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Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at Alhama - Official Review (by Elaine, Club Murcia)

"The Signature Course at Alhama is a par 72 Championship Course, designed by Jack Nicklaus himself, and is an exciting challenge for golfers of all skill levels. The course takes on a natural rugged appearance as the undulating ribbons of dark green paspalum fairway snake their way through the native Murcian landscape. All golfers’ shot-making abilities will be challenged by the undulating bent grass greens. The beauty of the course is further enhanced with five large lakes, dramatic bunkering, and perfectly manicured playing conditions. This strategic test of golf is sure to be a stern yet enjoyable golfing adventure for everyone.

Hole 1: Par 4. The Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at Alhama begins with this dogleg-right par 4. The best line of play is down the left side of the hole avoiding the deep fairway bunker on the right. From there golfers can play an approach shot around the greenside bunker into this shallow green that slopes from left-to-right. Clever players can use the slope on the left of the green to guide in their approach shots while avoiding all of the trouble on the right.

Hole 2: Par 4. The tee shot on this hole plays from an elevated tee giving players a scenic view of this beautiful hole. The entire left side of the fairway is guarded by sand and native vegetation while a single fairway bunker frames the right side of the fairway. Players opting to play down the left side will have a shorter approach shot but a more difficult angle over a deep greenside bunker. Those choosing to play over to the right side of the fairway should find an easier angle to approach this large green that is guarded by two bunkers. Everyone’s putting skills will be challenged on this undulating green.

Hole 3: Par 3. The first par 3 three plays over a large sandy area to a green protected by three bunkers. The green is very deep and could add a club to the player’s tee shot depending on the day’s pin location. The best layup position is probably short of the green as recovery from the deep sandy area left of the green is very challenging.

Hole 4: Par 5. A large lake runs all the way from the tee to the green on this par 5. While this will be a three-shot hole for most players, those wanting to take a gamble at the green in two shots will find the best angle from the left side of the fairway along the bunkers. The layup on the second shot is complicated by another group of bunkers left of the landing area. Players should be precise on their approach to this very small green as the lake closely guards the front edge while an elevated bunker waits for any shots played too boldly.

Hole 5: Par 4. The tee shot on this hole is played over another lake to a severely sloping fairway guarded by fairway bunkers on the right. Golfers will find the best view and angle for the short uphill approach shot from the left side of the fairway. The surface of the green is difficult to see from the low part of the fairway and will complicate the approach shots. This undulating green slopes away from players and is very difficult to hold. The best miss on the approach is long of the green where players will find a friendly uphill chip.

Hole 6: Par 4. The very long sixth hole is one of the most challenging holes on the course. Confident players should try to hit their tee shot over the ridge on the left side of the fairway. Shots landing over the ridge will roll forward leaving a shorter approach with the best angle. Those playing safe to the right will find a challenging long approach shot that must avoid the deep right greenside bunker. Playing this hole conservatively as a three-shot hole might be the best option for many players.

Hole 7: Par 3. Players will find another strong test at this long par three. The downhill tee shot to this green is played over another large sandy area. There is plenty of room to the right to bail out but it will result in a difficult downhill chip. The green is also undulating further ensuring this hole will be a stern test for everyone.

Hole 8: Par 4. Sand is everywhere on this exciting short par-four. Conservative players can take the safer but much longer route to the left. Golfers playing down the right side of the hole will have to avoid several bunkers but will be rewarded with a shorter approach shot. On days with a favorable wind, stronger players might even want to have a go at reaching the green with their tee shot. The green here is very small but also flatter giving players a good chance at making a birdie on this hole.

Hole 9: Par 5. The front nine finishes with this reachable downhill par five. Golfers that can carry their tee shot over the bunkers on the left side of the fairway will be rewarded with a strong kick forward making the green much more reachable. Those not able to carry the bunkers will probably have to layup into the narrow second landing area that is closely protected by the lake on the right. Bunkers frame the left side of the landing area while a small bunker sits in the middle of the fairway further complicating players’ options. The large green is protected by three bunkers and features numerous interesting pin positions.

Hole 10: Par 4. This downhill tee shot plays over a large lake to an undulating fairway framed by a series of bunkers. Bold players can challenge the lake and try position their shot on the left side of the fairway resulting in a shorter approach shot. Those bailing out to the right will face a longer uphill approach to this green that is guarded by two bunkers. A deep swale runs through the center of the green and golfers will want to make sure they hit their approach shot to the correct portion of the green to leave them the easiest putt possible.

Hole 11: Par 3. This downhill par 3 is very beautiful but can be very dangerous. The tee shot is played over the large lake to a peninsula green. The green is very large and receptive but it is protected by two bunkers. Players should make sure they select the correct club for the tee shot because the distance of the hole can change depending on where the pin is placed on this large green.

Hole 12: Par 4. The tee shot on this dogleg-right hole is played to a very wide fairway. Long shots carrying the bunker on the right will be rewarded with a strong kick forward and the best angle into the green. The safer left side of the fairway is framed with a couple bunkers and will present players with a longer approach that must carry a greenside bunker to a shallow green. An aggressive tee shot on this hole is richly rewarded.

Hole 13: Par 5. A large lake guards the left side of this dogleg-left par five. Brave players that challenge the lake by hitting their tee shot down the left side of the fairway will have the best chance to hit this green in two. For those laying up, a fairway bunker complicates the positioning of the second shot. The edges of this green slope off making short third shots difficult to stop on the putting surface.

Hole 14: Par 4. The tee shot on this long par 4 sets up differently than others at Alhama. The tee shot is partially blind and is played between two large mounds. Those players with the strength and accuracy to hit their shot between these mounds will enjoy a favorable kick towards the green. These mounds will stop weaker shots that are slightly offline and result in a much longer approach into the green. The large green is protected by a deep grassy low on the left and by a bunker on the back-right. Furthermore, the green is undulating and will give players many challenging putts.

Hole 15: Par 4. Golfers are again asked to make a choice on this downhill par 4. A series of bunkers cuts into the landing area on the right. Golfers choosing to take on and carry these bunkers will have only a short pitch into the green. Those opting to play safely to the left will have a longer shot into this green protected by two bunkers.

Hole 16: Par 5. Golfers should save their best tee shots for this extremely long par 5. The long journey to this green must negotiate two series of cross bunkers that separate the landing areas. Those hitting solid and accurate shots should have no problem finding their way from one fairway pad to the next. However, those that find some trouble along the way might be forced to lay up before the cross bunkering and risk their chance of reaching this green in three shots. Smart conservative play should be rewarded on this long hole.

Hole 17: Par 3. The final par 3 on the course features a downhill tee shot to a small well-protected green. Three bunkers guard this narrow green and demand accurate approaches. The green features some interesting subtle movement sure to complicate putts.

Hole 18: Par 4. Players finish their round on the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at Alhama on this dogleg-left par 4. A lake protects the left side of the fairway while a collection of bunkers frames the right side of the landing area. Bunkers guard the front and left side of this well-contoured green. The green is one of the most challenging on the course and a birdie on this final hole will be well-deserved."

The layout and style of play of The Signature Course ranks along side the best of the courses in the Iberian Peninsula. It is a terrific golf course, providing a challenging yet extremely pleasant golfing experience.

Guest Comments
Had a fabulous week at Lisbeth's penthouse apartment. Apartment in fantastic location with outstanding views. Also a short walk to Al Kasar Shopping Centre. Apartment well equiped and clean. Very quie ... — Joan.G, 08 Oct 2012
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