The venue for the European Tour’s Qualifying School tournament is set for a makeover.
PGA Catalunya Resort, the 36-hole golf venue near Barcelona, Spain, is undergoing significant upgrades to its award-winning Stadium Course as part of a three-year partnership with The European Tour.
The deal will see Qualifying School Final Stage played there until 2014.
Work on the Stadium Course, which was recently ranked the number one course in Spain by the Top 100 Golf Courses of the World website (www.top100golfcourses.co.uk), is already underway, and includes:
• Construction of seven new championship tees, lengthening the course by approximately 200 yards (currently 7,172 yards, par 72)
• Toughening up the iconic, lakeside 3rd green by tapering rough to make a narrower entrance, and extending the back of the green into the lake to bring the water more into play
• Lowering the cut of the rough around the expansive par-3 11th green to collar length, to create more of an island green
• Planting 10 large cork trees to the right of the 18th fairway to add definition and tighten the landing area
• Adding green-guarding bunkers to create more challenging approaches on selected holes
The project follows an extensive upgrade in 2010/11 when the grass type on the fairways was switched to resilient, drought-resistant Bermuda grass – the same variety used at Augusta National, home of the Masters.
PGA Catalunya Resort’s Stadium Course was designed in 1997 by Neil Coles MBE and Angel Gallardo, respectively the Chairman and Vice Chairman of The European Tour’s Board of Directors. The two former European Tour winners were invited to review the course and oversee the project.
Mike Stewart, The European Tour’s Qualifying School Director, said:
“PGA Catalunya Resort’s reputation speaks for itself – and is among the very best golf venues that The European Tour visits. The quality of its Tour and Stadium courses, as well as its facilities, is reflected in the numerous Qualifying School Final Stage events that have taken place here.
“As part of our three-year agreement with PGA Catalunya Resort to host the Qualifying School Final, we are delighted that the club has committed to build on its new status as Spain’s best golf course and its suitability to host world-class tournaments by upgrading the Stadium Course.”
The Stadium Course has received numerous accolades since it opened in 1999.
It was named in Golf World magazine’s list of the ‘Top 100 Courses in the World’ in 2011, and was also included in Golf Monthly magazine’s ranking of the ‘Top 50 Courses in Continental Europe’.
Julio Delgado, Chief Executive of PGA Catalunya Resort, said: “The Stadium Course has attracted thousands of amateur golfers, professionals and international stars who have all fallen in love with the course – just like the designers themselves.
“The European Tour’s continued commitment to PGA Catalunya Resort, and in particular to the critically-acclaimed Stadium Course, has enabled us to deliver on our promise of making PGA Catalunya Resort one of the world’s finest golf resorts.”
For more information about PGA Catalunya Resort visit www.pgacatalunya.com.