A change of scheduling for the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters means Royal Valderrama Club will be hosting the first European Tour event to be played on the Old Continent in 2020. This will be from 30 April to 3 May, just after the Volvo China Open, and it is expected that – with the added attraction of a new date – the 45,000 spectators who enjoyed the tournament last year in the renowned setting of the 1997 Ryder Cup will be exceeded.
The course is, as always, is in the best condition possible to host a new edition (the sixth) of this tournament won last year by South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout after a duel with Jon Rahm, who eventually finished second tied with three other Spaniards (Eduardo de la Riva, Álvaro Quirós and Adriá Arnaus) and Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera. Sergio García, three times champion of the tournament and also its host through the charitable foundation that bears his name, was seventh, one shot behind his countrymen.
Designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones, the layout is simply spectacular and certainly one of his finest projects. Valderrama is an international reference point for golf course architecture. Inaugurated in 1974 as Las Aves, the course was redesigned in the early 1980s by Trent Jones so it could host major professional events. It was the first European course where the designer had the special task of designing a layout that was particularly demanding for professionals and on which power never prevailed over creativity.
The course routing is designed so that players face the wind in several directions. It is impossible to find two holes oriented in the same direction.
In general, it is a hugely demanding design that requires great accuracy from the tee (not always a characteristic of Robert Trent Jones' courses). A vast cork oak forest protects all the areas of rough and considerably narrows the landing areas off the tee.
Shots to the green also require meticulous placement, as they are small, elevated and very well protected by deep bunkers. The slopes of the greens are undoubtedly the jewel of Valderrama; in many cases, they are practically indecipherable, and reading them can be quite difficult.
Robert Trent Jones introduced new concepts in course architecture when he redesigned Valderrama, including the positioning of the bunkers and the elevated approach areas in front of the greens.
If the design – like the maintenance – is extraordinary, the same can be said of Royal Valderrama Club’s history. There is no club in continental Europe with a more significant golfing pedigree. It is often said that great professional events are the ones that raise the status of courses worldwide. The case of Valderrama is only comparable with some of the courses hosting majors: it has been the venue for the first Ryder Cup played outside the British Isles and United States, two World Championships, 14 Volvo Masters, five Andalucía Masters and a Spanish Women’s Open. The top players in modern golf history have passed through Valderrama and faced the complexity of its layout.
Tickets on Sale
Thanks to special rates available for a limited time, fans can enjoy this elite competition at one of the most iconic courses in Europe for only €7. Tickets for the pro-am (29 April) are available for €7 for youths (with free admission for children under-12 accompanied by an adult) and €9 for adults; while it is possible to access each of the first two days (Thursday and Friday) for only €10. Entry for Saturday and Sunday is €10 for youths and €15 for adults, and a weekend pass is also offered for just €20. Tickets enabling you to enjoy Wednesday's pro-am and the four days of competition can be purchased for €30 (youths) and €55 (adults).
You can consult all the prices and special sales offers at the following link: www.andaluciavalderramamasters.com.