Lumine Mediterrnonea Beach and Golf Community Hills course
Senior staff writer Adam Smith recently took at trip to Lumine Mediterránea Beach and Golf Community. The Hills course is one of three on site and here his his review
It’s difficult to know where to start with the Hills course not because there’s not much to say about it but the complete opposite, I don’t know where to start the superlatives. The Hills offers a more technical test of your golf game out of the three courses that Lumine has to offer, but my word what a golf course. The front nine is possibly up there with the toughest outwards nines I’ve ever played; it was relentless but in a fun challenging way, imagine climbing Everest, it’s tough on the way up but you keep battling because you know you’ll look back from the summit and think ‘wow I want to that again.’
The whole Hills experience started from the minute we arrived. The Hills own clubhouse was closed as our trip was still during their off season so the cart ride was a good seven or eight minutes to the first tee but you didn’t mind that at all. The view from the hillside as you wind your way past the Ruins course and looking out over the Cape Salou is simply stunning, it’s at this moment that you realise you’re in for something special.
Designed by Spanish course architect, Alfonso Vidaor, the par 72 is just over 6889 yards in length and runs through leafy woods and olive groves and as soon as you stand on the first tee you can sense the challenge that awaits as you look down the fairway at the 376 yards par-4 first that doglegs from left to right.
Some resort courses offer a first hole that acts as a confidence booster, allowing you wide open fairways and little rough, not the Hills. That first tee shot is the marker for the round and it’s vital you avoid the trees and their canopies on the right-hand side otherwise you will find yourself having to get creative early in the round. The Hills puts a focus on shot shaping and course management as there’s no easy tee shot out there particularly on your approach shots.
As was the case with all three courses at Lumine the greens were immaculate and a challenge for golfers of all abilities, my advice would be to spend a good 20 minutes on the putting green before you play to really get a feel for what the course will throw at you.
The tree-lined nature of the front nine is a stark contrast to the relative openness of the Lakes course which adds in another dynamic to the Hills course. On the Lakes you felt you had a bail out areas especially off the tee but here on the Hills you don’t get that fortune.
The 2nd is a par-5 that plays uphill and into the wind. The tee shot is semi-blind over the raised fairway about 250 yards away. At around 150 yards away from the green the hole dog-legs left so if you’re long enough to go for the green in two a draw around the corner is required. If you get too tight to the trees, three bunkers await at the green that has dramatic fall off areas into trouble over the back.
The first par-3 awaits on the 3rd which plays around 190 yards with a great view of the sea in the distance. The green is two tired and you’ll need to fly your ball all the way as the green is perched on top of a roll off area at the front catching anything that is short. You’ll easily roll back 20-30 yards leaving yourself a tough pitch.
A run of three par-4’s follows all difficult in their own right. The 4th and 5th have very demanding tee shots with the approach into the latter very tough as the green is well above your eye line and surrounded by six bunkers. The 6th is longer at over 400 yards and into the wind it really is a tough hole. If you get through this stretch unblemished then you’re doing very well.
The stand out hole on the front nine is without a doubt the par 5 7th. At 475 yards with a dogleg right to left, uphill, it’s vital that you get a good drive away down the right-hand portion of the fairway, as from there the green in two becomes a very realistic possibility.
Though it’s not a straightforward approach as the green is raised and guarded by a number of deep bunkers, it’s very much a risk or reward shot but if you’re in position its worth the risk every time. This is the hole you view on your right hand side every time you drive up to the clubhouse. You can’t help but just stare at how pristine it looks.
On your way in you follow the road around to view the par-3 8th from behind the green. Playing nearly 200 yards, downhill over water it’s good to look at from the car but daunting when you stand on the tee. A great hole though.
The outward nine ends with an uphill par-4 with one nasty little pot bunker in the middle of the fairway. Miss that and you’ll hit onto the biggest green on the course some 44 yards deep and 35 yards wide.
In my opinion the front nine is not the nine to attack; it’s tight, long and will test even the best golfers. The scoring opportunities come down the back stretch starting with the very appealing par 3 10th, which an ideal hole to get a shot back and start a run of good scores. It’s also time to take in the scenery around you as you’re on one on the highest points of the course near the clubhouse. Magnificent views of the sea and Salou can be had here.
Time to attack (with caution)
Though I have to say what makes the Hills truly special is from the 13th to the 18th holes, they are without a doubt six of the finest golf holes I’ve ever played, 13, 17 and 18 in particular are truly special in not only looks but in the way they play.
These three holes are what this golf course is all about, visually stunning yet tough to navigate, but there is always just enough encouragement from the way the holes are designed to ‘go for it’.
You have all that to look forward to but holes 11 and 12 are where you can start to attack. The 11th is a par-5 at a shade over 500 yards but the approach plays all downhill. The ideal tee shot will be to avoid the bunkers down the left hand side; this is where you can get a clear view and fire to the green below. The 12th is a short par-4 under 300 yards so the ‘boomers’ can have a crack at the green which is surrounded by sand. Course management is key though and the sensible play would be to hit a rescue or long iron into play and you’ll still leave yourself with a short iron in.
The 13th and 17th greens are built into an old quarry that stood there before and are still surrounded by rock faces that are just beautiful on the eye and live long in the memory. These holes also bring in play the same water hazard as they both dog-leg left with the only the water separating the greens.
The 14th is the last par-3 on the course and similarly to the 8th plays around 200 yards downhill. You don’t want to be left or you’ll run off down the hill into the trees but as you’d expect Lumine doesn’t make it easy for you as it’s one of the narrowest greens on the course. A GIR here means your ball striking is spot on.
The 15th is another quality par-4 that dog-legs left with water by the green. Two huge bunkers to the left of the fairway attract your eye line as this fairway is tough to hit. You can take your ball over them to cut the hole down dramatically. There’s no bail out area from the water though with five bunkers awaiting your ball if pushed to the right.
I have to admit my favorite hole on the course has to be the 18th. A 305 yard par-4 that doglegs left to right with water in play off the tee means it’s a decision between protecting your score or going for the green? From the tee the green is blocked out by a large number of trees on the hillside but the most ambitious golfers among us see this as a challenge not an obstruction. In order to reach the green it would have to be one almighty blow, and as this golfer can testify, if you come up short you’ll be playing three off the tee.
The view when you walk around the corner to see the green is one of the best I have seen in golf. The clubhouse looks down on the green from the cliff-side and brings a real tournament feeling to proceedings. Another green built into a quarry you get an eerie feeling when you walk onto the green as every word uttered is echoed against the side of the cliff. (No swearing now)
In summary and continuing the Lumine trend the Hills course is up there with one of the best golf courses I have played and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone. It was in superb condition and although challenging and a true test of my ability it was thoroughly enjoyable to play.
Lumine should be immensely proud to have 45 holes on genuine quality and to keep them to a high standard all year round is a credit to them and their staff.
What do you think? leave your comments below (Comments)
Leave your comments belowcomments powered by Disqus
|Lumine Mediterránea Beach & Golf
from 14 reviews
Plan your next golf break with Golfbreaks.com
Travel Deals Newsletter