Q&A with Jack Nicklaus Academy Director of Instruction Ricardo Jiménez

Part I

One of the things that we’re most proud of at Finca Cortesin is our Jack Nicklaus Golf Academy. With the golf course and club still shut, we took the chance to sit down with our director of instruction, Ricardo Jimenez Eliaeson, to unearth a few secrets about his life in golf and coaching.

Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us. Firstly, can you give us an insight into your family background, who inspired you to follow a career in golf and how you got into coaching?

I was born in Stockholm in Sweden but moved to Spain when I was three years old and have been here ever since.

I started to play golf in 1986 at Torrequebrada Golf Club and, believe it or not, my first teacher was Miguel Angel Jiménez. I owe so much to the Jiménez family and without their support in my youth, I would never have played golf.  I did all kind of sports growing up but, when I tried golf, I was hooked immediately.  From the very beginning, I understood that I could never master this fantastic game and that I was not playing against other players but that I was playing against the golf course, and I think that was one of the best lessons I have  received from Miguel Angel Jimenez.

When did you know you first had a thing for golf?

This is one of those questions that is very difficult to answer but, in my case, I always knew that I could be a very competitive player because I love competition. I consider myself a very good competitor but, having said that, it’s one thing to play against amateurs and quite another to play against professionals. I remember one tournament when I hit two drives in a row to rough on the left-hand side.   In both situations, my ball was deep in trouble and I had to use my sand wedge to leave myself exactly 100 metres to the flag. In both distance wedges approaches I left my ball next to the pin, that is when I knew I could become a much better player.

Being director of instruction at a Jack Nicklaus Academy, how does this association help in your coaching and your student’s development?

I have always been fortunate enough to be surrounded by great teachers. Many of them were more technical teachers while some were more ‘feeling’ teachers and others were more mental teachers.  I have also been fortunate to have seen all the best teachers over the last 20 years and, together, they gave me a pretty good understanding of the whole picture.

Golf is not about instruction; it is about teaching people. If you teach people, you can help them to improve their games but if you keep teaching instruction, it will be very difficult to get good players and the best of their games.  We are all different; we are built differently, we think differently, we understand differently, we learn differently so, therefore, we have to adapt to our students.  Nicklaus Academies help me to deliver a more comprehensive and easier message to players. In general, coaches make golf too complicated and use terminology that doesn’t help, so I consider myself more like a skilled developer coach.  If a student can improve their skills around their game, then I think they will be happier because they will feel that they can perform much better. That is my passion, to make them better.

What’s the greatest joy you get from teaching golf?

You probably will not believe it  but the greatest joy I get from teaching  is when you can get players striking the ball like the Tour players (with this, I mean the proper sound of the club hitting the ball and then the turf) and then turning around to me,  with a big smile on their face, and telling me “What a shot”. 

What’s the one thing you’d like to teach your kids about golf that will help them through life?

I believe golf is like life, a long path with a lot of obstacles in the journey.  You are going to fall down plenty of times and you have to learn to stand up and keep walking. Do it step by step, grind, be resilient and enjoy the journey because that is when you are going to learn about you and your game/life.

Tell us a story about your last non-golf adventure.

Since I was 20, I always had the dream of going on holiday to the Black Forest in southern Germany.  Last year, knowing that my kids were getting older, we planned the trip to the Black Forest and the Austrian Alps so we could spend 10 days traveling in a car and living together.   It was a fantastic experience that I highly recommend to anyone. It was fantastic to be able to spend some quality time with my wife and children, and we fell in love with the Black Forest and the Austrian landscapes. 

Visit Jack Nicklaus Academy at Finca Cortesin for more details.

Cómo preparar…

CÓCTEL JAZMINE por Daniele Maroni, Head Bar Tender and Drinks & Cocktail Manager at Finca Cortesin.

Jazmine, es una de las bebidas más populares en el Blue Bar en Finca Cortesin. Se hizo muy popular en el verano de 2019, porque es un cóctel fresco y afrutado, tiene una buena energía y también está bien equilibrado.

“Desde pequeño solía recoger las frambuesas en el jardín de mi casa en el norte de Italia, esta es una de las razones por las que las amo. Soy un gran admirador de los licores premium de alta calidad y sabores frescos y naturales “, cuenta Daniele.


Gaugin Classic40 ml
Saint Germain25 ml
Puré de maracuyá20 ml
Zumo de Limon30 ml
Jarabe de Azúcar10 ml
2 frambuesas


                Agite bien todos los ingredientes en una coctelera y cuele dos veces en una copa de cóctel. Si no tienes una coctelera, puedes mezclarla en una jarra, revolverla bien y servirla con hielo.

                ¡Disfruta de la práctica, saludos!

