9 of the Best Courses on the Costa del Sol
This week’s blog is a guide to nine of the best courses situated on the Costa del Sol. Whether you are looking for courses to base your next golf escape around or for inspiration for a golf break, look no further than one of these superb courses.
Santana is one of the newest golf courses on the Costa del Sol and has been constructed to a very high standard by Cabell Robinson. The course has been built on an avocado plantation and boasts the backdrop of the majestic Mijas Mountains. Despite the fact that this is one of the newest courses to have opened on the Costa del Sol, you wouldn’t know it as the course blends so beautifully into its surroundings – it could have been here for years and years.
The course is not the longest course in the area at just over 6,200 metres from the back tees, but it still poses a stern challenge to golfers of all abilities. There are many strategically placed bunkers and unusually-shaped, deep greens to contend with along your route around the course. There are also a few water carry-overs required as well.
One of the most special holes on the course is the par 5 4th which is an incredibly long and spectacular hole with sophisticated bunkering, a little stream which lies in wait for your errant shots and a treacherous sloping green. With its unique ground, stunning scenery and an impressive layout has meant that this course will be on many players’ itineraries in the coming years. Make sure that this course is one you look out for an opportunity to play; the course is situated between Mijas and Fuengirola where you can find an abundance of brilliant properties to base yourself.
Real Club Valderrama
Next up, we have Real Club Valderrama which has been home to many prestigious golfing tournaments including the Ryder Cup in 1997 and the World Golf Championships in 1999 to 2002. This club regularly ranks within the top 10 courses in Europe and it really isn’t hard to see why. The club is an elite private members club, but you can still play during the set tee times for outside players. The green fee is not cheap but if you can justify it, definitely take your chance to play this incredible golf course as you really will remember the experience forever.
The course is beautifully in tune with its surroundings and it is always in perfect condition as the course is never overplayed. The closing holes are considered to be the most difficult holes of the round but if you choose your tee option correctly, the whole course is playable for golfers of most abilities.
The 17th is particularly special and it boasts water situated just in front of the green. This special course is one that should be on every discerning golfer’s bucket list so make sure that when you can, you grab the opportunity to book a tee time here.
San Roque Old
A superbly challenging course; San Roque Old is a challenge for those of all abilities and boasts gently undulating, narrow fairways, large greens and many water hazards. The San Roque Club lies nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Bermeja Mountains and the Old course is set within a 340-acre estate where a luxury hotel and spa once sat. The course was designed by Dave Thomas and Tony Jacklin and opened for play in 1990. From the moment that the course opened, it has been regarded as a great test of golf, even for those with the lowest of handicaps. The course measures just under 6,500 metres from the back tees and has been the home to many professional tournaments in the past.
Although the course is considered to be undulating rather than hilly, there are some shocking elevation changes which mean that you must make your club selection correctly. The front nine of the course meander their way through mature forests of cork oak which means that your drive must be accurate to avoid the trees which are all lying in wait to catch any errant shots. There are new bunkers and water hazards which make it that bit more challenging. The back nine holes are less undulating but there are deep ravines and many bunkers lying in wait for errant shots.
On some courses, once you reach the greens, your work is pretty much over but on this course, the greens are superbly contoured, always fast and generous in size. This is another very special course and is close to Valderrama so you can plan a golf break around these superb golf courses.
Torrequebrada golf course was designed by Jose Gancedo and was actually one of his first designs back in the mid-70s. The course isn’t overly long at 6,400 yards from the back tees but do not let its length fool you into thinking that this course is an easy round of golf. The course hugs the contours of its hilly landscape and tests golfers of the lowest handicaps with strategically positioned water hazards, doglegged fairways and deep, greenside bunkers.
The fairways are all tree-lined and they rise and fall over the hilly terrain, twisting and dipping in all directions making this a fun, challenging and exciting round of golf for all players.
There are some particularly scenic and unusual holes situated along the course including the 7th which boasts an elevated tee, you must take the tee shot over a city street to a very narrow fairway. We would advise you not to use the driver as there is a lake guarding the hole which is tucked into the left corner.
Like many brilliant courses, the 18th is a superb finishing hole. It boasts a grand view from the tee which is situated to the left of the fairway at the top of a hill, from which you can see both the 18th and the 6th fairways, the clubhouse and the stunning mountain backdrop. The tee shot is across a ravine and if you miss the fairway you are in trouble as there are sharp slopes to the left and bunkers to the right. Your approach shot must also be accurate as you have the same steep hill to the left and a large bunker to the right – this hole can ruin many scorecards.
