Costa del Sol
Magnificent Marbella – A True Golfing Mecca
Marbella is continental Europe’s premier destination for travelling golfers.
With more golf courses (15) than any other municipality in Spain, the popular international resort has some impressive numbers to attract golfers keen to play at various different clubs during their stay, but it is just as much (if not more) about quality as quantity.
Those 15 include some of the top courses not only in Spain but also at a global level. Several Marbella clubs have hosted numerous European Tour and other international events over the past half-century, attracting some of the greatest stars in the history of the game.
Royal Las Brisas, for example, hosted World Cups in 1989 and 1973 – the latter won by the US team of Jack Nicklaus and Johnnie Miller. Other players who have won major titles at Marbella clubs are Nick Faldo, Ian Woosnam, Lee Westwood, Curtis Strange and Málaga’s own Miguel Ángel Jiménez.
There are three other renowned clubs in the same Nueva Andalucía area as Las Brisas, popularly known as Marbella’s “Golf Valley”: Aloha, Los Naranjos and La Quinta (27 holes).
On the eastern outskirts of Marbella town centre, Río Real is one of Spain’s most venerable clubs, having been founded in 1965 and designed by the late doyen of Spanish golf course architects, Javier Arana. Four other 18-hole courses are located further east in this part of the municipality, Santa Clara, Marbella Golf Country Club (designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones Sr.), Santa María and Cabopino – as well as the nine-hole par-three course Greenlife.
At the western end of Marbella municipality is Royal Guadalmina, with two courses, the South (opened in 1959) and North (1973), while one of the more recently opened courses, Marbella Club Golf Resort, is located just off the iconic Golden Mile.
There is also the nine-hole Magna Marbella course between Nueva Andalucía and San Pedro de Alcántara and another short par-three layout, Banús Executive, previously known as La Dama de Noche when it was inaugurated near Puerto Banús in 1991 as Spain’s first fully-illuminated 24-hour course.
Complementing these courses are modern golf academies and meticulously maintained driving ranges with the latest cutting-edge technology, while many golf clubs also offer players gourmet cuisine that rivals that of the finest restaurants in Marbella.
Speaking of which, four restaurants have attained prestigious Michelin recognition: Skina (in the Old Town) with two stars, and Messina and Nintai (Marbella town centre) and El Lago (at Greenlife in Elviria), both one each.
For travelling golfers who also like to spend time away from the fairways exploring the local attractions, Marbella’s Old Town offers a fascinating historical journey spanning several centuries, the Puerto Banús marina is renowned as one of Europe’s hotspots of glamour, and the municipality extends along 30 kilometres of coastline replete with luxury beach amenities and a wide array of nautical activities.
Getting to Marbella is convenient from just about anywhere in the world, with the Málaga-Costa del Sol international airport one of Europe’s major flight hubs. If renting a car on arrival, the municipality is serviced by a modern transport infrastructure, and it is an excellent base for visiting other parts of Andalucía including Granada, Córdoba and Sevilla.
Finally, Marbella is an exceptional five-star destination when it comes to hotels, with a superb choice of establishments both next to golf courses and in convenient urban areas – most with state-of-the-art spa and wellness amenities for relaxing après-golf and for non-golfing companions.
At Golf in Spain we can provide you with green fees at most of Marbella’s golf courses at preferential rates.
Time to look for your flights to Marbella and plan your next golf break to the Spanish golfing Mecca.
LIV Tour Event to be Held at Valderrama in Summer 2023
There had been intense speculation since this year’s decaffeinated Andalucía Masters, and now the rumours have been confirmed officially. LIV Golf has announced that Royal Valderrama Club will host one of the renegade tour’s 14 events in 2023, from 30 June to 2 July.
The announcement follows reports in recent months that Valderrama had become increasingly irritated with the DP World Tour (formerly European Tour) at the diminishing status of the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters, which attracted a second-tier field for the 2022 edition in October.
Now, that annoyance has culminated in Valderrama agreeing to host a LIV Tour event for the next five years.
