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WHAT ARE THE BEST GOLF COURSES ON THE COSTA DEL SOL?

It is the stunning Costa del Sol where the idea of a golf holiday abroad for British golfers really took off. Now, this stretch of sunny southern Spain is home to some of the best courses in Europe and around the world.

The Costa del Sol is a dreamy destination, boasting more than 320 days of glorious sunshine each year and being set between rugged mountains and the Mediterranean Sea.

You can enjoy a golf trip to this picturesque part of Andalucía and relax on the golden beaches, explore vibrant Marbella, characterful Fuengirola or the sleepy fishing villages this part of Spain is renowned for.

There are more than 60 golf courses in the region, so it’s no surprise that it is known as the ‘Costa del Golf’. With so many choices, choosing which courses to play can be difficult.

In this guide, we look at the best golf courses on the Costa del Sol.
• Real Club Valderrama
• Los Naranjos Golf Club
• Finca Cortesin Golf Club
• Real Club de Golf Sotogrande
• La Reserva Club Sotogrande
• Real Club de Golf Las Brisas

Real Club Valderrama

Real Club Valderrama is often referred to as the ‘Augusta of Europe,’ and it lives up to its billing. It has hosted prestigious tournaments, including the iconic Ryder Cup.

Regarded by many as the best golf course in Spain, Real Club Valderrama was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr, the world-famous golf course architect, and it is known for being incredibly challenging and requiring strategic play.

Sarah Todhunter from The Social Golfer speaks about Real Club Valderrama and why it is on many golfers’ bucket lists.

“Thanks to the well-considered layout, conditions at Valderrama are perfect year-round. Valderrama isn’t a course for the faint of heart, with plenty of doglegs to test your planning skills and tree-lined fairways ready to claim any wayward drives.

“The course has undergone extensive arborist work, removing many of the low-hanging branches that players had to contend with previously. So, if you haven’t visited recently, it’s well worth a return trip.”

ALSO READ: A ranking of Costa del Sol towns and cities

Los Naranjos Golf Club

Another course designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr is the one at the popular Los Naranjos Golf Club. This course, located in Marbella, has played an important role over the years in the preparation and triumphs of many professional players and is considered one of the best courses in Spain.

Once you step on the course, you can observe the relaxed atmosphere around the club. This 18-hole course is kept in superb condition, and you can expect plenty of elevation change as well as water hazards, with a stream cutting across many of the holes.

The many shades of green, the freshness, the feeling of spaciousness, the sound of the fountains and the exotic fauna attracted to the area make Los Naranjos a desirable location to play golf. The course has the added bonus that it is a few minutes from Puerto Banús and its beaches, Marbella and San Pedro; you can fit a round of golf in the morning and explore parts of the Costa del Sol in the afternoon!

Finca Cortesin Golf Club

Renowned worldwide for its top-quality golf course and first-class facilities, the golf club is set in the stunning Andalusia countryside near Marbella. The course is recognised as one of the most challenging and beautiful courses in Europe, and it has hosted the famous Volvo World Match Play Championship five times.

The course was designed by Cabell Robinson, and if you play at the Finca Cortesin Golf Club, you can expect your skills to be tested. The fairways and greens are in excellent condition, and it is a favourite for both serious and casual golfers.

It is so highly rated that it has been voted as one of Spain’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses, and if you are heading to the Costa del Sol on a golfing trip, this course is certainly one to visit.

ALSO READ: The best beaches on the Costa del Sol

Real Club de Golf Sotogrande

Another golf course that was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr is the iconic Real Club de Golf Sotogrande. This club dates back to 1964, and it has previously staged the Spanish Open Championship and has welcomed professional golfers such as Jose Maria Olazabal and Seve Ballesteros.

The course has continually evolved and been renovated over the years, so you can expect a course that is a great challenge to experienced players but accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

The course has a par of 72, and it offers long tees, wide fairways, and elevated greens delicately moulded and very fast. The Costa del Sol is well-known for its sun-drenched golden beaches, but on this course, you can find it in the 100 or so bunkers, which are positioned around the greens and fairways.

Another characteristic of this popular course is the variety of its holes, not only in their shape and distance but also the vegetation, as you can find a mixture of pine trees, cork oaks, and palm trees.

Dr Paul Johnson, who is the editor of A Luxury Travel Blog, says that Sotogrande is a haven for golfers as there are so many courses within a few miles of each other.

“There are also many other excellent golf courses in the area; the wonderful La Reserva de Sotogrande, for example, hosted the women’s ARAMCO series this year and has previously held both European and Ladies European Tour events.

“Almenara Golf Club and world-class neighbours Real Club Sotogrande and San Roque Club are further notable examples of great golfing venues in the area. In fact, there are few landscapes anywhere in the world where so many highly-ranked courses can be found within a few minute’s drive of each other.”

La Reserva Club Sotogrande

Another gem of a golf course is La Reserva Club Sotogrande. This course has a bit of everything, as you can enjoy a blend of parkland and links-style holes while enjoying some breathtaking views over the Mediterranean Sea.

La Reserva Club Sotogrande is an established name on the professional golf circuit, and it hosts tournaments, including LIV Golf, DP World Tour, and the Aramco Team Series.

The course, which was designed by Cabell Robinson, is a challenging one as large sand traps combine with multiple water hazards and testing greens.

Real Club de Golf Las Brisas

Real Club de Golf Las Brisas is one of the original courses on the Costa del Sol, and it is a must-visit for any golfer.

It was built by Robert Trent Jones Snr in the 1960s and then renovated by his protege Kyle Phillips and it has since been regularly ranked in the Top 100 in Continental Europe.

Unlike many other courses, instead of the holes being surrounded by rough, it is characterised by water hazards, palm trees and stunning areas of flowers and bushes.

The course has been played by some of golf’s biggest names, including the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, José María Olazabal, and Wayne Grady.

ALSO READ: The best day trips from the Costa del Sol

Tips about organising a golf holiday

If you are looking to organise a golf holiday, then below are a few tips to help you organise a stress-free trip.

• Research: You should start to research the golf courses you want to visit on the Costa del Sol, then you should begin looking at the flights and accommodation.
• Pick your accommodation wisely: You want to pick accommodation that is located close to the golf courses you want to visit and has all the amenities you need. Here at IDILIQ Hotels & Resorts, we have resorts in the Costa del Sol where you can step into a world of relaxed Mediterranean living and be located just a stone’s throw away from the region’s best golf courses.
• Plan time for on and off the course: From its family-friendly beaches and its incredible water parks and theme parks to some of the freshest and tastiest food in Spain, make sure you spend time exploring the Costa del Sol.

There really isn’t anywhere else in the world that can boast so many world-class golf courses that are all within easy reach of one another like the Costa del Sol can.

Wyndham Grand Costa del Sol Pool view

If you are planning a golf trip, then take a look at our Ramada Hotel & Suites and Wyndham Grand Costa del Sol accommodation or speak to one of our experts on 0800 031 9066 if you have any questions.

For more tips, guides, and advice, visit our blog.