With more than 50 golf courses on the Costa del Sol, the region has earned its nickname the ‘Costa del Golf’ – and for very good reason – since this glorious part of Spain features four of the top ten ranked golf courses in Europe.
The Costa Del Sol also enjoys warm winters, and ideal temperatures during the peak golfing seasons of September to November and March to May. This golfers paradise fits seamlessly into Spanish working culture which has a deep appreciation for recreation and leisure time having and for not allowing work to consume you. Its subtropical climate ensures plenty of time on the greens under bright and clear skies. Whether you are a beginner, an experienced player, or somewhere in between the Costa del Sol is a Spanish golf destination not to be missed.
A collection of 16 world class golf courses, designed by some of the most well-known names in the sport, await your arrival. The courses offer something for all levels of golfer from those who have barely set foot on a real-life golf course for the first time to those who wanting to challenge themselves over some of the most difficult and picturesque holes found anywhere in Europe.
The Costa del Sol is one of the most popular places for golf holidays and, in 2022, was the most visited place in Europe for gold holidays. Therefore, golf lovers looking to buy property in Spain should look no further.
The gently sloping foothills of the Serrania de Ronda, blue skies and glistening sea views make Benahavis the ideal location for a round of golf – as 14 stunning courses can testify. With more than 320 sunny days per year, golf is played in all seasons, and often in polo shirt and shorts.
Clubs such as Los Flamingos, El Paraiso and La Quinta boast more than 18 holes. While the village itself is now home to its own driving range and hosts regular tournaments on its courses. The spectacular courses were designed by renowned golf architects such as Robert Trent Jones and golfing legends including Seve Ballesteros and Jack Nicklaus. In 1991, the Benahavis Golf Club was founded, aiming to get residents playing at their local course for a reasonable price, even though it has no course of its own.
Atalaya Golf & Country Club was first on the scene, opening in 1968. Located between Marbella and Estepona, it has remained very popular over the years, being one of the more forgiving courses on The Costa del Sol. Most of the other local courses are hillier and a buggy is advised. They offer visitors magnificent facilities and immaculate fairways and greens but perhaps the best club is out of bounds to all except members and their guests. The two courses at La Zagaleta, designed by the American Bradford Benz, offer golfers splendid views over the Mediterranean and Gibraltar. It could be described as Europe’s answer to Augusta, as play is limited to members and their guests. Located in a fabulous resort of almost 900 hectares, at the start of the road from Marbella to Ronda, La Zagaleta Country Club is one of the most exclusive in Europe. The surroundings of the golf course are second-to-none, as the fairways are set in a nature reserve.
The Club is strictly private, for the use of members and their guests. It also includes, three fishing lakes, hiking trails, stables and a magnificent clubhouse for those who can afford the €100,000 joining fee and annual €11,000 fee. Golfers are spoilt for choice on the Costa del Sol, with lush greens to be found in Marbella, Estepona, and Mijas.
Everywhere you look, pristine golf greens can be seen and the prestige with which they are held is only increasing as people fully catch on to their splendour.
It all means that investing in property on the Costa del Sol has another string to its bow in the form of a luxury golfing culture which you will be hard pressed to find anywhere else. Those in the know maintain that some of the best rounds are teed off in Sotogrande, having as it does some of the oldest courses on the Iberian Peninsula. It has even hosted the Ryder Cup in 1977 at Valderrama, possibly the most difficult course in Spain. What’s more, you get sweeping views of Gibraltar and the North African coast. Is it any wonder then, that Sotogrande’s golf clubs are also the favoured location for a range of social events, such as weddings and parties. The first club to spring up here was the Real Club de Golf de Sotogrande, designed by Robert Trent Jones in 1964. It was given an expensive face lift by Rulewich & Fleury in 2016.
Designer Trent Jones imbued the course with his design philosophy, with the most important requirement that the course should ‘perfectly integrate with the natural surroundings.’ Meanwhile Almenara Golf Club has a 27-hole course, created by famous British designer and Ryder Cup champ
Dave Thomas, which overlooks Los Alcornocales natural park. Thomas designed the course around the two lakes on the site, which are encircled by cork oaks and olive trees. The course overlooks the Med and the surrounding hills, representing a real challenge for even the most skilled golfers thanks
to its deep bunkers, water hazards and rolling hills. La Reserva Club is another gem carved into the hillside, with natural vistas in every direction.
The 18-hole course was designed in 2003 by American architect and course designer Cabell B. Robinson with wide, sweeping fairways, gentle but challenging undulations and unique water features. It is probably the most accessible course for those with a higher handicap. San Roque golf club is one of the most exclusive s in Europe, nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Bermeja, the course is elegantly integrated into Andalucia’s natural wonders with two championship golf courses and a distinctly peaceful atmosphere. La Cañada Golf Club rounds off Sotogrande’s ‘famous five’ clubs. Established in 1982, it is a non-profit sportive association, whose main objective is to promote golf to everyone through a concession-operated business model and was the first public golf course in Spain. The golf course length spans 5,841 metres with 18 holes, nine of which were also designed by David Thomas.
With clubs like these, surely even Mark Twain would have to revaluate his famous adage that “Golf is a good walk spoiled.”