Insider’s guide... Sotogrande
A long-established Spanish hotspot with some of Europe’s finest courses
A long-established Spanish hotspot with some of Europe’s finest tracks
But for the vision of a former US
army colonel called Joseph Rafael Mcmicking, the world-class resort of Sotogrande would not exist. Mcmicking, who served alongside General Macarthur throughout World War II, wanted to create the perfect retreat with unspoilt beaches, good airport access and quality golf courses.
He succeeded in all those aims: Sotogrande, at the western end of the Costa del Sol of Malaga, was the result. His ambitious project was well-timed as it satisfied the exacting demands of the emerging 1960s jet set. Over the years it has developed – tastefully, with no expense spared – into one of the most luxurious sports and residential developments in Europe.
Sotogrande boasts the first dedicated marina to be built in Spain along with some of the best courses in Europe. There are prestigious courses throughout the region, with the stand-out being the legendary Valderrama. It needs little introduction – the Ryder Cup venue of 1997 is consistently ranked among the best courses not only in Europe but worldwide. However, as you will gauge from the following pages, there is no shortage of classy layouts nearby and these definitely include Real Sotogrande – the first course Robert Trent Jones designed in Europe with its rolling fairways just a stone’s throw away from the Mediterranean seashore – and the modern layout of La Reserva. This Cabell Robinson design, ably supported by its stateof-the-art country club facilities, has fast made a name for itself since it opened in 2003.
Fine finale The 18th hole at La Reserva is overlooked by the distinctive clubhouse.