Insider’s guide... So­togrande

A long-es­tab­lished Span­ish hotspot with some of Europe’s finest cour­ses

Today's Golfer (UK) - - Contents - WO R D S D AV I D B U R R O W S

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.

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