With Andalucía widely recognized as the ‘golfing capital of Europe’, what is it that attracts so many golfers to the Costa del Sol?
Golf on the Coast has been popular since the late 1980’s. The extensive range of courses continue to attract countless golfers; from amateurs to professionals, residents and holiday makers. These days golf is a game anyone can enjoy, gone are the days when golf was an exclusive sport, restricted to the wealthy.
The British Golfing Experience
A typical golfing trip to the UK means that you head to your chosen course armed with protective clothing: jumper, jacket, a nice pair of thick socks. On arrival you discover that the course has been flooded, therefore it is not possible to play. You nurse your disappointment with a rather bland meal in the on-site restaurant, with superb views of rain and wet grass. Nevertheless, there’s always tomorrow.
Unfortunately this scenario continues for the following 3 days, leaving just 4 days of your trip remaining. You finally manage to get your feet on the fairways, hands on clubs, raring to go, but your fingers are frozen from the cold. After a fierce battle with the first couple of holes, the lack of sensation in your hands is making it increasingly difficult to carry on.
Finally you are defeated, cold and miserable, as you head to the nearest pub to commiserate.
Contrast this with the Costa del Sol, and it’s easy to see why it’s such a desirable destination. With an average of 320 days of sunshine per year, golfers rarely have to worry about a game being spoilt by the weather; a round can be arranged without aggravation, at short notice, and enjoyed to its full potential.
A Dream Location
In addition to the year round warm climate, the Costa del Sol also tempts golfers with a wide selection of irresistible courses. Each is set within a beautiful location, providing magnificent backdrops, be it mountain view or sea view.
Thanks to the ever increasing amount of Clubs, there are now greens and fairways almost everywhere you look; with around 30 courses to choose from and more to be built over the next ten years.
Improvements are continually being made with numerous Clubs undergoing total refurbishments. In many cases, a second or even third course has been added to the original facilities. La Cala Resort for example- known as Golf World- has a total of 3 courses and is the largest complex in Spain.
Not only is Andalucía a golfers paradise, it also plays an important role in professional golf, hosting championships such as the PGA Seniors and the Volvo Masters.
One of the finest clubs on the coast has to be Valderrama, a
championship course with fairways described as the best in Europe.
Golf enthusiasts will be familiar with the prestige
associated to Valderrama, setting of the Ryder Cup- won by Europe in 1997.
Most Clubs on the coast operate a turn up and play system, however some courses have very strict rules such as La Zagaleta Golf Club, open only to residents and members. Many courses are designed for players of all levels: some are more taxing than others like Almenara Golf Club, one of the most challenging on the coast. However, the Costa del Sol caters for beginners through to professionals, so you can be sure to find somewhere to play a round!
Other famous courses located on the coast include; Las Brisas famed for its imaginative design, plus Aloha Golf, Rio Real and Los Naranjos. Another course worth noting is Alcaidesa, the only links course on the Coast is situated near the town of San Roque with great views of Gibraltar.
Many courses are built within residential tourist developments so have frontline golf apartments. A lot of people decide to invest in a holiday home, but there is no shortage of nearby apartments available to rent. A number of Courses have hotels attached, offering a fitting range of amenities and sport facilities on tap.
Discounted Green Fees
A large amount of companies specialise in golfing holidays, for example teetimesanywhere.com. Through online websites you can organize your trip and benefit from discounted green fees.
The average price of a game tends to be around €50, depending on the time of year, although more prominent courses, such as Valderrama, can cost up to €290. Prices adjust according to the season, so it’s best to check green fees and tee times with the golf course itself. Many clubs have their own website; check our Golf Directory for more information and contact details. LINK
When it comes to handicaps, all golf clubs in Spain will anticipate that you have a handicap certificate or letter of competency. You may be asked to show this at any time.
A Celebrity favourite
Many celebrities also enjoy a regular stopover for a spot of golf, particularly for charity events like the popular Bobby Davro Celebrity golf challenge. A fantastic event that takes place in June for the 6th year running, to raise money for the Rhys Daniels Trust. Celebrities and Sport’s World Celebrities battle it out on the fairways to acquire the Rhys & Charly Trophy.
Perfect your Swing?
If your golf isn’t quite up to scratch don’t be put off. Amidst the development of, and competition between courses, numerous Academy’s are being opened on the Costa del Sol; For example the recently opened Arcos Gardens Golf Academy directed by Ashley Northridge, a PGA class AA professional.
If a basic ‘Golf Aligment Aid’ doesn’t do the trick, there is an assortment of more high-tech equipment available at various courses. The TaylorMade Performance Lab at the David Leadbetter Golf Academy in La Cala Resort is bound to help. Its remarkable fitting system measures the components and results of your swing, capturing, quantifying and animating your total body motions in 3D.
The perfect scenery and the vast amount that the Costa del Sol has to offer, keeps a regular stream of golfers from the UK and Ireland arriving throughout the year.