Foto de Thomas Ward: https://www.pexels.com/es-es/foto/foto-de-primer-plano-de-una-pelota-de-golf-2828723/
Your trusted Marbella real estate agent and property specialist on the Golden Mile.
Golf on the Costa del Sol ….
22nd November 2023
By Michael Dolan
Golf can be traced back to the 15th century (if not before). It originated from a game played on the eastern coast of Scotland, in which players would attempt to hit a pebble, over sand dunes and around tracks, using a bent stick or club. Several hundred years later and it is the global phenomenon we now know.
Probably second only to its legendary beaches, the Costa del Sol is world famous for its golfing. It attracts enthusiasts from all over the world. With good reason, 300 days plus a year of sunshine, fantastic views and over 70 courses.
Starting at the eastern end of the Costa del Sol (Torre del Mar) and working westerly towards the world-renowned Sotogrande clubs, including Valderrama and Real Club de Golf, Sotogrande; and the only links course in southern Europe, La Hacienda Golf Resort; here are just a small selection of what is available in the area.
Baviera Golf Club
Located east of Malaga, the Baviera Golf course, just half a kilometre away from the marina and beaches of Caleta de Vélez, is ideal for all handicaps. It boasts views of both the sea and the mountains and offers a variety of holes and obstacles.
Miguel Ángel Jiménez Golf Academy
Opened in 2013, the academy was personally developed by Miguel Angel Jimenez and his team. It is located just 5 mins from the Malaga International airport, in the municipality of Torremolinos. It combines a golf school, a par 3 course and a pitch and putt. A great environment for any golfer.
Located in the heart of Axarquia, Andalucia and designed by Jose Maria Canizares. The par-72, 18-hole golf course is part of the Añoreta Resort, consisting of a hotel, restaurant, and golf academy. It offers a fun, challenging round of golf.
The fairways are wide, dotted with palms and have a view of the Mediterranean. The greens have been newly sown with Bermuda 419 grass which makes for a fast, unbeatable game.
Cabopino Golf Marbella
Located midway between Marbella and Fuengirola, inland from the beaches of Calahonda and Cabopino, you will find the 18-hole Cabopino golf course. It boasts convenient parking and readily available golf buggies, manual and electric carts. As well as a driving range, golf lessons, a pro-shop, and both a cafe and restaurant.
Aloha Golf Club, Marbella
Aloha Golf hosted the Spanish Open twice, in 2016 and 2019; the PGA Tour three times, between 2007 and 2012. It is a Par 72, parkland course with 4 par 5’s, 10 par 4’s, and 4 tough par 3’s, and some speedy greens. Views of the Mediterranean and La Concha make this a memorable course all year round.
The social club is also very popular, with fitness classes and regular meetings of the bridge club. In addition, there is a pool, massage, restaurant, and pro-shop.
Marbella Club Golf Resort
Part of the Marbella Club Hotel, the Marbella Club Golf resort 18-hole course was designed by Dave Thomas. Guests of the hotel, plus any staying at the Puente Romano Beach Resort Marbella, are offered one free green fee per person, to use during their stay, with a shuttle service available. Note, there is a required handicap. (Ladies 36, Men 28.)
Attached to the golf club is the equestrian centre, which is home to the Spanish Show Jumping Championship, and offers horseback riding excursions and competition training.
Marbella Golf Country Club
Situated 30 minutes’ drive from Malaga airport and 5 minutes from Marbella Old Town, right in the very heart of the Costa del Sol, the Marbella Golf Country Club, 18-hole course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr, in the late 1980s. Even if golfing isn’t your thing, the El Olivo Restaurant, with 5-star service, panoramic views of the golf course and the Mediterranean Sea, is well worth a visit.
Magna Golf Marbella
A 9-hole, par 29 course, based inland, midway between Nueva Andalusia and San Pedro del Alcantara. Suitable for both beginners and high handicap players, where the designer José María Elguezábal has managed to combine the easy and the difficult, creating a golf course for all levels of play.
Magna Golf in Marbella has a putting green, practice court, driving range and pro-shop. In addition, players can use the new Top Tracer training system at no additional cost.
Río Real Golf Marbella
Located just 5 mins from Marbella city centre. The legendary boutique hotel and golf club, opened in 1965, was one of the first on the Costa del Sol. The Rio Real course was designed by Javier Arana, considered by some to be the best Spanish designer of all time, the hotel decoration was done by famous interior designer Pascua Ortega, and has a classic Andalusian feel.
Stunning views, a relaxed vibe, and fabulous food, all make this a great place for a golfer’s dream holiday.
Santa Clara Golf Marbella
Situated close to Marbella centre, this 18-hole golf course has challenging fairways, a great clubhouse restaurant, full equipment rental facilities, and a chance to improve your game with lessons from the club pros.
Santa Maria Golf Club, Marbella
An 18-hole golf course set right in the heart of the Costa del Sol, in Elviria, amongst a leafy pine and cork oak forest. As well as the golf, it has a real country club vibe, with an impressive 19th century Andalusian farmhouse serving as the clubhouse, plus tennis, bowling, and a restaurant.
