Despite the challenging economic conditions in Spain over the last few years, good clubs have continued to invest to insure their long-term prosperity. One of the oldest courses on the Costa del Sol, the Atalaya Golf and Country Club has recently made a major investment in their future with the complete redevelopment of the first hole on the Old Course.
Brought about by the construction of a new access road to an adjacent property development, David Krause and his team were asked to create an exciting opening hole and make up for lost distance by extending the tees toward the clubhouse. To make room for the road, the green was shifted about 40 m from the property line and framed by a series of mounds and a new water feature on the left. Also supported by a sand bunker and deep grassy hollows, the new green places a great deal of importance on flag position as the approach shot can vary from being very easy to nerve wracking for even the experienced professional.
The changes reflect the modern game and refresh some of the design ideas that have faded a bit over the past 50 years. Still, the hole retains the elemental character of one of the best Bernhard von Limburger designs. Limburger loved Atalaya and lived here during the final years of his life. Golf course contractor Chameza Golf worked closely with Krause Golf Design, Atalaya General Manager Andres Sanchez, and Course Manager Manuel Cuadro in the creation of this picturesque golf hole.
Near the clubhouse, the re-establishment of the original professional tee and a new putting green were accompanied by an additional highlight: a rooftop tee on the new “refreshment kiosk”. Inspired by the avant-garde Austrian artist Hundertwasser, Golf Club President Alexander Hanschke has taken a simple concrete structure and created an Atalaya masterpiece, to be enjoyed before and after a round on the Old Course.
Finally, a welcome addition is the entire 36-hole golf course is the development of a new underground parking facility. Cut into difficult terrain beside the clubhouse, the parking structure was designed by local architect Alfonso Ruiz.The new facilities will provide an additional 135 parking spaces along with storage and a power supply for both electric cars and golf cars.
Andres Sanchez is pleased with the progress to date. “It has been a challenge to bring everything together at the Club as well as signing the property deal for the new parking facilities” he said about the € 2.2 million investment. “We still have a lot to do but we are very pleased with the results of the work by David Krause and his team so far. Our members are quite excited about playing the new hole. We look forward to seeing the new parking facilities completed later this year, just in time for our 50th Anniversary Celebrations in 2018!”
Chameza Golf www.chamezagolf.com
Krause Golf Design www.krausegolfdesign.de/
Atalaya Golf and Country Club www.atalaya-golf.com/en/