Yesterday we attended the formal presentation of the Solheim Cup, which will be held for the first time in Spain from 18 to 24 September 2023. The venue, Finca Cortesín, had been revealed previously, and yesterday the dates were also confirmed officially – one week before the 2023 Ryder Cup in Rome.
This is excellent news for Spanish golf, which once again has the opportunity of hosting an event at the highest international level. The coup follows three years of hard work and effort by the main person behind the initiative, Íñigo Aramburu, managing director of Deporte & Business, a company which has been organising Ladies European Tour events since 2002.
Costa del Sol Tourism joins PING and Rolex as the main sponsors, while Andalucía Tourism, Acosol, Marbella Town Hall and Benahavís Town Hall are the official partners. A key union of forces without which it would not have been possible to host the event…
The initial project proposed hosting the event in Marbella, but in the end it was decided to opt for the Casares course – once again highlighting Finca Cortesín’s great vision in always aiming to maintain its status as a top-level competition course.
35 years since its foundation and 25 individual events of the European Tour held on its pristine course. But numbers fall short when trying to convey the meaning of the Real Club Valderrama for Andalusian, Spanish and European golf.
Valderrama was founded in 1985 thanks to the efforts and vision of Jaime Ortiz Patiño, who hired top designer Robert Trent Jones Sr to renovate the old Las Aves course and the surrounding land with the intention of creating the best golf course in continental Europe. Valderrama debuted as a European Tour venue soon after that, since in 1988 it held the Volvo Masters, an elite field event that brought the curtain down on the European Tour season.
Taking a quick look at its winner list (from Sir Nick Faldo, its first champion, to world-class golfers such as Sandy Lyle, Colin Montgomerie, Bernhard Langer, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, among others) it’s easy to understand its importance. On the fairways and greens of Valderrama, unforgettable moments such as Bernhard Langer and Colin Montgomerie’s draw in 2002, Miguel Ángel Jiménez’s albatross in 1994 or the exciting playoffs between Ian Poulter and Sergio García in 2004 or Fredrik Jacobson with Carlos Rodiles the previous year. In total, 16 Volvo Masters in which the Real Club Valderrama acted as a fair but demanding judge.
After being elevated to a well-deserved glory and gaining international prominence thanks to the 1997 Ryder Cup in which Seve Ballesteros captained the European team to victory, the Sotogrande club hosted another key event on the international schedule, the WGC American Express Championship. The field, again, was outstanding. In 1999, the number one in the world, Tiger Woods, needed a playoff to beat a tough rival carried by the cheering locals, Miguel Ángel Jiménez, while in 2000 Mike Weir, a Masters winner, conquered the title.
The Andalucía Masters, currently sponsored by Estrella Damm and the Junta de Andalucía, followed up with the great tradition of elite tournaments at Valderrama and Graeme McDowell, who had won the 2010 US Open winner, beat the field that year. Golf fans had to wait until 2011 for the first Spanish victory at Real Club Valderrama when Sergio García managed to overcome the resistance of Miguel Ángel Jiménez.
In 2016 the Open de España took over and the field faced a course that, as always, made no concessions. This time, fan-favourite Andrew Johnston won the title but could not beat Valderrama because he finished over par, something that had not happened since Sandy Lyle won with +3 in the 1992 Volvo Masters.
In the following two years, Sergio García continued his love affair with Real Club Valderrama by winning two consecutive Andalucía Masters titles, becoming the first player to obtain three individual victories at Valderrama. The Borriol golfer accumulates 14 top ten in 15 appearances at Valderrama (2 in the WGC American Express Championship, 7 in the Volvo Masters and 5 in the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters), an impressive record.
In 2019 the South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout broke Sergio García’s streak and managed to hold off the assault of the many Spanish players fighting for the title since five Spaniards finished in the top 7 of the event.
The 2020 winner, therefore, will have the honor of being crowned in the 25th European Tour event played at Valderrama. Without a question, he will be a worthy heir to the tradition that so many illustrious international champions have written with their talent in one of the best courses in the world.
Now is an excellent time to get together with your golfing mates and organise a trip to Spain. Post-covid is bringing great opportunities to travel to Spain in Autumn and during 2021.
That means, if dining out is at the top of your list of post-round activities, you will be able to enjoy Spain’s excellent cuisine in classic style on the Costa del Sol. If your group is looking for some more robust nightlife, you can head to the Costa Blanca. Or simply chill out by turquoise sea waters in the Canary or Balearic Islands.
Here are some of our most popular group golf deals, available from autumn and throughout 2021.
Meliá Villaitana: superb resort comprising hotel and two courses, the championship Villaitana Levante and executive Poniente. No need to travel to the courses as they are onsite, and the package includes playing both. They offer 1 free in groups of 8. Nightlife in Benidorm only 10 minutes away by taxi.
