Costa del Sol’s world-class golf courses

The Costa del Sol is more than just a holiday destination with one of the best selections of championship golf courses in the world, including Valderrama, La Reserva and Finca Cortesin. Here’s our pick of the best.

Finca Cortesin

About 30 minutes from Marbella, Finca Cortesin is arguably Spain‘s premier golf resort. The 5-star hotel is the epitome of luxury and just a few minutes’ walk from the beautiful coastline. The main attraction at the resort is the championship-level golf course, designed by Cabell Robinson.

The winding, highly manicured layout weaves through a valley of olive trees and the views of the Casares Mountains and the coast are stunning. With natural undulations peppered with over 100 pure white bunkers, it’s a highly entertaining challenge requiring strategy and every club in the bag. The fact it hosted the Volvo World Match Play Championship on the European Tour in 2009, 2011 and 2012 is a testament to its quality.

La Cala

La Cala Golf

This is an outstanding venue situated in the peaceful area of Mijas, around 20 minutes from Marbella. Surrounded by the Sierra de Mijas National Park, it has a beautiful 4-star hotel and spa and three excellent golf courses.

All three beautifully maintained courses were designed by Cabell Robinson and blend into the natural scenery. The America Course is highly enjoyable with elevated tees, cavernous carries and undulating fairways. At 6,571 yards, it’s the longest and probably toughest course here.

The Asia Course is narrower, slightly shorter and has great variation. Water is present on two holes and the greens are tight, with half of them elevated requiring tough approach shots where club selection is vital. The course is home to four par-5s and is almost as challenging as the America Course.

The Europa Course is easier for the average golfer, with generous fairways, flatter terrain and slightly larger greens. Notable for one main bridge and four smaller bridges across the River Ojen, water hazards guard the greens at the 3rd and 14th which is a memorable par-3 challenge at 254 yards. Great all-sounder.

La Reserva Sotogrande

La Reserva sits high up at the exclusive Sotogrande leisure and real estate destination at the southern point of Andalusia. The panoramic views make for an incredible backdrop to this Cabell B. Robinson-designed course.

Meandering its way up towards the mountains and trees of Gran Reserva, this thoroughly entertaining course has wide fairways where golfers are free to open their shoulders from the tee. Many consider it as good if not better than its esteemed neighbour Valderrama. It has managed to combine stunning surroundings with a challenge that’s great for novices and pros alike, especially with five tee boxes at each hole.

Real Club Sotogrande

Real Club de Golf Sotogrande

Just 3km from La Reserva Sotogrande, this Robert Trent Jones’ masterpiece can stand alongside its illustrious neighbours in terms of quality. Over 7,000 yards in length, there’s long, generous fairways and elevated tees with superb views, providing golfers with a really entertaining round of golf. The course is always kept in immaculate condition, with fast undulating greens and crisp fairways. Real Club Sotogrande also has more than 100 bunkers and a few water hazards, so it’s a proper challenge, especially if you want to attack the pins.


Located in Sotogrande, this famous Robert Trent Jones Snr design hosted the legendary 1997 Ryder Cup which saw Europe win by a point. Valderrama is kept in immaculate condition and each hole has six tees catering for all levels. This is a varied challenge and the crosswinds that often blow here make it tough to play. The par five 17th is the signature hole as it features strategically placed bunkers behind a green that slopes forwards to an emerald lake.

San Roque Club

Just 5km from Real Club de Golf Sotogrande, San Roque consists of the New Course and Old Course. The famous Old Course used to host the European Tour Qualifying School Finals, but it’s now even better. It has just reopened after an extensive renovation of almost a year. The greens, bunkers and all the playing surfaces have been redesigned and are now comparable to the best courses in the world. It’s a course that winds and meanders by lush hills, majestic cork oaks and charming villas.

In 2003, the New Course opened, designed by esteemed American architect Perry Dye. It’s one of the finest and most beautiful new courses in Europe. It plays over 7,000 yards depending on the tee selection and features many bunkers. But with wider fairways than the Old Course, there is more room to open your shoulders. It’s got fantastic views over the Guadalquivir River and the coast, and in 2006 it hosted the Spanish Open.

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