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[logo] Golf Digest Editor's Choice Award 2016

Valderrama

Club de Golf Valderrama is really the leading light when it comes to golf in Spain. The golf course, as we know it today, has been open since 1984. Its stunning rise to the top tier of European golf thrust the spotlight onto golf in Spain, elevating it to one of the most popular nations to visit for golfing trips of all kinds.

Valderrama’s proudest moment is surely playing host to the 1997 Ryder Cup. It was the first time the Ryder Cup was ever hosted outside of the United States or the United Kingdom. The European Captain was Spain’s own Seve Ballesteros. It was the perfect storm of golfing competition, with the home nation’s enigmatic captain leading his team to a narrow victory, all underscored by the emergence of new golfing superstars like Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood, as well as the final bow for stalwarts Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam and Fred Couples.

Valderrama lies on the splendid Andalusian coastline, in the south of Spain. The stunning layout is enriched by a spattering of cork trees which line the way around the course, but also come in to play throughout. The glorious fairways sparkle in the sunshine, while the water features that run through the course truly illuminate the grounds. This is a marvellous piece of prime golfing real estate.

Valderrama is home to one of the most devilishly challenging holes in all of golf, the par five 17th. This hole lulls you into a false sense of security, playing relatively straightforwardly, until you reach your approach shot to find a green littered with raised bunkers behind it, with the green itself sloping towards the lake directly in front of it. A cool head is needed to negotiate Valderrama, but the calming nature of the unbelievable setting ensures you will be relaxed.

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