The Marbella Golf Guide

Pia Arrieta
Pia Arrieta DM Properties
59 minutes to read

Marbella is blessed with a unique blend of attributes that have helped it become a world-renowned destination for both holidays and residential living. Its appeal is enhanced by the combination of extensive golden beaches, a deep and vibrant cultural heritage, and a strategic position that makes it an ideal gateway to other European centres. Two of these elements combine to elevate it over many of its peers, however: the climate, which sees an average of 320 days of sunshine per year; and an abundance of top-quality golf courses.

Los Naranjos Golf

 

In this guide, we will not only list the most popular courses in the Marbella region, but also take a closer look at the history of golf in Marbella, piecing together how it evolved to become a pivotal part of the city's identity. Each course has its own story, a unique layout, and a set of features that cater to golfers of all skill levels, which is what makes it such an exciting location for aficionados.

From the venerable clubs that have hosted generations of golfers to the newer courses pushing design boundaries, we'll examine what each has to offer. Expect to find information on course designers, the variety of holes, and the challenges they present. We'll also touch on the available amenities, like training facilities with professionals on hand for lessons, equipment rentals, and the all-important clubhouses, where golfers can relax and recount tales of their game over tasty food and better company.

By the end of this guide, you'll have a clear understanding of why Marbella and the region’s clubs are not just numerous but distinguished, and how the town’s commitment to this sport has helped secure its reputation as a premier golfing destination.

Marbella’s Golfing History

Tracing the history of golf in Marbella and the Costa del Sol region reveals a fascinating evolution, from relative obscurity to a world-famous golfing hotspot. In the early 20th century, it was not a well-known sport in Spain, despite its popularity in other areas of Europe. However, the seeds of change were sown as the Costa del Sol began to gain recognition for its favourable climate and scenic natural beauty​​.

The 1960s marked a significant turning point for golf in the region. With a boom in tourism, visionary developers took notice of the Costa del Sol's potential and started creating courses that would attract golfers not just from Spain, but from regions where the climate dictated play was on hold for half of the year, as rain or snow fell on sodden or frozen ground.

This era saw the birth of iconic courses like Valderrama Golf Club and Real Club de Golf Las Brisas. Their exceptional designs and conditions, along with hosting major tournaments, propelled the Costa del Sol onto the global golfing stage​​.

One pivotal development in Marbella town’s golfing history occurred in the 1980s when Robert Naify and partners envisioned building an exclusive members' club on what was once an olive tree plantation near Marbella town centre. The project, which came to fruition in November 1994 with the opening of the Marbella Golf Country Club, was designed by the renowned Robert Trent Jones Senior with the assistance of Mr. Cabell Robinson​​.

Over the years, the Costa del Sol has solidified its reputation as a top-tier destination for golf enthusiasts, hosting prestigious tournaments like the Andalucía Masters and the European Tour’s Spanish Open. The region has also been graced by golfing legends such as Sergio García, Miguel Ángel Jiménez, and Jon Rahm, who have showcased their skills on its courses​​.

Today, with over seventy clubs across the Malága region, the Costa del Sol's identity is deeply intertwined with golf, which serves as an economic cornerstone, supporting local communities through year-round golf tourism. The region offers a blend of luxury and passion for the sport, with many resorts and hotels catering specifically to players, combining accommodation, lessons, and immersive experiences for a memorable stay​​.

Thus, from its humble beginnings to its current status as a golfing mecca, Marbella and the Costa del Sol's history is a testament to the enduring spirit of the game and its integral role in the region's culture and economy.

Designers Who Shaped the Costa del Sol’s Golfing Landscape

The golf courses of the Costa del Sol bear the signature of some of the world's most distinguished course architects. A key figure is Robert Trent Jones, an American architect known for designing the legendary courses of Valderrama, Real Club de Sotogrande, Las Brisas, and Los Naranjos, among others. His influence on the Costa del Sol's golfing landscape is profound, setting a high standard for course quality and design​​.

Javier Arana, another pivotal designer, contributed his expertise to courses like Golf Río Real and Aloha Golf, which are known for their challenging doglegs and natural beauty. Revered ex-champion Gary Player has had the chance to create courses here, as has another ex-champion Severiano Ballasteros.

These architects, alongside others like Perry Dye, Dave Thomas, and Cabell B. Robinson, have shaped the Costa del Sol into a golfer's paradise. Their designs are complemented by the region's natural beauty and climate, making each course not just a sporting challenge but also a visual spectacle. The legacy of these designers is evident, with their courses continuing to offer memorable golfing experiences that attract players from all over the world.

Golf Course Guide

Golf Courses between Sotogrande and Estepona

Real Club de Golf Sotogrande

Real Club de Golf Sotogrande is not just a golf course but a destination that offers a memorable experience, combining the spirit of the game with the luxury and comfort of top-tier facilities. It is one of the founding stones of Southern Spain’s subsequent passion for golf and known at the time for innovations such as the first course in Europe to be seeded with Bermuda grass, as well as the first one to install automatic irrigation.

It’s one of the premier golf courses in the Costa del Sol, known not just for its challenging play but also for its beautiful setting and comprehensive facilities.

Built Year: 1964.

Designer: Robert Trent Jones Sr.

About
The Real Club de Golf Sotogrande, one of Robert Trent Jones Sr.’s favourite courses among his extensive portfolio of over 500 golf courses worldwide, opened its greens in 1964. This 6,492-meter course, with a par of 72, is renowned for its long tees, expansive fairways, and elevated greens. It seamlessly blends into the natural environment, offering both a challenge for experienced golfers and an enjoyable terrain for all levels. Situated a mere 150 meters from the Mediterranean, the course preserves the natural allure of the landscape it inhabits, enriched by a variety of vegetation that contributes to its distinctive charm and beauty.

Sotogrande Golf

Course
The Real Club de Golf Sotogrande, designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., is a par-72 course stretching over 6,492 meters. It is characterised by its spacious tees and broad fairways that lead to elevated greens, presenting a blend of challenge and beauty. A significant aspect of this course is its requirement for precision, underscored by the strategic placement of 69 bunkers out of a total of 100 around the greens. These bunkers necessitate accurate approach shots, adding an extra layer of complexity to the game.

The course's unique character is further defined by the diverse local vegetation, including cork oaks and pines. This natural tapestry not only enhances the course's aesthetic appeal but also contributes to a unique golfing experience, where nature and sport intertwine seamlessly.

A standout feature of the course is its embodiment of Trent Jones' 'risk-reward' design philosophy, particularly notable in holes 4 and 7 on the front nine, and 13 and 15 on the back nine. These holes offer golfers strategic choices, challenging them to weigh the risks and rewards of their shots. Players are faced with the decision of either pursuing a challenging par, which requires skill and precision, or settling for an easier bogey, offering a safer route but with a higher stroke count. This strategic element enriches the golfing experience, making each round both a physical and mental endeavour.

