La Cala host the Alps Tour Q-School over the next seven daysSeven Irishmen will battle some testing putting surfaces when the first stage of the Alps Tour Qualifying School gets underway at La Cala Resort in Spain on Thursday.

Former footballer Stephen Grant, the Island’s David Rawluk and his amateur clubmate Brendan Walton as well as Ulsterman David Leathem (a South Alabama University graduate) will tee it up on the America Course at the Marbella venue with Mike Kelly on the Asia track.

Gary Walsh and Newlands amateur Andrew Hogan will play the Europa course as a total of 173 players bid to qualify for next week’s 54-hole Final Stage.

Judging by some of the photos tweeted by players this week, not all the greens are in pristine condition, which will make life that little bit harder for these budding tour players.

Ireland had a successful 2012 season on the Alps Tour as Lurgan’s Gareth Shaw topped the Order of Merit while Ballyliffin’s Brendan McCarroll finished seventh following two wins and three top-five finishes.