Our first day dawned rather cloudy and damp and obscured our amazing view from the Hotel. Still the forecast was positive for later in the day when we were going to play, so we had our opening clinic as the range had cover. We worked on some swing principles and getting warmed up for our day.
The sun arrived right on cue and so did a fairly sporty breeze to keep us on our toes. A pairs event was the format today and the scoring was very close. Robert and Amelie triumphed with highlights being Amelie’s par on the fiendishly difficult 13th, then a neat kick in birdie for Robert on the 16th which secured their one point win.
Off to Montemedio billed as a hidden gem and certainly if you asked the driver of our transport he would have agreed! After a small detour enjoying the countryside, we arrived at the impressive looking clubhouse. The rolling countryside persuaded us that buggies were the way forward and we were right! A really interesting course with changes in elevation and some uphill and downhill lies to contend with. The putting surfaces were very true and guess a tad slower than normal due to the overnight rain. In my four ball, I saw some excellent golf, highlights were birthday girl Julia’s excellent par on the 9th and Rosemary’s super four on the difficult 17th with its dog leg right to left shape, with a left to right slope. As our American friends say, go figure! They also managed a double ‘Barnes Wallace’ on the 11th but that’s another story. David finished in style with an easy par on the solid par 3 18th, hitting his approach closer than the Pro! Winners of the day however, on a very impressive 38 points was Robert and Richard. They lived up to the saying ‘ a game of two halves’ as on the front 9, Richard scored on eight holes and on the back Robert scored on eight!
A nice day out finished with an excellent dinner and our friends at the hotel laying on a lovely cake for Julia (can’t have birthdays without cake!) and we managed to find a nice headcover as a present, the marvellous Pedro the Pug!
We returned to Benalup for our third game. After an interesting clinic (I’m bound to say that, aren’t I) featuring everyone’s favourite bunkers, we set about conquering the course. Pretty well lapping the field was Julia and Rosemary compiling an eye watering 41 points. Rosemary did a terrific job of accumulating pars with the odd birdie and Julia did the eye catching three and in one case a four pointer. They shone in the sunshine and the rest of us just basked in their reflected glory. A grand day out and everyone looking forward to their day off tomorrow.
The drainage at Benalup was really tested on Thursday as we had heavy overnight storms with some spectacular lightening. Luckily the rain predicted for the day didn’t appear (even Spanish weather forecasts are changeable just like at home!). We went on the range to brush up on our games and went for a 9 hole competition although some of our intrepid group opted to finish the 18. A spell of spectacular scoring saw Amelie and Rosemary win the day with an eye catching 24 points over the 9 holes. Highlight was Rosemary’s birdie 3 on the dogleg 3rd, the telling blow being one of her deft chips which went into the centre of the cup. On the par 3, 8th over the water Amelie produced an excellent tee shot and rolled in her birdie putt with aplomb. A good day after what had been forecast a washout, so it felt like a bonus.
Our final day was set fair and the 50% shower predicted meant we must have been in the 50% dry bit. A putting review and some warm ups on the range then off to the course. A nice afternoon with some good shots all round and in the pairs event Richard and Julia lapped the field with 45 points. Julia was steady throughout and showed off her improvements in her game this week. Richard was really on song and a particularly purple patch around the turn saw him collect 10 points in 4 holes, all starting the back nine with 3 x 3s which was very special.
A good return for DSG to Benalup and for my first visit. With much to admire here I am sure it wont be ten years before we return.
Look forward to seeing you all again.
All the best
The Lopesan Links Open Championships Mar 2020
With Coronavirus raging, golf tournaments around the world, including The Masters, cancelled, Tours suspended, hotels and countries in lock down,...