Marbella is by far the most popular golf destination in Spain. You will be impressed by the golf courses that are found along the Costa del Sol. Get ready to hit the links at the many golf clubs and resorts.
1. Sotogrande Golf Club — Marbella
Sotogrande Golf Club, which opened in 1964, has become known as one of the finest courses in Europe. Both the 18 hole championship course, and the par-three links ‘Campo Corto’ were designed by the world famous architect Robert Trent Jones – his first foray into Europe. Ranked as one of the best courses in the 100 Greatest Courses in the World by the GolfWeb Editorial Staff, and ranked number 5 in Europe. Holes 7 and 12 have special relevance, as are considered two of the best holes in the World by GOLF MAGAZINE’s publishers.
It is an undeniable truth that the quality of a course is reflected in the calibre of the winners when a venue has occasion to host important tournaments. That being the case, RCG Sotogrande’s pedigree is nothing short of top-drawer. The first professional event to be played after Sotogrande’s inauguration was the 1966 Spanish Open won by Roberto de Vicenzo with 279 strokes; the clubhouse winner boards show Severiano Ballesteros made the same score twenty-one years later to win the Spanish PGA Championship.
The course is located in a perfectly natural surrounding and this very special design has matured beautifully over the years. The mature trees and natural vegetation that follow the wide luscious fairways enhance the beauty, which make this course a delight to play. The holes are varied with a good mixture of varying lengths and degrees of difficulty particularly where the water starts to encroach on the course. There is a virtual absence of rough, enabling the long hitters to open their shoulders but beware, the architect has strategically placed many bunkers and water hazards making Sotogrande a challenge for all levels of golfer.
For after golf the Club has an excellent Bar-Cafeteria service, with two large lounges, besides two terraces overlooking the Golf Course. It offers a Menu with a wide range of drinks, salads, combined dishes, sandwiches, which are very appropriate for golfers. On weekdays there are Daily Specials to satisfy the gourmet needs of our most demanding members.
Directions: On the N340 take the Sotogrande exit at km. 130 and follow the signs for ‘Club de Golf’.
2. Magna Marbella Golf is a new club set up in the mountains. The thing I loved most about the club is the driving range facility, which is a double-tiered wooden construction that has a great view of the sea. The range also allows you to play off the grass for your irons, and at the other end of the range they have a great little chipping green and bunkers to practice in.
The course itself is only nine holes, seven of them being only par 3, so its perfect for practicing your short game but isn’t particularly challenging.
There are also an abundance of golf lessons for all ages, check their website for more details.
3. Marbella Golf Club Resort
The golf resort at the Marbella Club must be one of the most beautiful in Europe, enjoying a location of unparalleled beauty with views of the Sierra, Gibraltar, the African coastline and the Mediterranean.
Designed by Dave Thomas, the 6,809 yard course is spectacularly scenic with water cascades, undulating fairways and rolling slopes. Although large greens they require precise shots and become a real challenge to the player. The front nine provides the unique experience of three consecutive par 5’s, which not only represent a severe test early in the round but also offer some of the most picturesque scenery on the golf course
4. Aloha Golf Club, Nueva Andalucia
Designed by one of Spains foremost architects, Javier Arana, the club is in the heart of Nueva Andalucia on the land that was once known as the ‘Finca del Angel’, just a few minutes from Puerto Banus.
It is an entertaining course which requires both hard-hitting and accuracy. With plenty of strategically placed hazards and some troublesome rough it will challenge even the most skilful of players from tee to green. The members of the club are very friendly and come from all nationalities.
It is operated as a private club but allows visitors to play at certain times. It is well worth a visit, but is probably best left to the serious golfer looking for a good challenge throughout the game at this primarily private club.
5. La Quinta Golf Academy
Founded in 1990 and headed by Manolo Piñero, the La Quinta Golf Academy offers golf lessons at all levels to both groups as well as individuals.
La Quinta Golf Academy offer personalised lessons adapted to the capacities of each pupil, with a staff of professionals supervised by three-times world champion Manolo Piñero.
They provide five-day courses, weekend coaching, together with private lessons throughout the week. They also provide year-round courses for beginners (players without an official handicap) and advanced courses (players with an official handicap).
You may also want to take advantage of their tailor-made courses for children, the elderly, families, groups of friends, likewise, private lessons to resolve specific problems in the playing of golf (slice, draw, hook, push, pull, fade…). Just tell them what you need and they will provide the solution.
6. Villa Padierna, Los Famingos Golf Club
Its 18-hole, 5,906-metre, par-72 course, designed by the prestigious couse architect Antonio Garcia Garrido is characterised by its carefully conserved landscaping, with a large variety of trees and beautiful views of the Mediterranean, Africa and Gibralter. A special feature is the Arroyo del Taraje stream that passes through the course and ends in a lake that is a natural border for the course at the beginning of holes one and ten. The vegetation has been taken into consideration right down to the smallest detail and each hole is defined by its own trees. The most discerning golfer will find himself among cypresses, orange, olive and pine trees, carob, chestnut and pomegranate trees and many more.
The greens are generously sized whilst its fairways are somewhat narrower on the front nine, where more precision playing is required than on the back nine. The course is very enjoyable with a good mixture of both long and short holes. The par four 10th is the most challenging hole on the course. Water plays an important role at this hole, requiring an accurate tee shot to a particular area of the fairway to set up a chance of playing over the water to reach a huge undulating green.
It is worth noting that some of the tees are elevated to give unobstructed views of the greens but also to provide stunning panoramic views over the Mediterranean. There are also two artificial lakes that come into play on the 15th, 16th and 17th just as you thought you were home and dry!
Directions: Los Flamingos golf is situated 6km west of San Pedro de Alcantara near Canceleda. On the N340 take the exit road at km. 165 and you will see the entrance to the golf resort.
7. Las Brisas Golf Club, Nueva Andalucia
Las Brisas is one of the oldest and finest courses on the Costa del Sol with a sporting history that it is very pround of. Founded in 1968 by D. Jose Banus, it was designed by the renowned American, Robert Trent Jones, already considered one of the best golf course designers in the world. He had just finished building the golf course at Sotogrande and after Las Brisas, went on to design Los Naranjos and Valderrama.
The course includes numerous water obstacles; there are ten artificial lakes fed by two streams. The greens, the majority of which are raised, are amply protected by bunkers. The results of Robert Trent Jones’s efforts, which we continue to enjoy today, were truly notable and original, obtaining a difficult and attractive course.
To complement to the original design, the Englishman Gerald Huggan was commissioned by D. José Banús to design the landscaping and the course’s arboretum. Gerald Huggan, a great specialist in subtropical plants, had just returned from Kenya where he had designed the Nairobi gardens. The result is a place where are trees representing all the continents: species from Africa like the Cape Chestnut and the Spiny Acacias, the Indian Laurel and the Mysore Ficus from Asia, Chorisia Speciosa from America and the Green Ash from Mexico, and the Blackwood and the Whistling Pine from Australia, together with numerous species of palms and Mediterranean trees which coexist in great harmony, turning the course into a veritable botanic garden.
Numerous professional tournaments which have been hosted throughout the history of the club include two World Cups, three Spanish International Opens and the first ever Mediterranean Open. Nowadays, Las Brisas has around 1,350 members from 30 different nationalities, and its private status allow only very few visitors green fees each day.
The architecture of the clubhouse surprises visitors because of its elegance and its integration with the surroundings. The facilities, functional and cosy, are decorated in classic pastel tones. They hold every service you need; member area, lockers room, sauna, terrace-bar, restaurant and car park.