Facilities
Real Club de Golf Sotogrande provides extensive facilities to enhance the golfing experience. These include options for club and buggy hire, tennis and paddle courts, a gym, and a swimming pool. Golfers can also improve their game with available hand carts and Powakaddy hire. For those looking to refine their skills, professionals are on hand for lessons.

The Club House, designed by Luis Gutiérrez Soto in 1964, was restored by Pedro Riveiro Pita in 1999 and also features a meeting room for business needs, a bar for casual drinks, and a restaurant serving exquisite cuisine, rounding off the list of amenities that cater to various needs and preferences​​.

Almenara Golf Sotogrande

Almenara Golf Sotogrande is not just a golf course, but a destination that offers a memorable experience combining the spirit of golf with luxury and comfort. Its exquisite setting next to Los Alcornocales Natural Park ensures it is one of the most picturesque courses in Southern Spain, known for its challenging play and beautiful setting.

Built Year: 1998.

Designer: Created by Dave Thomas and recently remodelled by Manuel Piñero.

About
Almenara Golf Sotogrande, with its 27 holes divided into three 9-hole circuits, is a testament to thoughtful design and integration with the natural environment. The course, near Los Alcornocales Natural Park, boasts varied terrain and vegetation, adding to its beauty and challenge.

Course
Almenara Golf Sotogrande offers three distinctive 9-hole courses:

  • Lagos Course: Meaning ‘Lakes Course,’ this course is designed around two lakes, featuring wide fairways that meander through pine trees. The presence of water adds an extra layer of challenge and aesthetic appeal​​.
  • Alcornoques Course: True to its name, Alcornoques, meaning ‘Cork Oaks’ winds between the eponymous trees, presenting wide, undulating fairways. A significant lake accompanies players on holes 6, 7, and 8, adding to the course's challenge and charm​​.
  • Pinos Course: Offering a distinctive character, the Pinos (the Pines) course is marked by narrower fairways than Lagos and Alcornoques. It challenges golfers to make precise shots, culminating in a challenging par three that tests skill and strategy​​.

Each course at Almenara Golf Sotogrande is designed to provide a memorable and diverse golfing experience, ensuring that players of all levels find both enjoyment and challenge.

Facilities
For those wanting to stay or dine close to the club, luxurious accommodation is available at the SO / Sotogrande Resort & Spa. This elite hotel, renovated by the luxury and lifestyle brand Accor, offers exquisite gastronomic choices and access to exclusive facilities, including a spa, gym, and restaurants. Members also enjoy special conditions at these facilities, along with the inclusion of buggies in all memberships, ensuring a truly outstanding golf and lifestyle experience​.

Real Club Valderrama

Valderrama is one of the most venerable courses in the region. Known as the "Augusta of Europe," it combines the spirit of golf with luxury and comfort. It's one of the premier golf courses in the Costa del Sol, famous for its challenging play and stunning setting.

Valderrama Golf Course, aereal view

Built Year: 1974 (Originally known as Las Aves).

Designer: Robert Trent Jones Sr.

About
Real Club Valderrama, a masterpiece designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. in 1974, has been a touchstone in the world of European golf, consistently ranked as number 1 in the region. This Par 71 Championship Course, spanning 6418 meters, is not just challenging but also a symbol of golfing excellence, with its fairways and greens revered by top professionals and golf writers alike.

Originally known as Las Aves, the course underwent significant redesign and improvements under the guidance of Jaime Ortiz-Patiño in 1984, with Jones returning to refine his original layout. This enhancement cemented Valderrama's status as a premier golfing destination.

Valderrama has a rich history of hosting major golf tournaments, contributing to its global renown. It was the venue for the Volvo Masters from 1988 to 2009, a flagship tournament of the PGA European Tour. The course gained further prestige by hosting the 32nd Ryder Cup in 1997, a thrilling event where Europe emerged victorious. Moreover, in 1999 and 2000, Valderrama hosted the first two editions of the World Golf Championships – American Express Championship, won by Tiger Woods and Mike Weir.

 

In more recent years, the course has been the stage for the Andalucía Masters (Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters), one of the most prestigious tournaments on the European Tour, showcasing the enduring excellence and challenge that Valderrama offers to the world's best golfers​​.

Course
The course, with its 18 distinct holes, is characterised by meticulously maintained fairways and greens. Each hole presents its unique challenges, demanding skill and strategy from players. The course's layout and natural beauty, combined with its historical significance in the golfing world, make for an unparalleled golfing experience.

Facilities
Real Club Valderrama's facilities extend beyond its famous course, offering a blend of luxury and functionality. The clubhouse, a hub of tradition and elegance, provides a welcoming space for relaxation and socialising.

Golfers can find everything they need in the well-stocked Pro Shop, which features a wide range of golfing equipment and apparel. The club’s practice facilities are comprehensive, including a driving range, putting greens, and areas dedicated to short-game improvement.

Tiger Woods at Valderrama

For those looking to enhance their skills, the Golf Academy offers professional coaching using modern techniques. Culinary needs are well catered for with a variety of dining options, from casual to fine dining, focusing on quality and service. Additionally, Valderrama is equipped for event hosting, with facilities suitable for everything from corporate meetings to private gatherings, all set in a prestigious and elegant environment.

The San Roque Club

Located between Jerez and Marbella, The San Roque Club is a destination that offers a truly memorable golfing experience. Set in a stunning Andalucian landscape of lush hills and historic cork oak woods, it's known for its two championship golf courses in a tranquil, elegant environment. The club, which first opened in 1991, quickly became a favourite golf resort in Sotogrande​​​​, and remains so to this day.

Built Year: 1991.

Designer: The Old Course was designed by Dave Thomas. The New Course was designed by Perry Dye and Severiano Ballesteros.

About
The San Roque Club, once the home of the Domecq sherry family, features the Old Course, known for its historical significance, and the New Course, acclaimed for its challenging and contrasting design. The club has a rich history of hosting prestigious events, including the Ryder Cup teams in 1997, the European Tour qualifying school Finals, the Spanish Open in 2005 and 2006, and has been a stepping stone for many renowned golfers​​​​.

Course
The San Roque Club offers two distinct and challenging golf courses, each providing a unique golfing experience.

  • The Old Course: This legendary course is steeped in history, having hosted 15 consecutive European Tour Schools from 1993-2007 and the Spanish Open in 2005. Known for launching the careers of some of golf's greatest players, the Old Course has recently undergone a multi-million-euro renovation, elevating it to one of Europe's premier golf courses. Its layout and design require thoughtful play and precision, appealing to both seasoned golfers and those looking to play a course rich in golfing history​​.
  • The New Course: Designed by Perry Dye in collaboration with Severiano Ballesteros, the New Course presents a stunning and challenging layout. It asks questions of every aspect of a golfer's game and is distinguished by dramatic mountain and ocean vistas. This course offers a contrasting experience to the Old Course, with its unique design elements and natural beauty, ensuring a memorable and diverse golfing experience​​.

