More than 100 years of venerable history, and 10 editions of the Spanish Open, attest to Real Club de Golf El Prat’s prestigious status – with the club now consolidated as one of the finest courses in the world.
One of the most renowned clubs in Spain, Real Club de Golf El Prat’s origins date to 1912, the year when the Count of Churruca founded Barcelona Golf Club, which subsequently became known as Pedralbes Golf Club. Years later, King Alonso XIII visited and granted the club its “Real” (“Royal”) distinction.
It was the first golf club in Barcelona but, as the city grew and expanded, it was forced to move to a new location in 1954, between El Prat de Llobregat and the sea, near Barcelona airport – and was renamed Real Club de Golf El Prat.
In 1997, expansion of Barcelona airport required it to change its location once again, to the Bonvilar country estate, a 220-hectare plot situated in the green corridor that links the 13,000-hectare Sant Llorenç del munt i l'Obac and Collserola Nature Parks. The new, and current, site, is situated 26 kilometres from Barcelona, between Terrassa and Sabadell. In this idyllic setting, Greg Norman designed 45 holes with the visionary idea of creating a fusion of playability and aesthetic beauty, by adapting the course to suit all playing levels and styles and seamlessly integrating all seven layouts into the natural surroundings.
Real Club de Golf El Prat’s hallmark of splendour is distinguished by its sporting pedigree: it has received more awards than any club in Europe and has numerous active professionals competing on various national and European tours. This lofty level of excellence is highlighted by the fact it has hosted the Spanish Open on no fewer than 10 occasions.
Real Club de Golf El Prat combines its leading role in the competition sphere with a family-orientated style that infuses all its services: restaurant-bar, children’s club, paddle tennis, pool, cycling, gymnasium, special rooms for events and all kinds of celebrations, and a remodelled children’s golf academy.
TEN SPANISH OPENS
Throughout its celebrated history, Real Club de Golf El Prat has hosted 10 Spanish Opens: 1956, 1959, 1963, 1971, 1978, 1981, 1998, 1999, 2011 and 2015.
The first major tournament, doubling as El Prat’s official presentation, was the 1956 Spanish Open, with top stars such as Jimmy Demaret, Bob Toski and Peter Alliss taking part. The latter two rated El Prat as one of the most attractive and interesting courses they had ever played.
The club also hosted one of the Open’s most emotional editions. The legendary Severiano Ballesteros passed away while the club’s was holding its – to date – penultimate Spanish Open (5 April 2011), and the eventual champion, South African Thomas Aitken, dedicated his victory to Seve, who had won the title at the same club 20 years before.
Four years later, in 2015, the club was again in the European Tour spotlight when Britain’s James Morrison carded a 278 to overcome a tough challenge by second-placed defending champion Miguel Ángel Jiménez.
MORE THAN 250 TOP-LEVEL NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
Over the years, Real Club de Golf El Prat has had the honour of being the venue for more than 250 national and international championships, including European Tour events. Players of the calibre of Sergio García, Miguel Ángel Jiménez, José María Olazábal, Tommy Fleetwood and James Morrison have competed in events at the club, delighting both members and visitors from all corners of the globe.
In addition, the club has been a talent pool for regular members of national teams and active professionals on various national and European tours, including Pablo Larrazábal, Carlos Pigem, Eduardo de la Riva, Mireia Prat and Adrià Arnous, among many others.