A new short-game area by GolfDesign, the golf architecture firm established by Jorge Santana da Silva, is growing in at Real Club de Golf Las Brisas in Marbella, Spain.
Las Brisas was designed by Robert Trent Jones in 1968 and the club’s stance is that any further work must be done by someone from Jones’s professional family. Kyle Phillips, a former design associate of Jones, renovated the course in 2015 and Santana da Silva began his career with Jones in the 1980s.
In summer 2022, the club, decided to develop new short-game facilities, redesign the driving range and undertake tweaks to the course. Per Gundtoft, president of the greens committee at Las Brisas and himself an agronomist, had worked with Santana da Silva during Jones’s project at Valderrama and the pair have also volunteered together at The Masters.
Santana da Silva’s short-game area comprises four greens and six bunkers in a 2.5-acre area. One of the greens features cool season bentgrass, while the other three have been planted with TifEagle.
“The renovated practice facilities have been well-received by golfers,” said Paul Muñoz Langley, director of golf at Las Brisas. “The club has invested in upgrading and expanding its practice areas, specifically the short-game facilities, with plans to renovate the driving range next year. These improvements have provided golfers with ample space and resources to hone their skills and warm up before their rounds.
“Golfers have appreciated the enhanced quality and variety of practice areas. The redesigned short-game area now features target greens, bunkers and different areas from where to play the ball, allowing golfers to simulate on-course scenarios during their practice sessions. Golfers now have a space where they can focus on their chipping, pitching and bunker play.”
Construction has been handled by contractor Chameza Golf, supported by course manager Rafael Gonzalez-Carrascosa and his crew.
Santana da Silva is also overseeing some work on the course, including the renovation of green collars, bunkers and lakes on the front nine, minor changes to the fourteenth, and planned changes to the ninth.
“Work on the ninth hole includes the elimination of the bunker on the left, the expansion of the one on the right and the addition of a smaller one,” said Santana da Silva. “The fairway boundaries shift to the left, thus changing the line of play.”
Construction on the ninth hole and the driving range will begin in 2024.