Costa del Sol -By Aruna Rathod
The sun, the sand and the blue ocean - Costa del Sol offers all this and golf, for an action-packed holiday!
Why is the Costa del Sol one of the most sought after luxe destinations? Beautiful weather and over 300 days of sun a year. Yes, any time of the year is good for this 161 kilometers of coastline in the province of Malaga on the Mediterranean.
What’s more, Costa del Sol has golf all 365 days of the year, and like all of Spain boasts of a wealth of art and history. Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga, and historic buildings and monuments like the Cathedral and the Moorish “Alcazaba” (Fortress) are definitely worth a visit.
Challenge yourself with some iconic holes in the interior of Málaga which is blessed with an excellent climate and facilities for golfers with great standards and unique landscapes.
Alhaurín Golf: an elevated tee with views of the mountains and sea
Alhaurín Golf Club is one of the most spectacular courses. Funny, daring, demanding and of great beauty, it allows the player to enjoy its surroundings. It is made up of 18 holes and has the signature of Cantabrian Severiano Ballesteros, one of the greatest in this sport, who designed a course that is a challenge for any golfer.
According to the director of the complex, José Ramón Gómez, the marquee feature of this course is its high tee at the 6th hole with breathtaking views of the Sierra de Mijas and the Mediterranean Sea. Surrounded by vegetation typical of the Mediterranean forest with pines, oaks, cypresses and orange trees, this is a par five with a raised tee where the green is not seen in full.
Lauro Golf: a hole protected by a forest of centenarian pines
One of the most characteristic holes of Lauro Golf is the 11, a short par three but with a very narrow green entrance due to the presence of a hundred year old pine forest that protects it. All Lauro Golf is based on the integration of the golf course into nature and this hole best represents this blend. The design is based on a complex entrance by a single pine located 20 meters ahead of the green. The ball’s flight must either clear the tree or enter through the narrow gap it leaves, depending on the flag position.
According to the manager of the complex, Carlos Pitarch, a bunker to the right of the green and the forest itself challenge the player who will think he is facing one of the easier holes of the Lauro only to realise that he needs intense concentration even to achieve par. The hole, which bears the name of the Martial bullfighter, was designed by Folco Nardi on the ground during the its construction. Originally it was projected as a par four but this required the cutting down of several pines of considerable height and value. Finally, the designer did not cut a single tree by adapting hole 11 to the environment, where it is now common to see rabbits, ducks, herons and even eagles.
Antequera Golf: a drive between lakes, with the panoramic view of Torcal
Antequera not only stands out for its cultural, historical and gastronomic heritage, it has also become a reference in terms of golf. It is situated in the geographic center
of Andalusia, surrounded by olive trees with views of the meadows and mountains that precede the expanse of Torcal. In this entertaining 18-hole course designed by the two-time winner of the Ryder Cup, José María Cañizares, the par 4 hole 13 stands out, according to the director of Antequera Golf, Victor Casado.
At the foot of the Natural Park of El Torcal, World Heritage, the 13th hole has three lakes connected to each other, two of them just in front of the tee, so you have to throw the drive above them. There is a drop area for ball and the second stroke to the green is about 120 meters, but in front is the third lake.
Baviera: a long handicap 1 between real peacocks
Surrounded by tropical avocado and mango crops Baviera Golf is located in a valley with a microclimate perfect for golf, bordering the Sierra Tejada, Alhama and Almijara Natural Park. It is an ideal place to enjoy this sport a few meters from the Marina de la Caleta de Vélez and its beaches.
Designed by José María Cañizares, it is an 18 hole flat course that is characterized by its wide greens with many movements and great diversity of obstacles. For the managing director of Baviera Golf, Ignacio Iturbe, the most emblematic hole is the 12, a par five of 532 meters. It is rated handicap 1, the most difficult of the course for its long layout. It is the hole to be beaten by the players who can enjoy a natural environment, without construction around, with peacocks and chameleons prowling by them.