This course is definitely worth the green fee and is one that you should take a look at when you are planning your next golf escape to the Costa del Sol…
Chaparral Golf Club
Chaparral Golf Club is one of the most recognisable golf courses in the Costa del Sol. It is a superb parkland course situated just 700 metres from the beach and enclosed by a forest of pine trees. The course follows the beautiful coastline of Mijas Costa which is just a short drive from the centre of Malaga and each of the holes along the course boasts stunning sea views. It is no surprise that this course is one of the most requested courses and regularly ranks as one of the top courses in Spain due to its stunning layout and beautiful location.
The course boasts undulating fairways which meander through dense, tree-lined fairways, if you manage to successfully navigate your way through the trees, avoiding the strategically placed bunkers then you will reach big greens with big borrows!
One of the standout holes is the 477-metre long, 3rd hole which looks like a straightforward par-5 but it actually doglegs left and your tee shot must be placed down the right-hand side of the fairway in order to see what you must do for your second shot. The green is very long and narrow and there is a ditch which cuts diagonally across the fairway 100 metres from the green. This is a very special course and it is no surprise that is one of our most requested courses.
Next, we have the Marbella Club which is a very impressive and exclusive golf course situated just a few miles west of Marbella, nestled in the foothills of the mountains. The course opened in 1999 and was designed by Dave Thomas. One of the great things about this course is that the club only allows 75-80 players to play the course each day in order to keep it in good condition and to make sure that you can enjoy your round at your own pace. The course was designed to test golfers of all abilities with its strategically placed bunkers, well-manicured greens and sloping fairways.
The course measured just over 6,900 yards from the back tees and has a hefty par of 73 to match the course’s yardage. The two loops of nine holes are routed over hilly terrain and both return to the impressive clubhouse at the lowest points on the course. A round on Marbella Club is a great, exciting one and due to its location, you can find other brilliant golf courses and some superb resorts to base your golf break from.
Alcaidesa Links is one of the best links courses in Spain. The course was opened in 1990 and then remodelled in 1999 where its playability was improved, fairways were widened and some of the more severe undulations of the greens were ironed out. This undulating, cliff-top seaside course boasts stunning views over the Mediterranean, the Straits of Gibraltar and the Atlas Mountains in North Africa in the distance.
The course boasts a classic out-and-back routing, the first four holes head towards the shoreline and the mile-long beach, holes five to 14 play out along the coast where the wind will challenge you. The fairways then head back inland to finish the round in front of the clubhouse. If you are looking for an impressive course with stunning views, an interesting layout and one that poses a challenge to golfers of all abilities then look no further than Alcaidesa Links for your next golf break.
Finca Cortesin was designed by the world-famous architect, Cabell Robinson. The layout of this course is simply spectacular, it is a long one at 6,808 metres and boasts a variety of natural vegetation like olive trees and corks around the course. It opened for play in 2007 and has since built up a great reputation and the course has played host to European Tour events including the Volvo World Matchplay Championship.
The club boasts excellent practice facilities and a lovely clubhouse. In 2008, the five-star Finca Cortesin Hotel, Golf and Spa opened which is a perfect place for you to base your next golf escape from. Although a tee time at Finca Cortesin is not cheap, it is well worth it, and you will not be disappointed.
There are many great holes within the course but there are a few very special ones. The 3rd hole is a delightful par-5 which boasts a difficult approach shot over water. There is the 10th which is a long, downhill par-3 which has far-reaching views of the Estepona Mountains. This brilliant hole is followed by the 11th which is a double doglegged par-5 which is a stern test of golf and an exciting hole to play.
Last, but certainly not least, we have Rio Real which is one of the oldest courses in the area as it opened in 1965. This course is one of the coast’s most requested courses due to its superb condition, excellent value and very convenient location just north-east of Marbella. This is a delightful, walkable golf course as the terrain is just gently undulating.
The course has retained much of its original charm with its pine and palm tree-lined fairways, well-bunkered green sites and a few water hazards for you to contend with along the way. This is a very special course and boasts the great Rio Real Golf Hotel from which you can easily play this stunning course and those in the local area.
One of the most memorable holes along the course is the par-4 4th hole which doglegs left from the background sound of the traffic on the tee to the crashing of waves on the seafront. The green is located right on the coastline. You can find another long, par-4 at the 8th hole which is a brilliant hole that veers left from an elevated tee position and ends with a downhill approach to a very small green that is situated into the hillside.
We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that you will think about one, or hopefully more, of these courses next time you are booking a golf escape to the Costa del Sol. Make sure to give us a call to discuss these courses and the brilliant hotels in the area.
If you enjoyed this one, check out our 9 of Murcia’s Best Golf Courses blog!