Real Club de Golf Guadalmina
Situated in the Guadalmina Alta Urbanization, the Real Club de Golf Guadalmina was opened in 1959. In 1965 it hosted the Spanish Championship, later it went on to host the European Tour Qualifying School in both 1995 and 1996, the Spanish PGA Championship in 1998, and the Ladies Championship of Spain in 2014. In 2008, His Majesty the King of Spain awarded Guadalmina with the Royal Appointment.
It has two courses, North and South, a pitch and putt, and a driving range. The club is also home to a golf school that runs adult and junior classes, both padel tennis and bridge clubs, and a restaurant that serves breakfast and snacks, as well as delicious dinner meals.
Atalaya Golf and Country Club
Atalaya Golf and Country Club has two 18-hole courses to choose from. The original course opened in 1968 and was designed by golf course architect Bernard Vom Limburger. Set in the hills above the old one, the new course designed by Paul Krings and opened in 1990, presents an intriguing test of golf.
Atalaya welcomes visitors, and the shade provided by some dense tree cover, in certain areas, is a plus for any not used to playing in the Spanish sun, especially during the hotter months.
Estepona Golf offers particularly good value green fees, temporary memberships, a wide selection of golfing sets available to rent, and a welcoming atmosphere. Making this an ideal choice for visitors to the Costa del Sol. Alongside the 18-hole course, there is a clubhouse, restaurant, and pro-shop.
El Campanario Golf and Country House
A 9-hole, Manuel Piñeiro-designed golf course, has in addition a Mediterranean restaurant, open to the general public; a five-star spa and wellness centre, both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, gym, tennis and padel courts, and a kids’ club.
El Paraiso Golf Club
Designed by golfing legend Gary Player, in 1973. The setting and layout of the 18-hole PGA championship course at El Paraiso has always made it a very popular venue for visiting golfers, and regular members.
The par 71 course is made up of two 9-hole loops, and measures just under 5,000 metres. It recently saw the redesign of 7 new greens, ensuring optimal playability and strategic challenges for golfers of all skill levels.
Valle Romano Golf & Resort
The Valle Romano Golf Course, in Estepona, has an 18-hole tournament course, designed to USGA standards by American architect and golf course designer Cabell B Robinson, and is complete with a golf academy and floodlit practice range. Valle Romano also has a clubhouse with a restaurant and pro-shop.
It is part of one of the most top-quality residential complexes on the Costa del Sol – the Valle Romano Urbanization totals 122 hectares and comprises standalone villas, apartments, and penthouses, and was chosen by Forbes magazine as one of the 10 best residential developments for sale in Spain.
Los Flamingos Golf Club
The Los Flamingos Golf Club is part of the Villa Padierna Anantara Palace Hotel, an exclusive country club and luxurious spa. It is a 71-par, 18-hole course, which hosted the European Seniors between 2002 and 2004, and the Women’s Spanish Open in 2010. It was designed by golf architect Antonio García Garrido.
Azata Golf, Estepona
Located in Estepona, in front of the new hospital, Azata is a Par 71, 18-hole golf course. Though not very long, it is a fairly technical course and will require strategic thinking and precision to play. Stunning views of the sea and the mountains, plus a great clubhouse offering sunrise breakfasts and twilight dinners, make this a fabulous day out for any level of golfer.
Casares Costa Golf
A 9-hole course, running through a naturally occurring valley, surrounded by fruit trees and vineyards. It has one par 5, five par 4 and three par 3 holes, making it an interesting and challenging course, with reasonable fees for both temporary and permanent members, that has become a popular choice for Costa del Sol golfers.
Club de Golf Finca Cortesin
As host of the Solheim Cup in 2023, and three times host of the Volvo World Match Play Championship, Finca Cortesin is proud of its ecological standards. In 2023 it was GEO Certified, showing its commitment to environmentally friendly sustainability standards, and was awarded the Acosol Seal of Quality, for efficient golf course irrigation.
A beautiful 18-hole course, part of a 5-star luxury resort and spa complex, including hotel, restaurants, beach club, exclusive shopping area, and a Nicklaus Golf Academy, overseen by Mike Malaska, 2011 PGA of America, National Teacher of the Year.
La Duquesa Golf Country Club
Situated in the municipality of Manilva, in the Malaga province, the La Duquesa is another Robert Trent Sr designed course and displays his well-known traits of raised putting surfaces and challenging greenside bunkers, with cheaper green fees than others in the area. There is quite a walk between some of the shots, so a buggy may be required.
Almenara Golf, Sotogrande
The Almenara Golf club of Sotogrande is located next to Los Alcornocales natural park. There are three 9-hole circuits, the Lagos course, the Alcornoques course and the Pinos course. All three courses were originally designed by British designer Dave Thomas; and recently remodelled by legendary golfer Manuel Piñero.
