Golf Delux. A well laid out adventure golf course built by City Golf in the Murcia region of Spain
Last September Golf Delux was completely obliterated by the Gota Fria storm – the worst storm for 150 years - leaving it needing to be completely rebuilt. This regional tragedy claimed several lives and meant that the town and surrounding area were awash with wild torrents of water mixed with thick, red mud. The resulting carnage took months to clear up and was then unfortunately followed by further floods and more devastation in January of this year. The area has had so much to deal with before the onset of the extremely challenging Coronavirus crisis in March.
Following on from the chaos caused by the flooding, the site had to be completely cleared and rebuilt. This created huge problems, but has now allowed for the course to re-emerge in immaculate condition. It has been reconstructed to a very high standard by City Golf (who built the original layout several years ago), with high quality, well lit bricked paths throughout, mounds of white pebbles between the holes to add to the slick, pristine look of the course.
City Golf has made an exceptional course on this flat, yet very interesting layout. Water and exotic planting are interwoven amongst the holes. The planting has been professionally arranged to create attractive features as well as some shelter from the blazing Mediterranean sun. Leaves and berries can be a great nuisance on adventure golf courses, but Golf Delux does not suffer from this problem due to the careful selection of the vegetation. A large, sprawling bed of succulents cover areas that would otherwise be awkward to maintain, whilst also providing distinctive, colourful flowers in the spring and autumn. Olive trees are also used to great effect, along with the usual palms, yuccas, bougainvillea and other low maintenance flowering bushes, all conspiring to make this a gorgeous setting for people to enjoy their round.
The water features interact delightfully with play, yet are shallow enough so as not to cause any potential danger to players of any age. Many of the holes have water in place, which have been designed to have a high element of risk and reward for those trying to shoot a low score.
The business is well run by a very pleasant Swedish team who provide delicious food and drink after golf and before. The clubhouse has a lovely spacious and airy feel to it, with an extensive covered patio to give some respite from the searing summer sun. In the current COVID-19 crisis there is plenty of space for visitors to sit and be socially distanced from each other. A simple lunch menu allows the golfers to relax and eat afterwards whilst counting up their scores and sipping on their well-earned chilled drinks - an all-in deal of 16 euros covers a round of golf as well as a light lunch.
Golf Delux does not benefit from a perfect location in terms of huge amounts of passing trade and clear visibility from a major highway. Quite the reverse, in fact. The site is tucked away on the outskirts of Los Alcazares, but does have excellent and free parking. The lack of visibility means that the business must continue to market itself proactively as it does not benefit from customers seeing the site as they drive by.
The only slight shame - which is easily corrected - is that the balls used are of the low-bounce and dead-feeling variety. It is a great shame that these balls are still offered for sale despite the dreadful experience of putting with such a lumpen low-grade golf ball. By far and away a better golf ball for adventure golf courses can be easily purchased from many of the major suppliers. These balls float and come in a variety of exotic and fluorescent colours. They also have a pleasing click when struck and enhance the golfers‘ experience. Strangely, metal headed putters are used at Golf Delux. It is more common these days to use rubber headed putters. The combination of a dead, low-bounce ball, with a metal or rubber headed putter is disastrous from a feel standpoint. Using a more traditional ball with either a metal or a rubber headed putter still provides excellent feedback and a joyful experience. The additional damage caused to the surrounding course and the putters themselves makes a strong case for using the rubber headed variety, which are also far more durable. Regular players and avid adventure golf enthusiasts will even bring their own putters, to see if they can beat their best score and defeat their colleagues.
On the last hole the ball finishes in a vault, which slightly raises the accusation of ball pilferage with the customer. With a round of adventure golf costing in the region of €10 or £10 in the UK, it seems crazy to subconsciously suspect your customers of theft when a beautiful lilac or light pink golf ball snuffled by a small golfer will elicit a longing to return - and would cost the business very little - approximately 70p.
But all-in-all, a round at Golf Delux leaves you with a great customer experience, one filled with laughter and fun, leaving you a thirst not only for a refreshing cold beer, but also to return very soon to improve on your score and work out how to keep the ball out of the water hazards… although that’s all part of the fun, isn’t it?
More details are available at: http://www.golfdelux.com