The Residences at Mar Menor: well-appointed apartments that also offer 1 free in 8. Possibility of including drink packages in the dinners. The overall packages offer golf at 7 different courses, and the apartments are in a resort right by one of the courses, Mar Menor. Shuttle included to the courses from February to May.
Hotel Puerto Juan Montiel: hotel not in a golf resort but on the Mediterranean Sea next to a small village with direct access to the boardwalk and opposite the marina. Perfect package for groups, 1 free in groups of 10, and semi-all-inclusive including open bar from 5pm to 11pm. You will discover Aguilón Golf course, a secret jewel for golf on that not so popular destination in Spain.
Costa del Sol
La Cala Resort: renowned resort with hotel, spa and 3 golf courses. Perfect for groups that do not want to leave the resort, and be able to play different courses at the same time. Fuengirola and Marbella are 20 minutes away, so transfers can be arranged for a night out. 1 person free in groups of 8.
Sol Don Pablo for groups that want to be closer to restaurants, bars and nightlife, and also right across from the beach in Torremolinos. Wide selection of great courses of east Costa del Sol to choose from in the package, 1 free in 8, and optional supplement for semi-all-inclusive, or even all-inclusive.
ONA Valle Romano: economical option in shared apartments that border the golf course. If a group of minimum 7 guests travelling with a pro, he will have courtesy on the full package. The west Costa del Sol location will give you access to courses from Marbella to Valderrama.
Fly via Seville or Faro:
Double Tree by Hilton Islantilla and The Residences: early booking packages including 1 free in 8, and daily golf for both the recently renovated hotel and the apartment complex. Beautiful Isla Cristina coast town only a few minutes away. You can fly to Seville or Faro.
Hotel Isla Canela a great hotel in a golf resort, with different golf courses to choose from, including on of Spain’s latest openings Valle Guadiana Links and nearby Quinta do Vale in Portugal, with transfers included for a minimum 10 golfers. 1 free in groups of 8. Semi-all-inclusive optional if staying a minimum 7 nights.
Terrazas de Abama: luxury apartments in Tenerife, walking distance from the famous Abama golf course. Few accommodations on the island offer special rates to play Abama and this is one of them. The luxurious apartments, year-round warm weather and proximity to the ocean make this an exceptional package.
Elba Sara: located in the heart of the Fuerteventura golf course, the package offers daily golf, dinners, and 1 in 8 free. Located by fine white sandy beaches, and close to the island’s largest shopping and leisure centre. Good weather all year round.
Pure Salt Garonda: mix of luxury and leisure at Playa de Palma, for those considering the Balearic Islands and with direct access to the beach. Adults-only hotel, close to nightlife. A package that combines golf with an urban beach experience.
Later this year Marbella-born Azahara Muñoz will be be returning to the scene of one of the most cherished moments in her career. The Ladies European Tour has just announced that the 2020 Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España will be played at Royal Guadalmina Golf Club from 26-29 November.
It was at Guadalmina where a young Azahara learnt to play the game before becoming an international star, and US LPGA Tour champion, and also the club where she won a second consecutive Spanish Women’s Open crown in 2017.
The previous year, at nearby Aloha Golf, Muñoz became the first Spanish women’s golfer to win her home Open. She also finished second behind Dutchwoman Anne Van Dam in the 2018 edition at La Quinta, and was joint fourth when the event returned to Aloha in 2019, also being won by Van Dam.
This year’s Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España will be the final tournament of the 2020 Ladies European Tour, offering a €600,000 prize fund (double last year’s total) and setting the scene for an exciting finale of the Race to Costa del Sol (the new LET order of merit).
Spanish star Jon Rahm will be in the marquee group on Thursday when the US PGA Tour resumes officially for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak halted golf around the world three months ago.
The three leading players in the world ranking (which was frozen when the main global tours went into hibernation) will be the main featured group in the first tournament back, the Charles Schwab Challenge at the Colonial in Fort Worth, starting on Thursday (11 June) – albeit without fans allowed on the course.
Rory McIlroy (1), Jon Rahn (2) and Brooks Koepka (3) also played together in the first round of the 2020 Players Championship, after which the event was cancelled and the subsequent Tour schedule put on hold.
The omens are good for 25-year-old Rahm, if he can recapture that day’s form: he carded 69, while Koepka had a 70 and McIlroy a 72.
Apart from McIlroy, Rahm and Koepka, other star groups will be Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth, Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose, and Phil Mickelson, Gary Woodland and defending champion Kevin Na.
The overall strength of the field is highlighted by the fact that, in total, 101 of the 148 players have won on Tour.
