The European Tour has reached an agreement with PGA Catalunya Resort for the world-class venue in Girona, northern Spain, to host the Qualifying School Final Stage for the next three years.
The 36-hole resort, which is a member of The European Tour Properties network, will host the six-round Final Stage for the fifth successive season from November 24-29, 2012.
The Tour and Stadium courses were both co-designed by European Tour champions Neil Coles, MBE, and Angel Gallardo, respectively the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Tour’s Board of Directors.
The Stadium Course – which staged the 2009 Open de España, won by Frenchman Thomas Levet – has received numerous accolades since it opened in 1999, and was recently named the best course in Spain in the list compiled by www.top100golfcourses.co.uk
Last year, the demanding 7,172yds, par 72 layout was named in Golf World magazine’s list of the ‘Top 100 Courses in the World’, and was also included in Golf Monthly magazine’s ranking of the ‘Top 50 Courses in Continental Europe’.
The club’s new practice facilities, which include a 2,000 square metre putting green and chipping area with five bunkers containing different sand types, drew widespread praise from the players when they were unveiled last year.
South African Branden Grace, who has won three times on The 2012 European Tour International Schedule since taking the 11th card at the Final Stage last year, called them “some of the best practice facilities you’ll find anywhere in the world”.
Mike Stewart, Qualifying School Director, said: “It is excellent news that the Qualifying School will be played at PGA Catalunya Resort until at least 2014. It is rare that you find a venue with two superb courses both in magnificent condition, but PGA Catalunya Resort fits the bill perfectly. By its nature the Qualifying School can be a long and stressful week for the players, but it is very reassuring to know that the courses they will play – and the new facilities they will practise on – are of the highest quality.”
Julio Delgado, Chief Executive of PGA Catalunya Resort, said: “While the reputation of our two golf courses is well established, we have invested heavily in our practice and coaching facilities to make PGA Catalunya Resort a centre of excellence for tournament professionals and elite amateur teams from across Europe.
“It is heartening to hear players talking so positively about the upgraded facilities which we continue to develop, and an honour to continue to host The European Tour’s Qualifying School Final Stage.”