One of Spain’s finest courses, Royal Las Brisas Golf Club – designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones – is on the verge of completing an ambitious renovation project that began in 2012. The work is due to be finalised in a few months, just in time for the club’s golden anniversary celebrations next year.
Members initially approved a partial refurbishment – comprising the greens, bunkers and tees – on the first nine holes and, on completion of that work, they were so pleased with the results they agreed to a complete renovation of the second nine.
When this project was also completed to their satisfaction, they asked for attention to be refocused on the first nine, to renovate the fairways, re-seed them with Bermuda and build concrete paths. Last year the first, second, third, fourth, seventh and ninth holes were revamped, and now work on the fifth, sixth and eighth will be completed between May and September.
This means the overall renovation will cover the whole course, from the subsoil (with the installation of a new irrigation and drainage system) to the ground surface (with a complete upgrade of the greens, tees, fairways and bunkers).
Taking advantage of the renovation work, changes have also been made to the original design, especially on the second nine with key modifications to three holes in particular. The course has gained distance through the re-positioning of tees and greens, although the layout’s par-72 remains intact, with four par-threes, 10 par-fours and four par-fives.
“The course will be completely renovated and in perfect condition for our 50th anniversary,” notes Paul Muñoz, general manager of the Marbella course, located in Nueva Andalucía’s Golf Valley near Puerto Banús. In fact, the creator of the world-famous marina, José Banús, was also the founder (in 1968) of Royal Las Brisas Club, named at the time Nueva Andalucía Golf Club. He was its first president and remained at the helm of the club until 1981.
Various events are planned to commemorate the club’s golden anniversary, although Muñoz prefers not to reveal any details yet.
The renovation work was carried out by Kyle Phillips, one of the world’s most renowned golf architects. He was a disciple of Robert Trent Jones, and the Royal Las Brisas club committee believed this made him the ideal person to undertaken the course upgrade.
The results have been so positive, according to Muñoz, that “I know of few members who aren’t pleased: the immense majority are very happy.”
This is unquestionably a matter of great merit, because the cosmopolitan Marbella club has more than 1,200 members representing 30 nationalities.