PGA CAtalunya Resort´s new short game academy has received lavish praise from both players and European Tour officials at this week’s Qualifying School Final. The impressive new short game academy and upgraded driving range opened just last month and has provided players at this week’s event with the perfect set up to fine tune every aspect of their game. Winner David Dixon, who shot a total of 21-under-par for his six rounds, said: “The driving range is excellent and the short game practice area is as good, if not better, than any other venue on The European Tour.” The new complex includes a 2,000 square-metre putting green and chipping area, with five bunkers each containing different sand types (Augusta, St Andrews, Hawaii volcanic, PGA Catalunya Stadium Course sand bunker and Pebble Beach). The area also includes a PGA Catalunya Tour Course grass bunker for practicing. The driving range has also been upgraded with a new private tee for groups, target greens, bunkers and distance markers. The new upgrades feature four greens with different grasses – bermuda, bent, Paspalum and poa. “PGA Catalunya Resort is a fantastic place with tremendous facilities,” added Dixon. “As a player you would rather not have to come to the Qualifying School at the end of the year as it means you haven’t played well enough during the season, but when it is held at a place like PGA Catalunya Resort it’s hard not to enjoy it. The hotel is great and provides the perfect setting to relax during a pretty tough week with the six rounds, while the practice facilities are first-class and with all the real estate development going on it will be even more impressive.” Mike Stewart, European Tour Director of the Qualifying School, said: “We have come to expect excellence from PGA Catalunya Resort, and we were not disappointed this year with both courses again presented to us in immaculate condition. There was not a single dissenting voice among the players, who all agreed that the greens were among the very best they have played on this year. The new practice facilities were also a very welcome addition, and complemented what was already a first-class golfing resort.” Both PGA Catalunya Resort’s acclaimed Stadium and Tour Courses are used for the finale of Q School, with the Stadium Course hosting the final two rounds, providing a fitting stage for the high drama and rollercoaster of emotions provoked by Q School, where dreams can be made or dashed in an instant. Dixon continued: “The two courses are both excellent and are kept in very good condition. The location of the place makes it very appealing. It’s great to have the option of going into a lovely town nearby – Girona – or an amazing city slightly further afield – Barcelona.” Originally built by the European Tour to host the Ryder Cup, the Stadium Course opened in 1999 and has hosted the Sarazan World Open, two Spanish Opens and Q School Final for the past four years.