With more golf courses “per head” than any other European country, it’s clear to see why Spain’s southern coast was nicknamed The Costa del Golf many years ago.
From world championship Valderrama in Sotogrande, to the five star Finca Cortesin, linked to the Finca Cortesin resort nearby, here are some of the top courses to tee off at on the western stretch of the Costa del Sol. (Tip: If you’re flying in, and have a choice of airports, Gibraltar is closer than Malaga and any timeshare resort in Estepona would be just a short drive away from all of these courses).
Valderrama Golf Club:
Valderrama is still the most famous course in Spain – it was the first continental European course to host the Ryder Cup Matches, thirteen years ago, in 2002. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jnr, this really superb course offers plenty of variety and scenic moments as it winds through a forest in the Andalucian countryside. Fairways are tight and the greens are small, and one of this course’s highlights is most definitely the par-5 fourth, “La Cascada,” with a cascading waterfall.
Finca Cortesin Golf Resort:
One of the newest golf clubs, set in the same “estate” as the elegantly modern resort of Finca Cortesin, it was designed by golf genius Cabell B. Robinson. Nestling along mountainsides and fringed by thick bushes, there are number of long holes – including five par 5s which require plenty of thinking, making this a challenge for any golfer.
The Old Course at San Roque Club:
Positioned close to the marina at Sotogrande, this is a great course if you’re spending a golf-sailing holiday in this part of Spain. It’s one of Spain’s most renowned courses, thanks its top-rate facilities and very well respected in the golf community here. The picturesque Old Course is set amid foothills, with views out to the Sierra Bermeja mountains and the Mediterranean. Host to the 2006 Spanish Open, this is a typical Dye family design and features steep grades and plenty of bunkers.
La Reserva Golf Club:
Another of Spain’s more recently designed golf courses, La Reserva is based in Sotogrande, and sits inside a gated community on the hillside. Designed by Cabell Robinson, this course offers some wide fairways and downhill tee shots, while the luxurious country house style clubhouse overlooks the course and is a wonderful spot for a long summer lunch.
Almanara Golf Resort:
If you are looking for on-site golf and accommodation, then look no further. The 27-hole Almanara lies close to the coast between Sotogrande and Valderrama and has plenty of water, which golfers can enjoy while taking in some spectacular views.
Real Golf Club de Sotogrande:
This members-only club, designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr, offers limited public play on weekdays, and is extremely exclusive, but is definitely worth seeking out – it is still considered as one of Europe’s finest courses and has a long royal legacy.