Golf Monthly – March 2009
From Sotogrande New to Las Aves and now Valderrama, Malcolm
Campbell celebrates just how far Europe’s finest course has come.
“Rumours are rife of an announcement coming shortly on a new event for Valderrama”
Athough it does not seem like it,it is a quarter of a century since I took my first step onto the opening tee of a golf course that was then called Las Aves. At that time the course was barely known, other than to a fortunate few. It had not long changed its name from Sotogrande New. My old pal Derek Brown had decided to swap the decidedly chilly Perthshire winters of Gleneagles for a move to the Costa del Sol to join Tony Jacklin at what was then a fine, but rather remote, golfing outpost lying within earshot of the screams of Gibraltar’s Barbary apes.
I still recall the perilous journeys from Malaga airport along the road they called “Suicide Alley”. The fear was only overcome by the anticipation of playing the course where Jacklin held court. Even then, it was a beautiful place to play among the cork and pine trees.