Both courses at The San Roque Club cater to a wide range of golfers, from professionals to amateurs, and are renowned for their beauty, challenge, and historical significance.

Facilities
The San Roque Club’s golfing experience is further enhanced with its extensive facilities. Its Golf Academy is a state-of-the-art teaching facility with PGA professionals, catering to all skill levels and offering team-building packages.

The newly refurbished Golf Shop provides a selection of top-quality golf equipment and attire, along with San Roque Club branded merchandise. Gastronomically, the club offers diverse dining options, featuring international and regional dishes made with fresh ingredients, available in various settings like the bar, terrace, or restaurant.

It also boasts luxurious accommodations at Villa 51 and the Royal Suite, offering opulent stays with stunning views and amenities, including a heated swimming pool and jacuzzi.

La Reserva Club Sotogrande

La Reserva Club Sotogrande combines the spirit of the game with luxury and comfort and is esteemed for its contemporary design and integration with the natural landscape. The 18-hole championship course, designed by Cabell B. Robinson in 2003, features wide fairways, large greens, and challenging undulations​​.

Built Year: 2003

Designer: Cabell B. Robinson

About
This course is a must-play in Southern Spain, offering a blend of natural beauty and golfing challenge, with sweeping fairways leading to large greens and diverse water features​​.

Course
La Reserva Sotogrande is a course that marries challenge and beauty, offering a unique experience to golfers of all skill levels.

Playing at La Reserva Sotogrande is an immersive experience. The course is meticulously maintained, featuring wide, rolling fairways that are both forgiving for the amateur and challenging for the experienced player. Each hole presents its own character, with strategically placed bunkers and water hazards that demand careful shot selection and precision. The greens are fast and well-contoured, providing a true test of putting skills.

The landscape of the course is a visual delight. Set against the backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea and surrounded by lush Andalucian flora, it offers stunning panoramic views at almost every turn. The course blends seamlessly with its natural environment, creating a tranquil atmosphere that allows players to fully engage with the game.

The course is known for its signature Hole 17, a challenging Par 4 with a lake running alongside the right-hand side of the hole up to the green. The play strategy involves driving the ball towards the bunkers on the left, with an option to flirt with the water for an easier second shot.

The 18th hole is also a highlight. A par 5, it offers a dramatic finish to the round with a risk-reward approach that can make or break a score. The clubhouse, a magnificent example of modern architecture, provides a luxurious space for relaxation and socialising after the game. It overlooks the course, offering a spectacular view of the 18th green.

Facilities
La Reserva Sotogrande stands out not just for its exceptional golf course, but also for its comprehensive range of facilities. The golf shop is fully stocked with the latest gear and apparel, staffed by knowledgeable experts ready to assist with golfer's needs. Culinary experiences are exquisite, offering everything from casual bites to upscale dining, all featuring a mix of local and international flavours.

A unique highlight is the inland beach club, which provides an exclusive setting with a lagoon-style pool, sun loungers, and a beach bar - perfect for relaxation. Additionally, golfers looking to improve their game can benefit from professional instruction provided by experienced golf pros, using the latest technology and teaching methods. Overall, La Reserva Sotogrande is a premier destination that combines luxury, leisure, and exceptional golfing experience.

Estepona Golf

Estepona Golf is a destination that embodies the essence of the sport and offers a challenge for golfers of all levels. It’s a course that is celebrated as one of the Costa del Sol's finest, renowned for its stunning setting and extensive amenities.

Built Year: 1975

Designer: José Luis López Martínez

About
Estepona Golf is one of José Luis López Martínez’s notable designs and is famed for its well-maintained tees, fairways, and greens. The course harmoniously blends with the natural landscape, providing a test for experienced golfers while being welcoming to novices. Situated amidst the picturesque backdrop of the Sierra Bermeja Mountain range, the course is adorned with a rich variety of flora, contributing to its unique aesthetic and playing experience.

Course
Estepona Golf offers a par of 72 across 5,800 meters of lush terrain, with a mix of par 3, 4, and 5 holes. The course's 18 holes offer varied challenges and distances for golfers​​.

Estepona Golf
Image courtesy of Estepona Golf

It's situated on an elevated area, giving it a hilly terrain, and is adorned with palm trees, olive trees, and eucalyptus, creating a park-like atmosphere. The course is also famous for its challenging yet beautiful 14th hole, which has the Sierra Bermeja Mountain range as a backdrop. Estepona Golf is renowned for its excellent service and value for money, and its 10th hole, a short Par 4, is notable for its challenging overwater shot to the green​​​​.

The course boasts 18 diverse holes that are accessible for all levels of play but still provide a fair challenge. Estepona Golf has an excellent reputation for its welcoming environment, ensuring a memorable experience both on and off the course​​.

Facilities
Estepona Golf provides an array of facilities to elevate the golfing experience. These include club and buggy rental, electric trolley hire, and a driving range. Golfers can also enhance their skills with lessons from professional coaches. Beyond golf, the club offers a pro-shop, a bar, and a restaurant that serves a variety of delightful dishes. These amenities cater to a wide range of needs and preferences, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable visit for all guests.

Finca Cortesín

Finca Cortesin, renowned for its championship golf course, is a symbol of golfing excellence and environmental stewardship. It beautifully merges the Mediterranean landscape with a challenging course design, and its reputation as a championship venue is solidified by hosting notable events like the Volvo World Match Play Championship and the prestigious Solheim Cup. This blend of high-profile competitive play and commitment to ecological responsibility sets Finca Cortesin apart, making it a unique and luxurious destination in the world of golf.

Built Year: 2007.

Designer: Cabell B. Robinson

About
Finca Cortesin, an 18-hole, par 72 championship course, is a masterpiece designed by Cabell Robinson, spanning over 7,000 metres with more than 100 strategically placed bunkers. It is renowned for its captivating landscape, natural environment, and the absence of property development in its vicinity. The course, a symbol of Robinson's architectural genius, harmoniously incorporates the natural character of the region, offering a superlative golfing experience. Hosting prestigious tournaments like the Volvo World Match Play Championship and the Solheim Cup in 2023, the course is a testament to its world-class stature and appeal.

Course
Finca Cortesin is renowned for its challenging and diverse layout. This course captivates golfers with a variety of demanding holes, each presenting a unique test of skill and strategy.

The par-3 holes, especially the 3rd and 13th, are highlights of the course. They are not only visually stunning, surrounded by natural landscapes and water hazards, but also demand precision and control. Golfers need to be particularly accurate with their tee shots to successfully land on the small, undulating greens.

