Do you know these ‘must-play’ courses in Spain?
With a pleasant climate all year round, over 400 golf courses and resorts dotted along its sunny coasts and magical landscapes, it’s no wonder Spain is one of Europe’s premier golf destinations, along with France and Portugal.
The large variety of courses and the privileged climate with 300 days of sunshine per year make Costa del Sol and Costa de la Luz the best-golfing regions in Spain. From Malaga to Cadiz, the sunniest Spanish shorelines host a myriad of golf courses and resorts, most of them ranking in the top 10 in Europe.
Spanish golf courses are invariably excellent and beautifully maintained. Most courses are located in picturesque settings (sea, mountain and forest), many designed by famous designers such as Jack Nicklaus and Severiano Ballesteros.
Here are three golf courses we are playing on our Spain and Portugal tour.
PGA CATALUNYA RESORT – STADIUM COURSE
Ranked as #1 course in Spain and #3 in continental Europe, the PGA Catalunya Resort’s Stadium Course is a golfing beauty.
The 7,333-yard layout designed by Neil Coles and Angel Gallardo, fended off competition from Spain’s other 348 courses to retain the number one spot in the country for the 7th straight year.
You only have to be practising your drive on the first tee to see the true majesty of the course. The stunning views, immaculate conditioning of the fairways and greens as well as the ambience of the location will all distract you from the challenges you face here. The lakes, trees interfering the fairway and strategically placed bunkers will present as obstacles to getting a good score in your round.
The most photographed hole is the signature 13th. The downhill par four has trees aligned on either side of the fairway to unveil a breathtaking view of the Pyrenees in the backdrop and the lake below. The green is very challenging so much so that designer Angel Gallardo said “It is so difficult… it is more or less the same shape as the mountains in the distance. You only need to use your brain a little bit; this land was born to be a golf course.”
LA RESERVA SOTOGRANDE
The La Reserva course at Sotogrande sits aloft on the Andalusian hills offering stunning views all the way down to the Mediterranean Sea. The club is situated on the beautiful Costa del Sol and looks over neighbouring towns San Roque, Valderrama and Sotogrande.
As for the golf course, the layout is impeccable featuring wide, generous fairways that run to large greens with gentle but challenging undulations. Water hazards are kept to a minimum – only playing a part on 6 holes – however, the lakes that run throughout the course provides an idyllic setting to your round of golf.
The clubhouse is equally as impressive as the course, designed to blend Andalucian and Moorish influence with its horseshoe-shaped windows, vaulted ceilings and internal courtyards. In 2016, it was refurbished and further amenities were added to the already superb facility including tennis courts, a wellness spa and a lagoon.
FINCA CORTESIN GOLF CLUB
Before Cabell Robinson designed Finca Cortesin, his vision was to produce a golf course where “no hole was less than championship quality”. Some would say he has delivered on that vision, with the layout renowned for providing visitors with one of the most unforgettable golf experiences. Robinson’s incredible attention to detail and superior conditioning of the fairways and greens create both a challenge and superb environment for golfers.
Finca Cortesin has hosted a number of high-profile golfing events including the Volvo World Match Play Championship, one of the world’s most prestigious golf tournaments, which has been played here 3 times.
Every hole here is brilliant in its own right, which makes it hard to pick a signature hole. The golf club itself has picked the par four 13th hole as the course’s highlight. It is a picturesque hole that provides golfers with one of the most beautiful approach shots in the country. The local flora as well as the strategically placed bunkers either side of the large and sloping green make this a spectacular hole for all golfers.
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