British firm developing course in Argentina

ARGENTINA (Golf Inc.) - One of Argentina’s golf stars plans to put his “signature” on a championship-length golf course that’s expected to take shape in the foothills of the Andes Mountains.

Eduardo “El Gato” Romero, who won the U.S. Senior Open in 2008, will co-design the 7,430-yard course, the featured attraction of Valle de Uco Golf, Wine & Country. The community is to take shape on 775 acres outside the town of Vista Flores, in west-central Argentina. Valle de Uco, a gated community, will be “one of the premier lifestyle destinations in Argentina,” according to its developers. It’ll consist of about 200 golf-view houses, a 60-room hotel, a spa with a wellness center, a tennis academy, a golf academy, an equestrian center and a polo field. Valle de Uco is being developed by Ready2Invest, a British firm whose motto is “Turning Knowledge into Wealth.”

The firm’s principals, Jonty and Alise Crossick, started their careers with English Teddy Bear Company but then moved into real estate investment. When properties in Great Britain got too expensive, they went abroad, into emerging vacation spots like Croatia, Bulgaria and Montenegro. Today they operate in 17 countries, as brokers, asset managers and developers. Ready2Invest bought the Valle de Uco property in 2008.

Due to its location – Vista Flores is 60 miles south of Mendoza, the center of Argentina’s wine region – the community will feature 200 acres’ worth of vineyards (the club intends to bottle its own wine), with 50 houses along the vineyards. Romero’s co-designer will be Jonathan Gaunt, a Bakewell, England-based architect who’s designed golf courses in Great Britain, Spain, and the Czech Republic. These days Gaunt is also designing a 27-hole golf complex for Peak Resort in Chesterfield, England and 18-hole courses for Park Hall Golf Resort in Mansfield, England and Tamuda Hills resort in Tetouan, Morocco. Ready2Invest has secured all the necessary approvals for Valle de Uco, and it hopes to start selling the community’s houses this summer.

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