In all, 15 of the world’s top 20 ranked golfers will be teeing up in Texas. Among those missing are Adam Scott (6), Tommy Fleetwood (10) and Tiger Woods (11). Scott has expressed his concerns with the tour’s COVID-19 testing protocol, and is not expected to return to competition for two months, in the lead-up to the newly-scheduled majors. UK-based Fleetwood explained in May that the quarantine times for international visitors would also most likely keep him away from the US for an extended period.
“It isn’t impossible for me to play,” Fleetwood told Golf Digest. “Far from it. But two weeks of quarantine at both ends of a trip across the Atlantic is a huge issue. That factor really made my decision for me. To go over and play in the three events scheduled for June would eat up seven weeks of my life. That’s more than double what a trip like that would normally take. I wouldn’t want to be away from my wife and kids for that long.”
Woods, meanwhile, has only played once professionally at the Colonial, finishing joint fourth in the 1997 event.
The US PGA Championship, at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, has been moved from May to 6-9 August; the US Open until after the official 2019-2020 season concludes, from June to September 17 to 20 at Winged Foot in New York; and the US Masters at Augusta, normally in April, to an unprecedented late-autumn date, 12-15 November.
The Tokyo Olympics (now including a golf competition, re-introduced in 2016) have been postponed until 2021; and a decision is still pending on the Ryder Cup, due to be held at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin from 25 to 27 September.
European Tour Update
The European Tour plans to resume its 2020 season with the launch of a new six-week “UK Swing”. Suspended on 8 March due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the Tour is scheduled to return to action in July and continue to December.
All tournaments will initially be played behind closed doors, and all will be “subject to stringent safety and testing protocols set out in the Tour’s comprehensive Health Strategy, which will continue to evolve, aligned with international government guidance and health guidelines”.
The “UK Swing” begins with the Betfred British Masters hosted by Lee Westwood, at Close House, near Newcastle, from Wednesday 22 July to Saturday 25 July, followed by the English Open (Marriott Forest of Arden), English Championship (Marriott Hanbury Manor), Celtic Classic and Wales Open (both at The Celtic Manor Resort in Newport) and finally the UK Championship (The Belfry).
The Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation, due to be held from 29 April to 3 May at Royal Valderrama, has not been rescheduled in 2020.
Resumption of Women’s Tours
Both the US LPGA Tour and the Ladies European Tour were also forced to cancel tournaments from March to June.
The LPGA is scheduled to resume on 23 July with the Marathon Classic in Ohio; while the LET is due to return to action with the Ladies Scottish Open from 13 to 16 August. This follows the announcement this week that the Evian Championship – one of five women’s majors, and due to be played from 6 August at the Evian Resort Golf Club in France – has been postponed until next year.
In Spain, the La Reserva de Sotogrande Invitational (scheduled to be played in May) and the Mediterranean Ladies Open (Terramar Golf Club in July) have been “postponed”, but the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open (at a club to be confirmed) is still scheduled for 6 to 9 November.
This magnificent 18-hole course designed by José Canales is located on the banks of the Guadiana River. The layout enables golfers to enjoy an exceptional setting at the river mouth, with views of the Algarve region in Portugal. The course facilities include a driving range, pro shop and clubhouse with a café-restaurant.
This year Gran Canaria Golf will be hosting it’s first annual Gran Canaria Golf Summer Festival taking place from June 17th – 24th. You will be able to combine playing golf with some social activities to meet other golf players from all around the world and, of course, discovering the beautiful island of Gran Canaria.Sheraton Gran Canaria Salobre Resort is the official accommodation, located beside two 18 hole courses, with spectacular views to the mountain and the ocean. Below you can find the full program.
June 24th, 2018
Day 8 – Return Day
— Breakfast at the Hotel
— Transfer to the airport 3 hours before the flight departure
Gran Novedad en PGA Golf de Catalunya. A partir del 5 de Noviembre, mismas tarifas durante la semana y fin de semana!
Aproveche y visite el Hotel Meliá Vichy Catalán.
Ofrecemos paquetes de 2 noches + 2 green fees desde 272€ por persona (valido hasta el 4/Noviembre). Mas económico a partir del 5/Noviembre.
We have just included for high season a twilight offer at Valle Romano Golf course. If you play after 14:00, special rate will be 54€ per person, valid until the 15th November.
Check out this offer we have just included at Tryp Estepona Valle Romano, holiday resort with 430 spacious three-key fully equipped apartments, integrated with the Valle Romano Golf course and only 20 minutes by car from Marbella center.
This special package is valid until the end of December, and it includes 3 nights in a 2 bedroom apartment + 2 green fees at Valle Romano, including a pint of beer each day you play. All this for only 177€ if apartment is shared by 2 people, 159€, shared by 3 people & 147€, if its shared by 4.