How to prepare…

JAZMINE COCKTAIL by Daniele Maroni, Head Bar Tender and Drinks & Cocktail Manager at Finca Cortesin.

Jazmine, is one of the signatures drinks at the Blue Bar at Finca Cortesin. It became really popular in Summer 2019, because it is a fresh and fruity cocktail, has a good energy and also it is well balanced.

“Since I was young I use to pick up the raspberries in the garden of my house in the north of Italy, this is one of the reasons why I love them. I am a big fan of high quality premium spirits and fresh and natural flavors.” Says Daniele.


Gaugin Classic40 ml
Saint Germain25 ml
Passion Fruit Puree20 ml
Lemon Juice30 ml
Sugar Syrup10 ml
2 raspberries


               Shake well all the ingredients in a shaker and double strain it in a cocktail glass. If you don’t have a shaker,  you can mix them in a jug stir it well and serve it with ice. 

               Enjoy the practice, cheers!

Q&A with Finca Cortesin Golf Club Course Manager Ignacio Soto

It’s been busy few years for Finca Cortesin and one of the biggest changes we’ve made has seen us convert our greens to a new, more environmentally-friendly type of Bermuda grass. Taking the decision to become the first venue in Spain to undergo such a process was not one that was taken lightly but the rewards have been clear for all to see.

With Covid-19 having brought play to a temporary halt, we took the opportunity to catch up with the man who led the project, head greenkeeper and course manager Ignacio Soto, to get his thoughts on the work that has taken place and how the changes in working practices are helping to benefit the environment.

Can you give us an outline on the changes that you’ve made over the last three years?
Ignacio Soto: We have introduced many new practices to make the golf course more environmentally sustainable and to improve the player experience. Growing new grasses on the greens has resulted in a reduction in the amount of pesticides that we use, a reduction in water usage and has allowed us to use 100 per cent organic fertiliser.

Have there been any obstacles that you’ve encountered with the transformation process?
IS: The only obstacle that we’ve faced has been time… unfortunately you cannot do that transformation in 24 hours. It takes time to convert greens and other areas with grasses that are more environmentally friendly. A few years later, we’re now experiencing better quality and increased resource efficiency. This has allowed us to invest time and effort into improving other areas of the course.

How exactly did agronomy services change at the resort e.g. use of fertiliser, watering, type of grass used?
IS: All parts of the resort’s agronomy practice are now linked to each other. The right grass species need less water which, in turn, requires less pesticide and less pesticide produces better grass coverage which needs less fertiliser … and so on.

What feedback have you received on the new playing surfaces?
IS: The response that we’ve received has been very positive, and we receive numerous compliments regarding the playing surfaces daily.

What were the main motives for making the changes?
IS: It was important to make this change as the climate in the south of Spain is ideal for this type of grass and we realised that it was going to benefit the environment and improve the quality of the playing surfaces. At Finca Cortesin, we are determined to be at the forefront of sustainable golf resorts and are the first golf course in the area with this type of grass, and we are sure other golf courses will eventually follow.

In light of the current situation caused by Covid-19, how will the course be affected? Following Government-issued advice from the Ministry of Health regarding Covid-19 and for the health and safety of our members, guests and staff, our golf course is currently closed. However, the maintenance team continues to work hard to ensure the course is the best it’s ever been when golfers return. We are able to use the time to carryout essential work on the greens, while also giving attention to landscaping – including the planting of more native flowers, enhancing native areas and further improving the lake on hole 4. The golf course is looking beautiful and we can’t wait to welcome back golfers as soon as possible.

Watch the process of our greens renovation project in 2017

Welcome to Finca Cortesin’s Blog

Dear Guests, Dear Friends, Dear Travelers,

We do hope you and your loved ones are well, healthy and staying safe. We are thinking of you, looking forward to having the pleasure of welcoming you again soon at our estate!

We have had a lot of enquiries, questions and comments from your side in these unpredictable times and we want to let you know that your safety and well-being is the top priority for us right now. Our team & associates are determined to deliver and maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene and we offer additional preventative measures, especially with regard to our extensive cleaning & hygiene protocols. We are following Government’s measures and indications in order to prepare our resort for a new reality.

Our main goals have always been sophistication, exclusivity and privacy, hence the architecture, design and interiors of Finca Cortesin give every area a big, bright and spacious feel. We are indeed prepared for the future. 

You are invited to visit our journal every now and then to discover what our dedicated team has been working on over the past months. We can’t wait to welcome you back in our haven of peace. Dream now! Travel soon!

Meanwhile, let’s indulge in heartwarming and stress-reducing virtual experiences. Follow our social media channels for our recently installed online yoga classes, Lutz Bösing & Daniele Maroni’s wonderful recipes and much more.

Best wishes & stay healthy.


Javier Rivadulla, Director of Sales & Marketing and Rene Zimmer, General Manager