Fighting Back: Rob Smith Golf Blog 10

Rob Smith, Golf Monthly Contributing Editor, continues his golf blog as he looks to improve his game

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Fighting Back: Rob Smith Golf Blog 10

After so much travel, I just had one more brief trip on the agenda before knuckling down to some serious practice - and what a treat it was!

I headed back to southern Spain for a flying visit to have a look at an excellent new course recently moving under the Troon Golf management banner, La Reserva at Sotogrande.

Before playing this Cabell Robinson design, I returned to Valderrama, home of the 1997 Ryder Cup and many Volvo Masters, which has greens to die for... if you can find them!

Kept in immaculate condition, the course's main protection is the countless and at times very intrusive trees, the deep bunkering and the small but perfectly-maintained greens.

Valderrama is undeniably tough, and whilst La Reserva is no pushover, it is far more forgiving and in a word, fun.

I played with its new Director of Golf, Juan Alvarez Lozano, a really nice guy I had met a couple of years before when he was managing Las Colinas up near Alicante.

The course and the weather suited my game, and although I did not score particularly well, I was reasonably satisfied with my ball striking and felt quite at ease playing with golfers of a higher standard.

Indeed, this is another sign that the lessons with Paul Foston are paying off as I am now really enjoying my game again for the first time in years and am really looking forward to the next stage of my golfing re-hab.

Rob's other Blogs

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Rob Smith
Contributing Editor

Rob Smith has been playing golf for more than 40 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly for over ten years, specialising in course reviews and travel. He has now played more than 1,170 different courses in almost 50 countries. Despite lockdowns and travel restrictions in 2021, he still managed to play 80 different courses during the year, 43 of them for the first time. This included 21 in 13 days on a trip to East Lothian in October. One of Rob's primary roles is helping to prepare the Top 100 and Next 100 Courses of the UK&I, of which he has played all but nine. During the 2021-22 review period, Rob has played 34 of the Golf Monthly Top 200. He is a member of Tandridge Golf Club in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at