In contrast, the par-5 holes, such as the 5th and 15th, offer a different kind of challenge. These holes are designed to tempt golfers into making riskier shots with the promise of potential rewards. Strategic placement of hazards requires thoughtful decision-making, whether to play it safe or go for the green.

The par-4s, and notably the opening 1st hole, are equally demanding. They require a combination of accuracy and strategic planning, with well-placed bunkers and guarded greens making them a true test of golfing skills.

Overall, Finca Cortesín is a masterful blend of tactical challenges and scenic beauty, making it a must-visit destination for golf enthusiasts seeking a varied and engaging golfing experience.

Facilities
Finca Cortesín stands out for its commitment to outstanding customer service and comprehensive amenities. The resort, boasting one of the world's top 50 hotels, ensures a seamless experience from arrival to departure. The golfing experience is enhanced by extensive practice facilities, including a driving range, golf academy, high-quality equipment like electric/manual trolleys, locker rooms, professional golf lessons, and a putting green. In addition, the course's greens underwent a significant upgrade in 2017, showcasing its dedication to environmental sustainability and superior golfing conditions.

Golf Courses between Estepona and Marbella

Villa Padierna

Nestled in the heart of the Costa del Sol, Villa Padierna offers an extraordinary golfing experience. With its three 18-hole golf courses - Flamingos Golf, Alferini Golf, and Tramores Golf - it stands out as a unique destination for golfers of all skill levels. This resort is a world apart from mainstream golfing destinations, blending into the natural scenery of the Costa del Sol and caressed by the Mediterranean breeze.

Courses
Villa Padierna boasts 54 holes across its three distinct courses. Each course offers a unique challenge:

  • Alferini Golf: Known for its championship pedigree hosting the European Seniors Match-Play Championships and the Spanish Women's Open on the Ladies European Tour, amongst others, Alferini is one the most popular among serious golfers, offering a balanced test of skills​​.
  • Flamingos Golf: A course that is as challenging as it is stunning, Alferini Golf embraces the natural topography and provides a delightful golfing experience​​.
  • Tramores Golf: A fun course that is fun and fast, perfect for honing your short game while still offering enjoyment and requiring precision​​.

Facilities
Villa Padierna is a hotel and golf resort that offers an exclusive sanctuary. Presenting a luxurious retreat with 125 exquisitely appointed rooms, suites, and villas, each accommodation choice is a blend of elegance and comfort, featuring views of beautifully landscaped gardens, lake, and picturesque mountains. The resort's extensive spa and wellness facilities add to the appeal, providing a haven for guests seeking relaxation and rejuvenation in a setting of unparalleled beauty​​​​​​.

Los Flamingos Golf

Villa Padierna offers a range of facilities specifically tailored for golfers. The resort is equipped with one of the most comprehensive driving ranges on the Costa del Sol, providing ample space and a designated short-game practice area. This facility caters to all golfers, from beginners to advanced players, and includes 17 outdoor hitting bays in a quiet and peaceful setting. On the day of play, guests have free access to the driving range before teeing off, along with unlimited range balls.

In addition to the driving range, Villa Padierna features a Pro Shop. The shop offers a hand-picked selection of clothing options and accessories from both established and niche apparel brands. Golfers can stock up on essentials for their game and receive expert advice from the dedicated team at the Pro Shop.

El Paraíso Golf Club

El Paraíso Golf Club is not just a golf course but a destination that offers a memorable experience, combining the spirit of the game with the luxury and comfort of top-tier facilities. It’s one of the most played golf courses on the Costa del Sol, known not only for its forgiving design but also for its beautiful setting and comprehensive facilities.

Built Year: 1973

Designer: Gary Player

About
El Paraíso Golf Club, established in 1973 and designed by the legendary Gary Player, is an embodiment of golfing excellence on the Costa del Sol. Player, known for designing over 400 courses globally, practised his philosophy of creating courses suitable for all levels of players at El Paraíso. This course is nestled in the picturesque Paraiso Valley and is recognised as one of Andalucía's best-designed golf courses.

El Paraiso Golf, Estepona

The story of El Paraíso is marked by its rich heritage and a community of members who share a love for the game. The Mols family, originally from Belgium, acquired the land in 1968, laying the foundation for what would become El Paraíso. Under various stewardships, including Alan James and Morgan Mostrup since 1984, and the crucial influence of Hugh Maloney of the Wimpey construction company, the club flourished. It hosted numerous competitions and offered memberships to homebuyers in the area, thereby enhancing its reputation.

A pivotal moment in the club's history was the members' buyout in 1996. The club, then majority-owned by Wimpey, was purchased by its members, making it one of the few member-owned golf courses in the region. This transition marked a new era where all profits were reinvested into the club and course improvements, ensuring the continual enhancement of facilities and the golfing experience​​.

Course
At El Paraíso Golf Club, the golfing experience is distinguished by its meticulously designed course, offering varied challenges across its 18 holes. This par 71 course, masterfully crafted by Gary Player, is spread over different lengths for white, yellow, and red tees, catering to players of varying abilities. The course layout demands strategic play, with several holes featuring water hazards and strategically placed bunkers that challenge golfers to hit precise shots.

Each hole on the course presents its own unique challenge. Players here encounter undulating fairways that demand careful club selection and approach strategies. The greens are known for their subtle slopes and contours, requiring a keen eye and a steady hand for successful putting. Additionally, the natural terrain of the Paraiso Valley plays a significant role, with its mature pine trees and natural water bodies adding both beauty and complexity to the game.

The course's signature holes are particularly memorable, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape, including glimpses of the Mediterranean Sea and the majestic La Concha mountain. These holes not only provide a visual treat but also evaluate the golfer's skill and adaptability.

Overall, playing at El Paraíso Golf Club is a balanced blend of challenge and enjoyment, appealing to golfers who appreciate both the technical aspects of the game and the natural beauty of their surroundings. Whether a seasoned pro or a casual player, each round at El Paraíso promises a fulfilling and memorable golfing experience.

Facilities
El Paraíso Golf Club provides extensive facilities to enhance the golfing experience. The clubhouse, originally made from country "casitas," boasts an intimate and friendly ambiance with high standards of comfort and quality. Facilities include areas for dining and drinks with stunning views, locker and shower facilities, manual and electric trolleys, electric buggies, and social areas for relaxation and sports viewing.

Atalaya Golf & Country Club

Atalaya Golf & Country Club, established in 1968, is renowned for being one of the oldest and most prestigious golf clubs on the Costa del Sol. The club's history began with the Old Course, designed by Bernhard von Limburger, his only creation in Spain among the 74 courses he designed throughout Europe. This was complemented in 1990 by the addition of the New Course, designed by Paul Krings.

