Just a selection of some of the top golf courses to play on the Costa del Sol. The Costa Del Sol region in Spain stretches from Malaga down towards Sotogrande and is bursting with golfing possibilities. With over 60 golf courses in the area and guaranteed sun for over 300+ days a year, it is one of the best golf destinations in Europe. In fact, Costa Del Sol is part of the region, Andalucia, which won the 2017 IAGTO Award for Best Golf Destination in Europe so you will be sure to find quality golf in this area.
REAL CLUB DE GOLF SOTOGRANDE
Located in Sotogrande on the edges of the Costa Del Sol region, the Real Club de Golf Sotogrande is rated as the 2nd Best Course in Spain and has 18-holes of Championship golf whilst being metres from the Mediterranean Sea. It has hosted multiple European Tour and Amateur events with winners at the golf club including Jose Maria Olazabal & Seve Ballesteros as well as providing the venue for players such as Justin Rose and Ian Poulter to gain their tour cards.
The course itself was Robert Trent Jones’s first design in Europe and still remains one of his best as he utilised the natural pine & eucalyptus trees as well as strategically positioned bunkers and water hazards around the greens to create a stern test for even the most experienced golfer.
VALDERRAMA GOLF CLUB
Designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. the Valderrama Golf Club is known as one of the best courses in Europe and is ranked the 3rd best course in Spain according to the Top 100 Golf Courses. It has hosted the 1997 Ryder Cup as well as the former Volvo Masters on the European Tour so golfers to play here will be following in the footsteps of world-class golfers, such as Tiger Woods.
The course itself is known to be notoriously difficult due to the abundance of trees lining the fairway but at less than 7000 yards from the Championship Tees, it’s certainly playable for all levels of golfers. Although, perhaps only the experienced golfers will be attempting to hit the famous 500 yard 17th in 2.
Finca Cortesin is ranked the 5th Best Course in Spain by Top 100 Golf Courses and it is easy to see why when it has hosted the Volvo World Matchplay Tournament for 3 years and has greens compared to Augusta National by Sergio Garcia. Like the other courses in the region, the Finca Cortesin features an undulating landscape with Mediterranean Sea Views but the key difference is the greens as the pace, condition and even-shape of them are clear tournament quality. This is at the top of the list to play and I’d certainly make the most of the complimentary practice balls before the round as having a good round around this course will be sure to stick in the memory.
LA CALA GOLF RESORT
The Only Resort with Three 18-hole courses on-site and two of which are in the Top 100 Courses in Spain, so La Cala Resort is certainly one of the favourite destinations in the Costa Del Sol Region.
Campo America: 6,572 yards, Par 72
The Campo America is known as the best of the three courses at La Cala for its picturesque landscape and unique layout with 5 Par 5s. The course features generally wide fairways but there is still plenty of opportunity for the undulating landscape to take your ball into one of the many bushes that surround the fairways should you be too wide off the tee.
Campo Asia: 6,480 yards, Par 72
The Campo Asia is perhaps the most undulating course at La Cala with particular pressure on the approach shots as they are narrow targets to hit, especially from an angled lie.
Campo Europa: 6,577 yards, Par 72
The Campo Europa is known as the easier of the 3 courses due to its’ flatter terrain and larger greens so this may be the course of choice for the standard golfer. However, there’s still plenty of challenges for the experienced golfer, as it is the longest course at La Cala including a Par 3 at over 250 yds from White tees.
REAL CLUB DE GOLF LAS BRISAS
Las Brisas is definitely the most picturesque course on the list with a tremendous display of fauna and flora, that’ll make you feel more in a beautiful garden than a golf course. This golf course is also in the top 10 courses in Spain so although it’s the most picturesque, it also one of the hardest courses on the list as at 7065 yds off Whites it is the 2nd longest course on the list and added to this there are 13 holes with water-in-play so a combination of your finest tee-green game will be required for a good score here.