Sotogrande is easily accessible by three different international airports. Gibraltar is approximately a 20-minute drive away, and both Malaga and Jerez, about an hour by car.
La Reserva Club Golf Course, Sotogrande
The 18-hole championship course was designed in 2003 by Cabell B. Robinson. La Reserva Golf is just a part of this exclusive club, which also boasts a beach club, with sports lagoon and pool, tennis and padel, apartments, golf villas, a gated community, and a choice of dining experiences.
Real Club de Golf Sotogrande
Opened in 1964, this course was the centrepiece of the entire original Sotogrande urbanization. Designed by the legendary golf course architect Trent Jones and chosen by him to feature as one of his top five courses (out of 500), it was also the first he conceived in Europe. Home to the Spanish Open Championship in 1966, a round on this course is very well balanced, with players able to choose between a difficult par or an easy bogey on at least 4 holes.
There are around 100 bunkers, with two thirds placed around greens, meaning players need to show accuracy when attacking the pins. The vegetation bordering the greens include pines, palm trees and cork oaks.
Don Julia Golf Club
Situated in the municipality of Casares, the Don Julia Golf club boasts panoramic views of Ronda and the Sierra Bermeja mountains. 18-holes, a clubhouse, restaurant, and pro-shop, provide everything a golfer could need. Designed by eminent Spanish golfer Antonio Garrido, who with partner Severiano Ballesteros, became the first two non-British players to represent Europe in the Ryder Cup.
Real Club Valderrama, Sotogrande.
The championship golf course of Valderrama was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr in 1974 and is located in Sotogrande. Since 1989, it has regularly been included among the Top 100 Golf courses in the world.
It has been the venue for several major golf tournaments including the Ryder cup, the World Golf Championships and the PGA European tour, the Volvo Masters. In 2023 it will host a LIV Golf League tournament.
San Roque Golf Club (The San Roque Club)
Opened in 1991, the original course was conceived by Dave Thomas. The San Roque golf club is set within 340 acres of land, sited between Jerez and Marbella, at the foothills of Sierra Bermeja. The newer 18-hole course, designed by Perry Dye and Seve Ballesteros, opened in 2003, and is a perfect contrast to the first one, however both are suitable for low and high handicap players - with both courses hosting the Spanish Open.
La Hacienda Links Golf Course
Located in one of the most privileged corners of the Costa del Sol, offering views of the Mediterranean, Gibraltar and Africa, La Hacienda Links Resort is an exclusive golf club with two outstanding 18-hole options – the Links Course, the only links course in southern Europe, and the Heathland course.
(Links courses are generally built on sandy coastland, typical of the coastland of Scotland where the first and oldest golf course was built, St Andrews. It offers a firmer playing surface than parkland and heathland courses. Usually characterised by sand dunes, an undulating surface, few, or no trees.)
And if Golfing is not your thing……
Aside from the golf courses, there are many riding schools, gyms, yoga, and Pilates studios, and both football and tennis academies, up and down the Costa del Sol. Racquet sports are a huge favourite in Spain.
Especially paddle tennis, known simply as pádel in Spanish, with several racket and pádel clubs available in the area (Manolo Santana, Club El Mirador, Aloha Tennis, Puente Romano Tennis, Real Club Padel Marbella, to name just a few in the Marbella municipality).
“Golf is a good walk spoiled.”
(Fun fact: The quote which is frequently incorrectly attributed to both Mark Twain and Churchill -actually came from a book published in 1905 by Leon Wilson.)
There are miles of walks that you can take along the seaside paseos; and inland you will find plenty of nature trails, perfect for both walking and cycling. But, if you want something a little more challenging, Marbella is home to La Concha, the highest mountain in the area. Further out, but still in the Malaga province, is the jaw-dropping El Caminito del Rey.
Or you could just do nothing ….
Anyone who has immigrated to the Costa del Sol, will tell you the way of life here is incredibly relaxed. Especially in winter. Everything seems to move a little slower, there is no rush, you can simply sit back, relax, and soak up the atmosphere.
Property Sales in Marbella
Whether you are a golf enthusiast, a sports person, or someone who simply wants a relaxed way of life in the sun, Marbella and the surrounding areas are the perfect place to find a permanent residence, or a property where you can catch some winter sun.
Dolan Property are here to help. Based in the heart of Marbella’s Golden Mile, we specialise in high quality, desirable properties in prime residential locations; Nagüeles, Sierra Blanca, Cascada de Camoján, East and West Marbella, Istan Road, Nueva Andalucia, and the new Golden Mile in Estepona.
We understand that choosing a new home is a big step, and for those of you buying or selling a property in a foreign country, it can be very stressful. Our team of real estate experts provide a full ‘hands on’ service, we work in partnership with you (our client), your lawyer and any other professional advisers or consultants. Dolan Property is here to assist you through the whole process, every step of the way.
Dolan Property specialists are committed to the highest levels of business and ethical standards, and we are proud members of the Leading Property Agents of Spain (LPA).