Atalaya Golf & Country Club continues to invest in its facilities and courses, understanding the importance of evolving to maintain its status as a leading golfing destination. This commitment ensures that the club provides the best possible golfing experience for both members and visitors​​.

Built: 1968 (Old Course), 1990 (New Course).

Designer: Bernhard con Limburger (Old Course), Paul Krings (New Course).

Course
The Old Course at Atalaya Golf presents a traditional golfing experience with wide fairways and elevated greens, requiring strategic play and precision. On the other hand, the New Course offers a more contemporary challenge with undulating terrain and varied hole designs. Both courses are meticulously maintained and set against the backdrop of the stunning Spanish landscape, providing an immersive and enjoyable golfing experience.

Facilities
Throughout its history, Atalaya Golf & Country Club has consistently invested in both its courses and facilities. A notable update was made in 2017 with a major investment in the first hole of the Old Course, coupled with the construction of a new café and terrace, uniquely positioned with the first tee forming the roof of the café.

In 1998, the club established a substantial golf academy with a full-length practice hole, equipped with all necessary facilities for comprehensive golf training. This was followed by the addition of a fully equipped gymnasium in 2013 and a new outdoor terrace overlooking the Old Course. Keeping pace with modern needs, a multi-storey car park was added adjacent to the clubhouse in 2018, providing ample parking space and electric car charging points. The clubhouse and restaurant underwent a complete refurbishment in 2019, offering a refreshed and comfortable space for relaxation and dining.

Marbella Club Golf Resort, Benahavís

The Marbella Club Golf Resort, set in the splendour of the Benahavís hills, is a standout destination for golf enthusiasts. Renowned for its breathtaking views and challenging course, it's a jewel in the Costa del Sol’s golfing firmament. Built to accommodate guests of the Marbella Club and Puente Romano 5* hotels, it boasts a blend of grasses, design and computer-controlled irrigation that keep it in perfect condition for year-round play.

Built Year: 1999.

Designer: Dave Thomas.

About
Designed by the esteemed Dave Thomas, a former Ryder Cup player and architect of over 100 courses worldwide, the Marbella Club Golf Resort is known for its beautiful, contoured fairways and immaculate greens. It was opened in 1999 and is available to residents of the prestigious hotels located just 20 minutes away on the Golden Mile.

Course
The 18-hole course, extending over 6,000 meters, includes water features, demanding bunkers, and a mixture of Bermuda 419 grass on the fairways and tees, with a blend of grasses on the greens. The course is particularly noted for its three consecutive par 5s on the front nine, offering not only a rigorous test early in the round but also stunning views of the coastline, Gibraltar and Africa.
The seventh tee, the highest point on the course, offers panoramic views. The challenging par 73 course culminates in a dramatic 18th hole, one of many elevated tees, providing a memorable conclusion to the round.

Facilities
The resort's facilities include a driving range, chipping area, putting green, golf school, club rental, buggy and trolley rental (including electric), a bar, restaurant, pro shop, lockers, and Wi-Fi. The resort is also home to the Riding School, a prestigious equestrian centre that has hosted the Spanish Show Jumping Championships.

La Zagaleta Golf and Country Club

Renowned as one of the most prestigious urbanisations in Europe, La Zagaleta Golf and Country Club is laid out over the scenic hills of Benahavís, presenting a unique, exclusive golfing sanctuary. La Zagaleta offers not one, but two distinct championship golf courses, each with its own character and challenges, reserved exclusively for members and their guests. Embraced by the natural beauty of the Andalucian countryside, these courses are a testament to the luxury and privacy that define La Zagaleta.

La Zagaleta golf course

Built: 1991 (Old Course), 2007 (New Course).

Designer: Bradford Benz (Old Course), Steve Marnoch (New Course).

About
La Zagaleta's Old Course, designed by Bradford Benz and opened in 1991, is renowned for its integration with the natural landscape, offering a peaceful yet challenging round. The New Course, conceived by Steve Marnoch and introduced in 2007, complements its predecessor with a different style that challenges golfers with its strategic design and breathtaking views.

Course

  • Old Course: This 18-hole course is known for its traditional layout, blending seamlessly with the surrounding hills and forests. It features Bermuda grass fairways and Bentgrass greens, providing excellent playing conditions. The course's signature hole, a par 4 with a stunning view of the Mediterranean, is both a challenge and a visual delight.
  • New Course: The New Course offers a more modern golfing experience. Its layout takes advantage of the varied terrain, incorporating elevation changes and natural water features. The greens are known for their undulating surfaces, demanding precision and skill. The course's standout hole is a dramatic par 3, with an elevated tee shot over a natural ravine.

Facilities
Both courses benefit from outstanding facilities. The clubhouse for the Old Course, in particular, has a rich history, as it was formerly the opulent lodge of a hunting estate that previously occupied the site. Both clubhouses with have their own distinct atmosphere, each offering dining options, lounges, and terraces with panoramic views.

The club provides a state-of-the-art practice area, golf academy, pro shop with the latest equipment and fashion, buggy and trolley rental, and luxurious locker rooms. Beyond golf, La Zagaleta is home to a variety of leisure activities, including a tennis and padel centre, an equestrian centre, and hiking trails, catering to the diverse interests of its members. There is even a helicopter landing area for those who want to arrive in style.

Real Club de Golf Guadalmina

Since its inception in 1959, Real Club de Golf Guadalmina has been a prestigious golfing venue, hosting significant tournaments like the Spanish Championship and PGA Professionals. Located between Marbella and Estepona on the Costa del Sol, the club offers tranquil and picturesque settings with pine and jacaranda trees lining its wide fairways.

About
Real Club de Golf Guadalmina has a rich history dating back to 1933 when Norberto Goizueta discovered Guadalmina. The club initially started as agricultural land before transitioning to golf. The Guadalmina South course, designed by Javier Arana, was completed in 1959, known for its challenging lay-out. The North course, designed by Folco Nardi, was added in 1973, featuring abundant water hazards. The club also offers a 9-hole pitch and putt course, completed in 1989.

Guadalmina has hosted numerous prestigious events, including the European Tour Qualifying School, the Spanish PGA Championship, and the Ladies Spanish Open. The club has also been recognised by His Majesty with the Royal Appointment in 2008.

Course
At Real Club de Golf Guadalmina, each hole offers its unique challenge and beauty, but there are a few that stand out as truly exceptional. One such hole is the par-4 8th, a masterpiece of design that requires both strategy and skill. The tee shot here is crucial; players must carefully navigate a narrow fairway flanked by imposing trees and strategic bunkers. The approach shot to the green is equally demanding, with water hazards lurking close by. This hole is not just a test of golfing ability but also a mental challenge, demanding focus and precision.

