Costa del Sol or “Coast of the Sun”, is one of Spain’s most popular tourist destinations, and Costa del Sol golf courses some of the best in Europe. Best known for its mild climate combined with hundreds of beautiful beaches, Costal del Sol is also world renown as a prime destination for the world’s most discerning golfers. There are over 50 world class golf courses, four of which are ranked in the top 10 in Europe,with stunning mountain and clifftop locations, offering spectacular views over the area’s varied landscapes, and down to the sea Some of the most prestigious courses located along this famous stretch of coastline include the highly rated Valderrama Golf Club, the San Roque Golf Club, and La Reserva.
Valderrama Golf Club
Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., Valderrama Golf Club was the venue for the 1997 Ryder Cup where Colin Montgomerie halved the final match with Scott Hoch to seal the European victory. One of the toughest golf challenges, Valderrama’s 4th hole par 5 finishes on a raised green next to a cascade of water traveling down to a green-side lake. The famous par 5 17th features a green with bunkers behind and slopes forward to a lake, a favorite among spectators while disliked among championship players. Ranked #43 on Golf Digest’s list of 100 Greatest Courses outside the US.
The San Roque Club
The San Roque Club Old Course, designed by Dave Thomas with bunkers redesigned by Seve Ballesteros, hosted the Spanish Open in 2004 & 2005. Tight sloping fairways are lined by mature cork trees demanding straight, accurate drives. Water hazards and strategic bunker placement require precise approach shots. Fast and contoured greens and stunning mountain views provide for an exhilarating round. Handicap limit for men 24.
La Reserva de Sotogrande
La Reserva de Sotogrande Golf Club opened for play in 2004 and was designed by notable American architect Cabell Robinson. At 7,350 yards this is the longest course on the Costa del Sol, and no doubt was built to handle today’ big hitters as well as with the idea of hosting a European PGA tour event. In addition to the back tees, there are two sets of men’s tees from which walking is quite manageable and a pair of forward tees. The views of the Mediterranean Sea are stunning.
Real Club de Golf Sotogrande
Real Club de Golf Sotogrande – Old Course opened in 1964 and is the first Robert Trent Jones Sr. design in Europe. Water hazards play an important role here coming into play on 8 holes. Typical of a Jones design, Sotogrande’s greens are large, slick, and well guarded by sand. The fairways are generously wide, however many are bordered by eucalyptus, olive, palm and pine trees, and there’s very little rough to contend with. From the tips, this challenging but very playable golf course measures6,879 yards. Handicap limit for men 24.
Finca Cortesin Golf Club
The Finca Cortesin Golf Club 18-hole Championship golf course, designed by Cabell Robinson of the Robert Trent Jones Group, is located near Casares between Marbella and Sotogrande. The course has views of the Mediterranean Sea and the African coastline from every angle. Par 72, the main features of this course is its wide fairways and stands of cork and olive trees and excellent, fast greens. Finca Cortesin hosted the 2009, 2011 & 2012 Volvo World Match Play Championships.
Almenara Golf Club
One of the newest courses on the Costa del Sol and designed by Dave Thomas, Almenara Golf Club is situated next to Valderrama and is located within the Sotogrande development. The course consists of 27 holes enabling you to play up to three different 18-hole configurations, all par 72. The course has fabulous views of the Almenara hills and is surrounded by pine and cork trees. The Almenara Hotel & Health Club also offers guests a practice green, driving range and first-class golf academy.
Marbella Golf & Country Club
Located just five minutes from the fashionable resort of Marbella, the Marbella Golf & Country Club course is located among the rolling countryside and is considered to be one of the finest championship courses in the area. The layout was designed to compliment the existing natural environment and provides a testing yet enjoyable game for all levels of golfers. Several lakes enhance the natural setting particularly on the back nine, bunkers are many and the rough can be rough. Each hole is unique and many provide fabulous views of the Mediterranean Sea.
Los Flamingos Golf Club
Designed by Antonio Garcia Garrido, former member of the 1979 European Ryder Cup team, the Los Flamingos Golf Club opened in 2001. This beautiful and beautifully-maintained course features a fairly tight front nine and a more open back nine. Bordering many of the holes are cypress, orange, olive, pine, carob and chestnut trees. A stream meanders through the property as well, ultimately emptying into a lake near the first and 10th holes. The course has a stunning landscape and views of the Mediterranean Sea, North Africa and Gibraltar.
The Aloha Golf Club
The Aloha Golf Club is located in the MarbellaGolfValley (Malaga), which has one of the highest concentrations of top-quality golf courses in Europe. The course was designed by Spanish golf designer Javier Arana, who also designed El Saler in Valencia and El Prat in Barcelona. The club has hosted the Spanish Open and the Andalucian Open.