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Amarilla Golf Course

For the Amarilla golf course in Tenerife designer Donald Steel was given the brief to make it the best golf course in the world, a tall order at a time when Tenerife golf was unheard of and boasted just one golf course which was in the North of the Island with a virtual “members only” policy. Perhaps we should take a look at the history of the man given that monumental task.

Donald Steel is the only golf writer or golf course designer to have played in the Open as an amateur. Donald Steel is the only golf course designer to have advised every one of the Clubs or Courses on which the Open Championship has been played. Apart from these achievements Donald Steel is a very accomplished golf writer, he was the Sunday Telegraph's first golf correspondent from 1961-90. Donald Steel is also author, co-author or editor of ten books on golf. He has also been; President of the British Association of Golf Course Architects 1986-89 President of the Association of Golf Writers 1993-98 and President of the English Golf Union from February 2006. Donald Steel is also an accomplished after dinner speaker which keeps him in touch with the everyday world of golfers. In 2003, Donald Steel was named as the 4th most influential golf course architect in the world by Golf Magazine.

Donald Steel has always had a preference for the natural, traditional look when designing golf courses and I would love to know exactly what thoughts and emotions were going through his mind as he clambered over that dusty, barren almost desert like terrain on his first visit to build a Tenerife golf course. He was being asked to build a golf course in an area that had almost no natural rainfall just rocky, volcanic, terrain scattered with “barrancos” (small ravines) for the occasional water to run to the sea.

Golf course architecture is about being creative as well as being the art of the possible. Making a golf course almost impossible to play is easy. Spectacular holes undoubtedly raise the standard of any course but enjoyment is the watchword and most golfers find very little enjoyment in losing balls attempting long carries over water or in impossibly high rough. Donald Steel has achieved a very good balance at Amarilla golf; freedom of choice in shot making is one of the joys of the game and Donald has given all standards of golfers a very good challenge on this Tenerife golf course. Budget, climate and the terrain all dictate the type of course that can be built and hence the way it plays, Amarilla golf is an excellent compromise of all three factors.

As well as the main eighteen hole championship course there are further holes under development which will eventually give a choice of two courses to play as well as the small nine hole pitch and putt course. For those golfers out there who can appreciate a fabulous course set with two stunning backdrops and playing in almost year round sunshine, I can heartily recommend Amarilla Golf and country club as a number one priority for your golf in Tenerife.

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