Another highlight is the par-3 15th, known for its breathtaking beauty and technical difficulty. This hole features a dramatic tee shot over a water hazard, with the green located invitingly yet deceptively in the distance. The surrounding scenery adds to the allure, with the tranquil water and lush greenery creating a serene yet challenging golfing environment. Playing this hole is an experience in itself, offering a blend of aesthetic pleasure and golfing challenge that epitomises the essence of Guadalmina.

These standout holes, with their unique blend of natural beauty and golfing challenge, are emblematic of what makes Real Club de Golf Guadalmina special. They offer not just a game but a chance to challenge yourself and test your skills against the backdrop of some of the most stunning landscapes in Spain. As golfers navigate these and other holes on the course, they find themselves immersed in a journey that is as rewarding as it is challenging.

Facilities
The club offers comprehensive facilities, including a driving range, practice areas, and a renowned golf school led by a team of highly qualified professionals. The school has produced champions at various levels and is a point of pride for the club.

Golf courses in Marbella’s ‘Golf Valley’

The so-called ‘Golf Valley’ in Marbella is a renowned area affectionately nicknamed as such by locals due to its abundance of high-quality golf courses. This nickname reflects the area's dense concentration of golfing facilities, making it a prime destination for enthusiasts. Additionally, its strategic location close to exclusive Puerto Banus, historic Marbella, and gastronomic haven Benahavís enhances its appeal, offering a mix of sport, luxury, and cultural experiences. The most celebrated courses here include La Quinta Golf and Country Club, Real Club de Golf Las Brisas, Los Naranjos Golf Club, Aloha Golf Club and Magna Marbella.

Read on to find out more about each of these prestigious courses.

La Quinta Golf Resort

La Quinta Golf and Country Club is located in the heart of the renowned Golf Valley of Marbella in Benahavís. This prestigious club was born out of a collaboration between the Spanish professional golfer Manuel Piñero and property developer Enrique Pérez Flores. It was designed to offer a unique golfing experience while embracing the natural beauty of its surroundings. The club's inception was part of a larger movement that saw the Costa del Sol region transform into a world-class golfing destination, attracting enthusiasts from around the globe.

The golf course at La Quinta is particularly distinguished by its three 9-hole courses, named San Pedro, Ronda, and Guadaiza, after local landmarks. This 27-hole configuration allows for a diverse golfing experience, catering to players of various skill levels and preferences.

Over the years, La Quinta has been the venue for significant golfing events, including the Benahavís Senior Masters, part of the European Senior Tour, which further raised its profile on the international stage.

Built Year: 1989.

Designer: Manuel Piñero.

Courses

  • Course A - San Pedro: Features 9 holes spanning 2,690 yards, characterised by large open areas with wide fairways, encouraging a more attacking strategy​​.
  • Course B - Ronda: This 9-hole course covers 2,673 yards and is known for its narrow fairways and technical greens, presenting a more challenging layout​​.
  • Course C - Guadaiza: Offers a par of 36 across 3,057 meters. While easier than Course B, it presents its own challenges with numerous slopes and a few doglegs​​​​.

Facilities
Alongside its acclaimed golf course, La Quinta Golf and Country Club expanded to include a range of luxury amenities, such as a boutique hotel, a state-of-the-art spa, and exclusive residential properties. These developments have not only enhanced the club's offerings but have also played a pivotal role in shaping the upscale lifestyle that the region of Benahavís is known for today.

Real Club de Golf Las Brisas

Real Club de Golf Las Brisas is an eminent golf club located in the Golf Valley of Marbella, known for its exceptional terrain and exclusive atmosphere. Established in the 1960s, Las Brisas stands out for its meticulous integration of the course with the natural environment, creating a harmonious blend of challenging golf and stunning scenery. The club has been a key player in establishing the Costa del Sol as a world-class golfing destination, attracting both national and international golfers to its grounds.

Las Brisas Golf
Las Brisas Golf - Charly Simon Photo

Real Club de Golf Las Brisas has hosted numerous prestigious tournaments, contributing to its reputation as a top-tier golfing venue. These events have included the World Cup of Golf and the Spanish Open, highlighting the course's quality and the club's ability to host events of international significance.

Built Year: 1968.

Designer: Robert Trent Jones Sr.

Course
The course at Las Brisas is distinguished by several notable features and holes. One of the most remarkable aspects is its extensive use of water hazards, which come into play on more than half of the holes, demanding precision and strategic thinking from the golfer. For instance, the 1st hole, a par 4, immediately introduces a water hazard that requires a thoughtful approach to navigate. Another standout hole is the 12th, a challenging par 3 surrounded by water, making accuracy paramount.

Jones's design also incorporates an array of mature trees and exotic plants, including palm, orange, olive, and cypress trees, which not only add to the course's beauty but also present additional obstacles for players. The 5th hole, a par 5, is renowned for its scenic beauty, lined with flowering shrubs and trees. The course's signature hole, the par-4 14th, features a daunting tee shot over a lake, followed by an approach to an elevated green guarded by bunkers.

Facilities
Real Club de Golf Las Brisas also offers a range of high-quality facilities, including a stylish clubhouse that reflects Andalusian architecture, a well-stocked pro shop, and dining facilities that provide a gastronomic experience complementing the golfing experience. The club is known for its exclusive atmosphere and attention to detail, providing members and guests with a luxurious and comfortable environment.

Los Naranjos Golf Club

Los Naranjos Golf Club is a prominent golfing destination located in the heart of Marbella's Golf Valley. Opened in 1977, this club is a creation of the renowned course designer Robert Trent Jones Sr., known for his skill in designing courses that are both challenging and visually appealing. Los Naranjos is a testament to Jones's philosophy of creating courses that offer a fair test to golfers of all levels.

Los Naranjos Golf

Built Year: 1977.

Designer: Robert Trent Jones Sr.

Course
The course at Los Naranjos is a par-72, 18-hole layout, recognised for its wide fairways and large, undulating greens. A distinctive feature of the course is its adaptability to different skill levels, offering various tee positions. Notable holes include the 5th, a challenging par 5 where water comes into play, and the 18th, a memorable finishing hole with a risk-reward element. The course is also known for its superb conditioning and the beautiful orange trees (naranjos) that dot the landscape, adding to its charm and challenge.

Los Naranjos has been the venue for several prestigious golf tournaments, including the Spanish Open, displaying its capability to host top-level golfing events. This has further enhanced its stature within the golfing community.

Facilities
The club's amenities complement its splendid course. Los Naranjos boasts a newly renovated clubhouse, offering a warm and inviting atmosphere. The clubhouse includes a well-equipped pro shop, a restaurant serving exquisite local and international cuisine, and a terrace with views of the 18th hole, perfect for post-game relaxation.

Aloha Golf Club

Aloha Golf Club is a prestigious and renowned course known for its challenging layout and luxurious setting. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Andalucian mountains, the course offers an immersive golf experience, combining the thrill of the game with the beauty of its natural surroundings.

