design, The Shark is constructing two Golf Courses at the new 3 Molinos Golf Resort, one designed to PGA Championship standard. The first of two golf courses, The South Course, is expected to be open during 2009. Last year, BBC Sports presenter Gary Lineker laid the foundation stone at 3 Molinos Golf Resort.
José Maria Olazabal is a two time winner at The Master’s and Ryder Cup stalwart alongside Seve Ballesteros. “Chema” as he is affectionately known in Spain, is responsible for the course design at the Corvera Golf & Country Club which is due to be completed in 2010. This new course is the sister course to Roda Golf & Beach Resort and will be the official home of the PGAs of Europe. Until the Corvera Golf & Country Club is ready the PGA branded Golf Academy is located at the Roda Golf & Beach Resort.
Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus may have had one of Golf’s greatest rivalries but in Murcia, these two giants of the game compliment each other perfectly. Arnold Palmer remodelled La Manga Club’s South Course several years after winning the Spanish Open in 1975. The La Manga Club Golf Resort is the most established Golf Resort in Murcia and a world class facility, dating back 30 years. With three excellent Golf Courses, the South Course remains the finest course in Murcia.
Robert Trent Jones Jnr, the renowned American Golf Architect and designer of Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach, where he teamed up with Tom Watson, is the principle course designer behind the Novo Carthago Beach & Golf Resort. Since 1962 Robert Trent Jones Jnr has designed or remodelled more than 200 golf courses during his career and this new resort promises to be an exciting resort covering a huge area close to the beaches of the Mar Menor.
Dave Thomas was elected Captain of the PGA for their Centenary celebrations for the years 2001 and 2002 and was recognized for his contribution to golf when made an Honorary Life Member of the PGA in 2006. Dave Thomas Design have made a significant contribution to the Golf courses in Murcia, notably with Roda Golf & Beach Resort, Club de Golf Altorreal, Hacienda del Alamo Golf Resort and Mar Menor Golf Resort*.
*Mar Menor Golf Resort was initially designed as a 9 Hole Course by Dave Thomas Design. It has been extended to 18 Holes under the supervision of Nicklaus Design.