There was one piece of good news however! The two other players who were supposed to be accompanying us failed to turn up so today we had want we really wanted, a nice leisurely two ball without the pressure of unwanted company. Just to make sure that we would be on our own we teed off exactly on time and to our relief we both thumped a good one down into the middle of the fairway and we were under way. Richard managed two perfect shots for position and then plopped his ball in the water after he had done all of the hard work.
We both played well and negotiated the opening holes without any particular difficulty. It was a lovely golf course, quite new and designed to be a future venue of the Spanish Open so we were playing on a very high quality course. There was no-one in front to slow us down and no-one behind to give us hurry-up tee shot nerves and we enjoyed ourselves playing golf at our own pace and finding time to take pleasure in the stunning views of the mountains in the distance and the fantastic features of the golf course including all of the water which we seemed to be coping with quite well.
The fifth looked tricky however with an island green in the middle of a substantial moat; we both played for position and just as we were tackling the tricky little approach shots just what we didn’t need to happen, happened. Along came the course marshal to check our credentials but as luck would have it (well skill actually) we both placed shots onto the green and then strode over to chat with him exuding pride and confidence.
I don’t know why we worry so much about our golfing skills, it’s as though we are convinced that everyone else out there is a Tiger Woods or an Ernie Els and the reality is of course that they are just not. One of the things that I am very good at on a golf course is finding other peoples lost balls, I have got thousands of them, more than enough to see me through my golfing days without ever having to buy another one, and here is the point I am making, if everyone else is so good why is it that I have got so many of their balls? And you find them in the strangest places as well and it feels so good to find one in a position that you just know that you couldn’t possibly have played such a poor shot.
It was getting very hot by now and we carried on and finished the front nine with respectable scores on the cards and then a few holes later than Sunday’s game Richard talked himself into a playing crisis again and that two or three holes to get over. But it passed and we persevered through the tenth, eleventh and twelfth, through the short thirteenth and on to the fourteenth with a curious saucer shaped green and then down the fifteenth with some impressive new houses all along the left hand side and looking dangerously adjacent to the course and vulnerable to a wayward tee shot.
We liked the short par three over water where Richard talked me into taking on the green from the tee instead of the cowardly little lay-up that I had planned and I was glad that I did because although I played into a green side bunker I cleared the water with ease and made my four. Richard played my cowardly lay-up shot and then clipped it over the water onto the back of the green to finish with a respectable four as well. That successful tee shot made me over confident and at the seventeenth, which also required a shot of some accuracy to avoid the water, I slashed my first attempt into the lake and then followed it up with a second into exactly the same spot. After that we finished the round without incident and finished our trip to La Finca with a couple of beers on the terrace overlooking the first fairway.
This is a course that gets my full recommendation. Although it is clearly designed for better players it is only as tough as you want to make it and it is brilliantly designed not to penalise the high handicappers, and golfers like us are well accommodated so that with a little thought and careful route planning it is possible to negotiate the course without getting into too much difficulty.
We left La Finca a little calmer than we had arrived and decided that it would be a good idea to check the exact location of our next golfing venue at La Maquesa so we drove there, found it and then carried on straight back to our apartment at Las Ramblas for some lunch, some beers and a leisurely afternoon around the garden and the swimming pool.
Later we walked around the golf course again and found some more scary holes that convinced us that this just wasn’t for us. Whilst surveying what looked like the most difficult hole on the course a regular player gave us some local tips. It was a par five and he said that you must clear the ravine and the rapids and get it in the perfect spot or else you would have no chance of reaching the green in three. Actually reaching the green in three is something that is generally beyond both of us so we weren’t especially concerned by this newly acquired knowledge of the course and we thanked him and moved on.