Built Year: 1975.

Designer: Javier Arana.

About
The Aloha Golf Club was Javier Arana's final design, though he never saw its completion. Construction started in 1972, and the course opened in October 1975, after Arana's passing. The course is known for its narrow tree-lined fairways, various lakes and streams, and a total length of 6246 meters. Its design is celebrated for its blend of beauty and challenge, offering a varied landscape set amongst rolling hills. Recent renovations have rebuilt all eighteen greens with Bentgrass, enhancing the Arana influence and introducing more diversity in pin positions and playing strategies​​​​​​​​​​.

Aloha golf, Marbella

 

Course
With a total length of 6246 metres, Aloha Golf Club is one of the top clubs in Spain, hosting the PGA Tour three times, thanks to its intriguing blend of challenges. A parkland course of Par 72, it is laid out in the traditional way with 4 par 5′s, 10 par 4′s and 4 par 3′s’ distributed evenly between the two nines. The narrow, tree-lined fairways demand precision, while the presence of various lakes and streams adds to the complexity. The course's greens have been thoughtfully reconstructed to offer a better putting experience and a variety of playing strategies, staying true to Arana's design philosophy.

Facilities
Aloha Golf Club provides a wealth of facilities, including a state-of-the-art driving range, buggy service, a fully stocked pro shop, and a restaurant well-loved by locals for a delightful meal post-round. The club boasts an elite health club for personalised fitness, with options for Pilates, Yoga, and more. Additionally, it offers a sauna, relaxation room, and therapy treatment services. For those looking to improve their game, experienced PGA professionals are available for lessons. The club also features a spacious parking facility and an expansive outdoor pool near the first tee and practice greens​​.

Magna Marbella Golf

Magna Marbella Golf Club, set in the picturesque community of Nueva Andalucía, the so-called ‘Golf Valley' near Puerto Banús, offers a delightful golfing experience over its 9-hole course.

Built Year: 2004.

Designer: José María Elguezábal.

About
The Magna Marbella Golf Club, with its par-29 and nine holes ranging from 120 to 275 meters, has much to offer if you don’t want to go a full 18-holes. The course is adorned with water hazards and greens well-protected by bunkers, demanding precision and skill. The course's design is noted for its high quality, originality, and the ability to complete a round in under two hours, making it a favourite for players seeking both challenge and efficiency.

Course
The course's nine holes, each with their unique challenges, cater to experienced players while remaining enjoyable for those at lower levels. Its layout requires careful navigation through water hazards and strategically placed bunkers.

Facilities
Magna Marbella Golf Club offers a comprehensive range of facilities, including buggy and club hire, hand carts, a pro-shop, two putting greens, free parking, and a repair shop. The clubhouse amenities include changing rooms with showers and lockers, a sauna, a gym, and the ever-popular Magna Café Restaurant. The club's golf school features a practice course with 34 bays, 12 of which are covered, and uses modern technology for golf learning and swing improvement.

Golf Courses in East Marbella

Río Real Golf Club

Río Real Golf Club, located in the heart of the Marbella region on the outskirts of the town, offers a classic golfing experience with its scenic course that beautifully incorporates the natural surroundings. Famed for its mature tree-lined fairways and stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea, this club provides a unique and enjoyable challenge for golfers of all levels.

Built Year: 1965.

Designer: Javier Arana.

About
Designed by the legendary Javier Arana, considered one of Spain’s premier golf course architects, Río Real Golf Club opened in 1965 and has since been a benchmark of golfing excellence in Marbella. The course is known for its respectful integration with the natural environment, featuring a traditional design that flows along the Río Real river, culminating in a magnificent coastline stretch.

Rio Real Golf Marbella

Course
The course, a par 72 stretching over 6,000 meters, is characterised by wide, sweeping fairways flanked by towering trees and strategically placed bunkers. Each hole presents a distinct challenge, with the 4th hole, a stunning par 3, being a highlight for its beauty and difficulty. The front nine is particularly notable for their proximity to the sea, offering spectacular views and challenging plays, especially when the sea breeze comes into play.

The signature 3rd hole, a lengthy par 4, requires a precise drive followed by a challenging approach shot whilst completing the hole on the beachside green, embodying the technical and scenic aspects that make Río Real a memorable course.

Facilities
Río Real Golf Club's amenities are designed to provide a complete golfing experience. The club features a well-equipped pro shop, a driving range, putting and chipping greens, and a golf academy with experienced instructors. The elegant clubhouse includes a restaurant and bar offering exquisite dining with panoramic views of the course. Additionally, the club provides rental services for clubs, buggies, and electric trolleys.

The club is also known for its boutique hotel, offering luxury accommodation with direct access to the golf course, making it an ideal retreat for golf holidays.

Santa Clara Golf Marbella

Set in the pine-clad, gently undulating hills on the outskirts of Marbella, Santa Clara Golf is renowned for its well-maintained course that blends harmoniously with the natural environment. This club is a favourite among golfers for its friendly atmosphere, strategic layout, and exceptional views of the nearby Mediterranean Sea and surrounding mountains.

Built Year: 2001.

Designer: Enrique Canales Busquets.

About
Designed by Enrique Canales Busquets, Santa Clara Golf Marbella was inaugurated in 2001. It has quickly gained a reputation for its fairness and accessibility to players of all levels while still offering a challenging experience. The course is known for its wide, open fairways, gently rolling terrain, and well-placed hazards, which require thoughtful navigation.

Course
Santa Clara Golf Marbella presents an 18-hole, par 71 course that extends over 5,878 meters. The course layout is characterised by large greens, a variety of obstacles, and a series of water features that come into play on several holes. One of the most notable holes is the 8th, a challenging par 4 where accuracy off the tee is paramount due to a strategically placed water hazard.
The course is particularly recognised for its "Santa Clara Corner" formed by holes 12, 13, and 14, which are designed to be the most challenging sequence on the course, testing both skill and strategy.

Facilities
The club offers top-tier facilities, including a well-stocked pro shop, a driving range, putting and pitching greens, and a golf academy with advanced teaching technology. The clubhouse is a central feature, providing a welcoming atmosphere with a restaurant and bar that boast beautiful views of the course. Buggy and club rentals are available, and the course is known for its high standards of customer service.

Santa Clara Golf Marbella also hosts various tournaments and events throughout the year, catering to both competitive and casual golfers.

Marbella Golf and Country Club

Marbella Golf & Country Club, situated in the heart of East Marbella, is an exceptional golf destination known for its challenging course and stunning Mediterranean views. This club, surrounded by rolling hills and natural beauty, offers a distinctive and memorable golfing experience.

Built: 1994.

Designer: Robert Trent Jones Sr.

