Las Colinas Golf and Country Club is about 50 mins south of Alicante airport on the Costa Blanca and claims to be 'A World Apart' and in a lot of ways it is.
Geographically the 330 hectare resort is set back from the Mediterranean coast amid the rolling terrain of the naturals woodlands of the area.
The course was opened in 2010 and is the handiwork of American Cabell B. Robinson and features a design that uses the undulations of the terrain to its advantage.
This is more than evident at the first hole that offers a generous driving area to a fairway that narrows as it snakes around a small hill on the left of the fairway to a green that is raised above you.
It's quite a challenging start, particularly if you open up with the heavy artillery, so a fairway or hybrid from the tee is sometimes a smarter play. There are plans to open up the hole to make it more visible as it would be a fine hole in the middle of the front nine, but a bit of an awakener as the first.
Skip through the trees to the 2nd hole and it's a bit more of 'welcome to Las Colinas' with a long uphill par four that requires a good drive and a long second to a receptive green with run off areas to the left and back, if you can hit it that far.
If you have held on to your hat then the downhill right to left dogleg par-5 3rd gives you a chance to cut the corner and get a shoot forward off the slope over the bunker to set up a great risk and reward approach over water to a wide green and maybe get back any shots that you may have already dropped.
At this point you are on the opposite side of the hill to the clubhouse and where you started and being out of the trees makes it feel more open and the fairways are a little more generous.
A short loop brings you back to the woodland with a great short uphill par-4 at the 6th that features one of the longest, thinnest greens you are likely to play with not much margin for error either side. It may not be everyone's idea of fair, but it was one of my favourites on the course.
The 7th is a dinky little par-3 not dissimilar to the 3rd at The Dukes Course at Woburn, where all you will probably need is a wedge to reach the green set way below you in the valley. It's easy but the pressure is on as there are not many places to miss it and the green slopes away off the back.
The downhill 8th is one of the narrowest drives on the course, maybe too much so as driving down the wide open 2nd fairway to the right can give a better approach in, as many players did in the recent European Tour Qualifying School event.
Having to make a decision on which fairway and which club to use puts doubt in your mind though and when I tell you that my best score in two attempts was a triple then you know that it's a good hole or one I just haven't figured out yet. In my defence, my playing partners fared little better.
The 10th is another tight little downhill par-3 set in the trees with a long narrow green that you just have to hit with a mid to short iron and is thankfully your last hole through the trees for the round.
That is because from the 11th onwards you are back in the open on the backside of the hill again with some fun holes where you can relax and open your shoulders a little.
The same lake comes into play on 14, 15 and 16 to give them a little bit of bite and then if you are into the wind the finish becomes quite a challenge as you slowly climb back to the clubhouse.
The par-5 18th has a blind drive, but if you hit the fairway you have the death or glory approach over the long pond to a green with a large slope to the sucker pin on the right. Even the lay-up is no bargain as you have to be accurate to thread your approach between the bunkers on the left and the water on the right.
You finish right in front of the modern clubhouse with it's patio overlooking the green where afterwards you can sit back with a cold drink and watch everyone else mess up the last too.
The clubhouse set up is very good with the 1st tee, practice ground and putting green all within a 50m circle which saves time.
The practice facilities are very good and big hitters will feel good as they can probably knock one into the trees at the back of the range.
There is a specialist short game area designed by Miguel-Angel Jimenez which is behind the 17th green and left of the 18th fairway.
It does need a buggy to get up there, but the views are great and the large green with multiple flag positions, several bunkers, run off areas and pyramids of balls stationed all around it is somewhere I could spend hours messing around.
Las Colinas is also a collection of private communities of apartments and houses of which there are around 700 there already, with others being developed. There is no hotel at present, but you can rent many of the well designed and high spec villas for your stay and the staff have a shuttle system to help you get around if required.
It is quite a cosmopolitan clientele, with a lot of continental Europeans and especially Belgians who own around 70% of the properties there, so I hope their Brussels sales person was on commission.
If you stay on the resort you also have the benefit of the use of the Las Colinas Beach Club which is 15 minutes away on the sea front at La Glea beach in Campoamor.
Play 18 in the morning and you could be sipping drinks by the infinity pool as you gaze over the beach to the Mediterranean and wonder where it all went wrong at the 8th.
Overall I really enjoyed my stay and rounds at Las Colinas. The course was in great condition in August, especially the greens. It is a modern design but with the quirkiness that comes from working with the land rather than bulldozing through the middle of it.
The two par-3s in the trees at 7 and 10 required accuracy and nerve, as did three of the four par-5s that tempted you to go for it over water if the wind was in your favour. At just over 6200 yards from the yellow tees it is still challenging enough for better players and I would not head back to the whites as it will take all the fun risk/reward holes out of reach.
There were some unusual greens such as the long thin stepped green I mentioned at 6 and the wide three tiered green at 16 that was set with the valley in the middle and raised sections either side to really get you thinking.
I played with the Director of Golf Jon who said that they have 45,000 rounds a year at Las Colinas and their buggies are worked hard every day. However it didn't feel like a busy course and whilst the green fee is towards the high end of things, it is well worth a visit, particularly if you can stay on the resort and be apart from the world for a few days.