SANTA CLARA GOLF CLUB MARBELLA
The Santa Clara Golf Club has an 18-hole, Par 71 course that suits golfers of all abilities due to there being large fairways and minimal rough so there’s no need for your best accuracy off the tee for this round. What will trouble golfers, however, are the particularly long par 3s with only 1 being under 180 yds from Whites as well as the “Santa Clara Corner” on holes 12, 13 & 14. The 12th can play a fairly straightforward par 4 downhill with the main danger coming from the direction of the wind. The 13th is then a 227 yd Par 3 with a lake running 20 yards short so you’ll be needing one of your finest shots to avoid dropping any shots here. The 14th is then a par 5 to conclude the “Santa Clara Corner” and at nearly 600 yards it plays as a true par 5 with minimal chance of hitting this green in two, so 3 regulation shots will have to do. Overall, golfers can make this challenge as difficult as they want this to be with the choice of 4 different tee positions as well as making use of the driving range so their game’s in top shape.
Located east of Estepona, in the Sotogrande area and on the edges of the Costa Del Sol Region, La Reserva is certainly one of the best courses in the area as ranked 15th Best Course in Spain by Top 100 Golf Courses and has hosted the NH Collection Open on the European Tour, featuring the likes of the BEEEEEF and Ryder Cup players Thomas Pieters and Andy Sullivan.
It is set high above the sea so offers exquisite views of the Mediterranean but also features large undulating fairways and greens. In fact the greens can be too easy to find that you might find you have a larger percentage of 3-putts than your usual round. The greens need to be this large though when the course measures 7,350 yards from the back and has a par 3 measuring 240 yards.
There are 36 holes of quality golf to play at Mijas Golf Club, with the Los Lagos course being the longest course on the list at 7148 yards from Whites, but contrary to the other courses in the Costa Del Sol Region it features softer slopes, and instead an array of bunkers and lakes to avoid. A particularly stand out hole will be the par 3 11th over water which features a ‘bridge ball’ to walk through on your way to the green. You’ll definite remember walking through this!
The other 18-hole course course at Mijas is called the Los Olivos and also plays as a Par 72 but with a greater stress on trees, as the name would suggest, and fewer lakes to avoid. Although, the Los Olivos also plays shorter, due to the abundance of trees the holes play slightly narrower and require greater accuracy with both tee shots and iron play so this course is certainly challenging even for the experienced golfers.
HOTEL GUADALMINA SPA & GOLF RESORT
Hotel Guadalmina is set in the ideal golf location with over 5 golf clubs within 20 minutes from the hotel as well as 45 holes on the resort and a driving range. It is the best destination on the list for convenience with a variety of golf courses and practice facilities available within walking distance of the resort.
Guadalmina South Course
The South course is ranked in the Top 50 Courses in Spain and is the more challenging of the two courses as accuracy is key due to many of the fairways being lined with ancient trees but at 6,650 yards from Whites it is still certainly manageable for the experienced golfer.
Guadalmina North Course
The North course is the slightly easier of the two courses due to it’s more open feel and shorter layout, however, there is still plenty of danger in the form of water hazards and an undulating landscape.
The El Chaparral course is the only course in the Costa Del Sol region which has 6 Par 5s, 6 Par 4s and 6 Par 3s so there is plenty of excitement to be had. It is also one of the tougher courses on the list as there are pine trees and hazards off every hole as well as undulating fairways acting as run-offs so you will be needing some of your most accurate driving and iron play to avoid losing any golf balls around here.
ALOHA GOLF CLUB
The Aloha Golf Club has hosted multiple professional tournaments including the Open de Andalucia on the European Tour in 2007, 2008 and 2012 with winners including Lee Westwood. The course itself is an 18-hole, Par 72 parkland course which follows a similar layout to the other courses with undulating fairways and greens and the La Concha mountain in the backdrop, but perhaps one of the key differences is the length of this course. At 6882 yds from Whites, it is one of the longest courses on the list but with fairly large greens and 4 tee positions, this course is still manageable for all golfers.
LOS NARANJOS GOLF CLUB
Los Naranjos Golf Club has 18-holes designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and like the name suggests “Naranjos” meaning “orange tree” there are plenty of orange trees around the course, but have no fear as these are strategically placed so there are still plenty of wide fairways to aim at.