About
Designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones Sr., Marbella Golf & Country Club was established in 1994 and has since become a symbol of golfing excellence in the region. The course is celebrated for its challenging layout, featuring undulating fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and large, contoured greens. The design takes full advantage of the natural terrain, offering a stimulating round for golfers of all skill levels.

Course
The 18-hole course, a par 72 stretching over 6,000 meters, is characterised by its varied and challenging holes. Each hole presents a different test, requiring precise shot-making and strategic thinking. Notable is the 13th hole, a demanding par 5, where accuracy is key due to the surrounding water hazards.

The course's signature feature is its remarkable elevation changes, providing both a physical challenge and spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea. The back nine are particularly scenic, winding through native vegetation and offering panoramic vistas.

Facilities
Marbella Golf & Country Club is equipped with first-rate facilities, including a spacious clubhouse with an elegant restaurant and bar, offering fine dining with a view. The club provides a driving range, putting green, and a golf academy with professional instructors. A well-stocked pro shop offering the opportunity to buy memorabilia.

In addition to golf, the club hosts various social events and tournaments, fostering a vibrant community atmosphere. The club also offers buggy, trolley, and club rental services.

Greenlife Golf

Greenlife Golf Marbella is found in the picturesque area of Elviria Hills. Known for its beautiful surroundings, this boutique 9 hole golf course provides an intimate and enjoyable golfing experience, perfect for improving your short game or enjoying a relaxed round.

Built: 1995.

Designer: Pedro Morán Montero.

About
Designed by the acclaimed Pedro Morán Montero and opened in 1995, Greenlife Golf Marbella is a reliably high-quality course in the Marbella golfing scene. The course is renowned for its excellent condition and the thoughtful integration of natural features, offering a wonderful setting for golfers. Its layout is particularly suited for beginners and those looking to hone their short game, yet it still provides enough of a challenge to keep more experienced golfers engaged.

Course
Greenlife Golf Marbella features a 9-hole, par 3 course that spans over 1,142 meters. Each hole presents a unique challenge, with strategically placed bunkers and water hazards that test accuracy and skill. The course is known for its well-maintained greens and fairways, ensuring a pleasant playing experience. The signature hole is a beautiful par 3, where the green is elegantly framed by a lake and carefully positioned bunkers.

This course is ideal for a quick round or for those looking to improve their approach shots and short game skills.

Facilities
The club boasts excellent facilities, including a driving range and a well-equipped golf academy offering individual and group lessons for all skill levels. The clubhouse is a welcoming space with a pro shop stocking a selection of golfing equipment and apparel. One of the highlights is the club’s restaurant, El Lago, which is renowned for its gastronomy and stunning views over the course and the surrounding hills. El Lago has managed to retain the Michelin Star first awarded to chef Fernando Villasclaras in 2005.

Additionally, Greenlife Golf Marbella is part of a larger leisure complex, which includes tennis courts, a fitness centre, and a spa, making it a great destination for a comprehensive sports and relaxation experience.

Santa María Golf Club

Santa María Golf Club Marbella can be found in the beautiful Elviria region east of Marbella. Renowned for its exquisitely maintained fairways and greens, this club is celebrated for its exceptional golfing experience, set amidst the picturesque landscape of the Costa del Sol.

Built: 1991.

Designer: Antonio García Garrido (original first 9 holes).

About
The original 9 holes were crafted by the esteemed architect Antonio García Garrido with the club inaugurated in 1991. The second 9 holes were subsequently designed by the club’s technical team, opening in 1997. The course is acclaimed for its graceful design that harmoniously blends with the local flora, including lush pine and oak woodlands. It has gained popularity among golf enthusiasts for its challenging yet engaging holes, and its commitment to environmental conservation.

Course
Spanning over 5,600 meters, this par 72, 18-hole course is characterised by its diverse layout that appeals to golfers at all levels. The front nine feature undulating terrain demanding strategic play, while the back nine offer wider fairways but introduce larger greens and water hazards. Highlight holes include the 7th and 11th, with the 7th offering a stunning vista of the Mediterranean.
The course is distinguished by its captivating unspoilt scenery with little encroaching construction, while also providing sweeping views of the surrounding mountains and coast, which adds to the allure of playing here.

Facilities
Santa María Golf Club is equipped with comprehensive facilities. Its clubhouse, a beautiful example of Andalucian architecture that was originally an 19th-century finca, includes a well-stocked pro shop, a welcoming restaurant, and a bar with an inviting terrace overlooking the course. The club's amenities extend to a driving range, a putting green, and golf coaching from experienced professionals. Besides golf, there are tennis courts and a bowling green, catering to a variety of recreational pursuits.

The club is also known for its dynamic community life, hosting several tournaments and social events, creating a lively and inclusive atmosphere for members and guests alike.

Cabopino Golf Marbella

Situated near the picturesque marina of Cabopino, this is a captivating golf destination known for its stunning sea views and engaging course layout. With its combination of natural beauty and challenging holes, Cabopino Golf offers a memorable golfing experience on the Costa del Sol.

Built: 2001.

Designer: Juan Ligués Creus.

About
Designed by Juan Ligués Creus, Cabopino Golf Marbella was inaugurated in 2001. It quickly gained acclaim for its innovative design that makes the most of the natural landscape, including the area's rolling hills and native vegetation, such as Mediterranean pines and cork oaks. The course is appreciated for its blend of playability and challenge, offering an enjoyable round for golfers of varying skill levels.

Course
This 18-hole, par 71 course stretches over 5,170 meters and is known for its variety, with each hole presenting a unique challenge. The course's composition includes a mix of three par-3s, two par-5s, and the rest as par-4s, providing a varied and engaging golfing experience. The 14th hole stands out as the lengthiest, stretching 456 meters as a par 5. This hole is distinguished by its expansive, rolling green, which is strategically guarded by lakes both in the front and at the back, presenting a compelling challenge to golfers.

The course's crown jewel is the 3rd hole, universally acclaimed as one of the most picturesque on the Costa del Sol. It's a par 4 with a tee positioned high above, leading to a green encircled by sand traps, situated at an impressive elevation of about 80 meters. This hole not only tests golfing skills but also offers a stunning visual experience.

Equally noteworthy are the 13th and 15th holes, both par-3s, where water hazards add an extra layer of challenge. The 10th hole is another highlight, offering expansive views of the Mediterranean, adding to the aesthetic pleasure of the game.

Facilities
Cabopino Golf Marbella boasts a range of top-notch facilities. The clubhouse offers a welcoming atmosphere with the El Mirador restaurant and bar that provide panoramic views of the course and sea. The club features a well-equipped pro shop, a driving range, putting green, and offers golf lessons with professional instructors. Additionally, club, buggy, and trolley rentals are available.
The club is also known for hosting various tournaments and events, striving to make it a welcoming environment for both members and visitors.

Pia Arrieta, 08 Feb 2024 - Lifestyle

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