Scheffler back at No. 1 with Players win
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Spain is a fantastic country but did you know that it was the British that introduced the Spanish to golf? Well they did and this is where it all began! Yes, Andalucia is the birthplace of Spanish golf so it’s no surprise that it is home to some of the most spectacular courses on offer in the country. Situated on the Atlantic Coast of the country and split into two provinces (Malaga and Cadiz) there is a variety of wonderful golfing terrain to be explored.
Welcome to, arguably, the toughest test of golf that Europe has to offer. The European Tour has not long left this venue and boy did it cause some golfers problems during the Open de Espana. The winning score was +1 and that’s not because everyone had an off-week. At under 7,000 yards this is not a long course but it requires great accuracy and patience in order to be successfully negotiated. Valderrama was the first non-British host of the Ryder Cup in 1997. This is a spectacular course packed with challenge and history, one to be savoured. This Robert Trent Jones and Seve Ballesteros design is one of those special golfing venues, maybe just don’t keep score that day.
This Cabell Robinson creation has a feature in common with Valderrama and that is they have both hosted the Volvo Matchplay event on the European Tour. From this you can see the sort of pedigree this course possesses. This is a fairly long course, at over 7,000 yards, and has over 100 bunkers for you to navigate but it is one of the best courses that the Costa del Sol has to offer. Consistently ranked as one of the best courses in Spain, this is a luxurious affair and one that will be enjoyed both on and off the course. Sergio Garcia compared the greens at Finca Cortesin to the famed putting surfaces of Augusta National, a higher endorsement is hard to find.
In some ways this course is Valderrama’s big brother as it was designed by Robert Trent Jones as well and was once called ‘Sotogrande Old’ before ‘Sotogrande New’ changed its name. This course is situated close to the Mediterranean coast and was RTJ’s first eighteen built in Europe. Jones selected this in his top-5 courses that he had built and with the sheer natural beauty of the land it is easy to see why. Sotogrande is one of these courses that just seems to effortlessly blend into the land on which is was crafted to create a truly magnificent golf challenge for players of all levels.
We’re staying close by for our next course and this one also has a big name in course design behind it. San Roque was the vision of Dave Thomas with some help from Tony Jacklin and, like all of the courses listed in this article, will provide sumptuous surroundings for your golf. The exclusive resort has two championship courses and the Old Course is the one which Thomas and Jacklin designed. This is the pride of the resort and, as such, is reserved for members at certain periods. The New Course was designed by Pete Dye and has his signature features of big bunkers, large greens and railway sleepers adorning the course. Both courses have played host to European Tour Qualifying School, have you noticed that the European Tour quite likes Andalucia yet?
For our final offering today we are in Marbella, probably the most famous spot in the Andalucia region. This course was designed to be enjoyable for all golfers and Manuel Piñero, the former Ryder Cup player, has created 27-holes that are known for their natural beauty and superb greens. The three nine-hole courses ae surrounded by stunning sea and mountain views making this one of the most pleasing courses on the eye in the area. Like all of the venues discussed here, the service you receive at La Quinta is incredible and it’s also been featured on the European Tour, can’t forget that detail.
Unfortunately, we don’t have time to go through every course in this wonderful region, there is a wealth of tremendous facilities here. We do think that we have to briefly mention some other gems though. Barcelo Montecastillo Golf and Sports Resort is a stunning resort in Jerez and has recently been refurbished to create a fabulously luxurious course and hotel. The Costa Ballena Ocean Golf Club at the Costa Ballena Resort is a 27-hole complex perfect for any golfer. There is also one of the largest practice facilities in Europe for those who wish to iron-out those issues before taking to the course.
Real Club de Golf Las Brisas is an exceptional facility and is one of the best courses in the Costa del Sol. This is a private club but allows non-members and has a really nice relaxed atmosphere around the club. Finally, we will end this tour of sumptuous golf back where we started, Sotogrande. La Reserva de Sotogrande is a young course, it only opened in 2003, but this is a beauty! The incredible views of both the local mountains and the sea gives this great course the most fantastic backdrop, a true Spanish delight!
Find out more about the best courses in Andalucia: https://www.allsquaregolf.com/golf-courses/andalucia