Golf Course Architecture - Issue 63, January 2021

TEE BOX How did the project come about? MM: The client – Mark Shaw and his Edinburgh-based firm, Hazledene Group – was looking for a piece of land to develop a new multipurpose golf and residential community. After many trips to southern Europe, the client found the perfect location… with 340 days of sunshine, good communication links, close to a historical city, and close to the Mediterranean coast. Altaona Golf is also located just eight miles away from the modern and recently opened Región de Murcia International Airport. The location allows any northern European golfer to escape from the cold weather and be playing golf in shorts in December with temperatures of 70 degrees [21C]! What was the brief given to you by the client? MM: The main target was to transform an abandoned and eroded, dry landscape into a safe community where golfers, residents, and joggers can enjoy their activities at the same time. The full master plan of 300 hectares of residential and leisure will have the use of a 27-hole resort golf course, a golf academy and an extra nine-hole pitch-and-putt course. BS: They wanted commanding, outstanding views on the golf course. We worked backwards, running holes in various directions, utilising the topography, adapting to existing vegetation, boundaries, and very strict environmental regulations. THE INTERV I EW with Blake Stirling and Marco Martin GCA spoke with Blake Stirling and Marco Martin about their 27-hole project at Altaona Golf in the southeast of Spain “ Key to the entire layout was the tremendous variety” Large greens at Altaona allow for plenty of variety in pin position 30