Club de Golf Montanyá – February 2016 Today I think I may have had one of my best golfing experiences to date – and it wasn’t from the golf coming off my club. While I have only been playing for nineteen months, Golf Montanyá is the 57th course I have played in six countries.
Not a bad start to golfing and eating my way around the world.
This course is a hidden gem nestled in the mountains about an hour north of Barcelona. I have never played a course where every hole is beautiful. Most courses have spectacular signature holes but every hole on this course was amazing. I was in awe, photographing, filming and smiling at my surroundings. As Guillem said it just fills the soul – he is certainly very lucky to have this course as his home track.
I arrived at Golf Montanyá and the first thing I had to do was take a photo of the phenomenal clubhouse and restaurant. The building, a 15th century manor house, has been renovated beautifully and you instantly feel welcome.
I was greeted warmly by Jordi, the General Manager and sat with him and Guillem (my playing partner) and had a great golf chat for nearly an hour. We discussed golf in Spain and grass roots programs, dwindling membership, marketing strategies and what is happening in other parts of the world.
Then Guillem and I set off, me stopping to snap photos and film while Guillem assured me that I would have many opportunities to take some fantastic photos.
We teed off the first and while it was 11am the course was still covered in ice. It had snowed in the mountains of Montseny last night and the frost would be on the ground until it was hit by the sun.
It was quite the contrast having the sun on your back, a gorgeous day yet crunching your cart through the ice in the shadows.
I did play some good golf, just not consistently and most great shots were followed by a mishit but that certainly did not detract from my pleasure. I did get to see some amazing golf – most of it was from Guillem’s club.
The course is tucked away in the mountains surrounded by the Parc Natural del Montseny and it made me happy knowing that this course is always going to look the same. Surrounded by trees and mountains with amazing vistas everywhere you turned. It is not often you get to play a golf course with the Pyreness in the background.
After playing the front nine, Guillem then told me we are about to get to the most picturesque part of the course – I didn’t believe that the course could get any better but wow what a track!!!!!
I was hitting some great putting lines from far out but was too heavy handed and was pushing them past, through or over the hole – might have been all the snacks I was eating on the course. Then I would find on the next hole I would be short with my putter trying to adjust. I did drop some nice putts and did some fantastic drives but wasn’t stringing any good golf together.
While Guillem had a bleeding finger (cooking wound) affecting his grip, on the back nine he really showed his 3.9 handicap. We talked golf, travel and food. Guillem has golfed at more than a hundred and twenty courses around the world and I am very envious. Although he has been playing sixteen years so has a little head start on me.
The 16th is the only blind hole and I love them. I like just hitting the ball and going to see where it ended up. I did this well in Scotland. Today, not so much. I was three off the tee as Guillem advised my first would be lost (I’d pushed it right into the trees on top of the hill) I hit my second tee shot better but still directionally challenged and when we got down and looked in the crunchy leaves we couldn’t find either. I was donating spiders to the course all day but was losing two and finding one so it wasn’t all bad.
On this course after teeing off, your ball is never on a flat surface so perhaps I wasn’t adjusting my feet well but I found when I was on a crazy slope or the side of a bunker with one foot in and one foot out, I could hit a ball perfectly yet when it had a perfect lie in the middle of the fairway I would duff it. That is golf and no point overthinking it. Just enjoy it for exactly what it is. A wonderful way to spend an afternoon in great company.
As we finished on the 17th Jordi shot over in a buggy and introduced me to an Indian gentlemen, Giresh, who is in Spain looking at venues to bring golfing tour groups. We had a chat for about ten minutes and I gave him my card as we will connect and perhaps within this year a golf trip to India will be part of my adventures. Giresh organizes golf trips all over India, Asia, Europe and the Middle East and we both agreed that this course is special. He agreed he had never seen anything like it.
This course is spectacular and I couldn’t believe that mostly we had the place to ourselves. Plenty of time for me to film and photograph however I believe when I am next golfing in Spain this may not be the case. If you are planing a trip to Spain this must go on your list of courses to play. You will not find any other course like it.
Following the fantastic round, I headed inside for lunch with Guillem and Jordi at Restaurant L’Estanyol. The chef, Joan Font, delighted us with plate after plate of deliciousness – although that is another story altogether.