Añoreta Golf was the first golf course built in the region of Axarquía, founded in 1990 and designed by José María Cañizares. Located in Rincón de la Victoria, it has an 18 hole par 72 course with a varied layout that allows the game to be very enjoyable. The most outstanding hole is the 7th, a spectacular par four with views of the sea, as it is located less than a kilometer from the coast. From the elevated tee, you can see several fairways of the course with the Mediterranean as a backdrop. It is a short, strategic hole with a small lake that comes into play in the first stroke and is surrounded by native olive trees and with date palms on the green.
Parador de Málaga: a hole parallel to the sea and surrounded by trees
The smell of grass and salty residue mix during a journey bordered by sand dunes, pine trees, palms and eucalyptus. On the shores of Mediterranean is the Parador de Málaga Golf, the principal course of Andalusia whose beginnings go back to the 1920s. Promoted by the British princess Beatrice de Battenberg, it bears the signature of designer Tom Simpson.
It started as a regulation 18 holes course and a further 9 were added later to offer a total of 27 holes. It has been chosen by the European PGA for several tournaments and its most striking aspect is that it runs in parallel to the sea for about a kilometre and the grass melts with the sand of the beach.
Guadalhorce: A green presided by an eighteenth century farmhouse
In the district of Campanillas stands the Guadalhorce Golf Club designed in the late 80s by the Finnish architect Kosti Kuronen in an old farm.
It is located north of the airport and next to the river that gives it its name. Composed of 18 holes, it was remodeled by the malagueño Miguel Ángel Jiménez.
One of its most outstanding holes is the 18, a par four of 407 meters with the largest green of the whole course. Its wide fairway is protected by two bunkers and trees on both sides. Along the entire hole, you can enjoy beautiful views of the green, presided over by an old house of the eighteenth century, formerly known as Cortijo de Colmenares and now the Club House.
Most Emblematic Golf Holes of Marbella
Marbella is the focal point of the Costa del Golf, and a paradise for those who love this sport. Golf enthusiasts have an obligatory stop in this locality in which up to 16 courses are located.
Los Naranjos: A postcard hole
In the heart of the Golf Valley is Los Naranjos Golf Club, which since its inauguration in 1977 has hosted several important events and is ranked as one of the best in Spain. Robert Trent Jones drew a championship course with a classic design, with wide fairways and greens, perfect for international tournaments as well as for middle-level golfers.
Aloha Golf: At the foot of the Pico de La Concha
The Aloha Golf Club is one of the
pioneering clubs on the Costa del Sol which has managed to combine tradition and renovation. Located in the Valley of the Golf next to Puerto Banús, it has been the main venue of the Andalusia Open on three occasions. It was designed by Javier Arana, whose seal is not only reflected in the splendid course, but also in the choice of trees and plants that punctuate and line the fairways and greens.
Guadalmina: a green on the beach front
Located in an old estate dedicated to agriculture, the Real Club de Golf Guadalmina is the principal golf club of Marbella and has two magnificent courses. In the South course, designed by Javier Arana, it focuses on hole 11, a spectacular par 3, 160 meters hole located next to the Mediterranean, overlooking the Rock of Gibraltar and flanked by the mouth of the river Guadalmina and the hotel bearing the same name. Golfers take a swing while enjoying the sound of the sea breaking on the shore. In the original course it is the first hole that caotures your attention with a huge natural bunker that forms a beach between the tee and the wide green which has a lot of fall from left to right. As is the case in the Valle del Guadalhorce and Antequera districts, a huge number of golfers are attracted by the good weather, comfort, tranquility, scenery and gastronomy offered by Axarquía on the Costa del Sol Oriental every year. Añoreta in Rincon de la Victoria and Baviera Golf in Caleta de Vélez are the two courses in this region of Malaga where you can enjoy views of the sea and mountains. Another of the courses with a spectacular panoramic view against the blue waters of Mediterranean is the Parador de Málaga Golf, the oldest in Andalusia, a reference for professionals and amateurs. Nearby is the Guadalhorce Golf Club and to the east is the Royal Golf Club El Candado, one of the historic courses of Costa del Sol.
Images: © Turismo y Planificación Costa del Sol S.L.U.