Announcing that El Camaleón (Mexico) and Sentosa (Singapore) would also be hosting tournaments in 2023, as well as the previously confirmed The Grange in Australia, LIV Golf CEO and commissioner Greg Norman said, “LIV Golf is truly a global league dedicated to expanding the sport throughout the world, and these destinations for the league’s 2023 launch showcase our commitment to tournament play at the highest level. These venues have played host to signature moments in golf, and we’re excited to build new traditions for the sport while delivering a first-class fan experience at some of the world’s best courses.”
Valderrama chief executive Javier Reviriego said, “Royal Valderrama Club has a rich history of hosting extraordinary golf tournaments, and we are excited to initiate this new partnership with LIV Golf. The quality of players that will compete at Valderrama will no doubt attract many European fans that are eager to see some of the best golfers in the world. We will ensure that the golf course is presented in top condition and that it represents a true challenge, where precision and strategy will play a key role. There is no doubt that the five LIV Golf events that we will be hosting in the coming years will further position Andalucía as one of the top golf destinations in the world.”
Reigning US Open Champion Matt Fitzpatrick To Defend Title at Valderrama
Winning at Royal Valderrama last year meant Matt Fitzpatrick could tick off another achievement on his career bucket list. He had always wanted to win at the renowned Sotogrande course, and he was delighted when victory last year in the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters gave him his seventh European Tour title.
This year, he made it eight – the most important of all, his first major – in the US Open. Continue reading
Spectacular New Opening Grandstand Hole for 2023 Solheim Cup at Finca Cortesín
Finca Cortesín has officially unveiled a new opening hole at the Casares course as the 365-day countdown to next year’s Solheim Cup begins. Announcing the change to the course – part of a general revamp and upgrade overseen by original designer Cabell B. Robinson – the tournament organisers said, “The ambience on the first hole of the Solheim Cup is unlike any other golf tournament. The atmosphere and the decibels created by the European and American fans with their chants, music and colours mean that at that moment, the spectacle is turned from the golfers to the stands.” Continue reading
Countdown to 2023: Solheim Cup Another Historic First for Costa del Golf
The 2023 Solheim Cup will be the final link of a cycle that began with the designation of the “Costa del Golf” in 1997. The name was coined in the lead up to that year’s historic Ryder Cup at Valderrama, with signs appearing along the coast declaring, “Costa del Sol-Costa del Golf”.
Twenty-five years later, the Costa is home to 70 golf courses, the most of any similar-sized region in Europe, extending for 120 kilometres from the Axarquía area east of Málaga city to Sotogrande – actually in Cádiz province but customarily grouped under the Costa del Sol moniker by local tourism authorities. Continue reading
Los Lagos and Los Olivos now open in Mijas Golf
Great news coming from Mijas Golf in Costa del Sol. Both courses, Los Lagos and Los Olivos will now again be fully operational after their maintenance ends. This means low season rates until September 19th and both courses available thereafter.
Good to see our friends in Mijas Golf fully operational again.
It’s Time to Swing into Autumn!
Fortunately, travel restrictions are gradually being eased and Spain is Europe’s leading country for vaccinations, with more than 70% of the population fully vaccinated. With a current average of 0.00195% of the population infected, some restrictions remain in place but life (almost) seems to be returning to normal – or at least the “new normal”.
Autumn is probably the best time of the year for travelling to Spain, and European golfers are anxious to return and enjoy a golf break during this pleasant and attractive post-summer season. But you need to be quick, because occupation due to previously postponed trips now being taken up is already very high for some weeks. Don’t miss out on your golfing holiday!
In our latest newsletter you will find golf breaks to Andalucía in Huelva and Granada, with an all-inclusive deal at Playa Granada; or on the Costa del Sol, at the conveniently located Occidental Fuengirola and playing at Mijas Golf, Santana and La Cala.
For those looking east of Spain… the renovated Marriot La Sella offers an interesting 10% discount if you book in advance. And for those wanting additional weather guarantees, you can choose one of our Canary Islands golf deals at Salobre in Gran Canaria for a great September deal or the super-luxurious Vincci Plantación del Sur in Tenerife.
Marbella Hosts Presentation of 2023 Solheim Cup at Finca Cortesín
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.
The European Tour and the Real Club Valderrama celebrate their silver anniversary
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.
Top Deals for Golf Groups in Spain 2021
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.