We are all aware of the most famous golf courses in Europe whether they are the most talked-about courses at the clubhouse, in the press or those recommended by fellow golfers.
If you want to find those hidden gems, the Undiscovered Golf Courses that are less busy and generally cheaper than their well-known counterparts, then read on...the last pick might surprise you that the golf course is actually in Europe!
Where is Alcanada Golf Club?
Mallorca is the location, in fact Northern Mallorca to be precise, adjacent to Alcudia bay and named after the island just off its coastline. Alcanada is just an hour’s drive North from Palma’s International Airport and the main resort areas of the South East of the island.
Want to know about the course?
A relatively new golf course Alcanada opened its doors in 2003, another great golf course from the Trent Jones Jnr portfolio, this 18 Hole championship golf course measures some 7,149 yards from the back Tees.
The course has been carved into the countryside without spoiling nature and making full-use of the pine and olive groves which surround the course. The scenery here can only be described as outstanding with sea-views out across the course and beyond, taking in the famous lighthouse located on Alcanada Island visible from almost every hole. Alcanada has to be in our opinion one of Spain’s if not Europe’s must-play golf courses.
The 13th is a par 5 starting from a raised tee that looks down towards the bay. You’ll see from the picture above the hole works its way towards the lighthouse located on an island off shore. The stunning panorama makes it even for inviting to power a “hang time” drive straight down the middle.
The Spanish theme continues with the first of numerous courses dotted throughout Andalucia. Located on the Costa del Sol, approximately an hour’s drive from Malaga Airport, you will find Alcaidesa Golf Resort.
The resort has two 18 Hole golf courses and our favourite just has to be the Links course. With fantastic views down the coastline and across to the famous Rock Of Gibraltar and on a clear day across the straits to Tangiers and Africa.
The course measures some 6,452 yards from its White Tees with some of the most spectacular scenery of any golf course in Spain. Alcaidesa Golf Links comes highly recommended and is great value-for-money worth every minute spent playing it irrelevant of how you play.
There are two holes here worthy of mention, the 11th and 13th. The 11th is a dog-leg right with some well-placed bunkers for stray drives to left. However, there is a stunning second shot approach to the green back dropped by the beach and a clear view of the Mediterranean.
You don’t want to shoot long here as finding the ball will be a challenge! The 13th is another par 4 that tracks the sea, however the approach to the green is over a scrub which make clubbing difficult. Conditions are normally fair, but pray for no wind when playing this stunning stretch of links.
This time Portugal is our location, and in fact the area known as the “Costa Azul” or “The Blue Coast”, just a 45 minute drive South of Lisbon’s Portela Internatioinal Airport you will find Troia golf course, located between the Arrabida Natural Park and the Sado Estuary on the Troia Peninsula.
Scenery and golf courses of natural beauty are very much in our thinking and the same could be said of our next choice Troia GC.
The Peninsula is accessible via a short Ferry journey (both car and passenger) from the quaint town of Setubal – just a two-minute journey to the golf course at the other end. For those golfers travelling across as foot passenger / golfers the golf course will come and pick-you you from the Ferry if required.
Troia is a true 18 Hole Championship golf course and was designed by the great Robert Trent Jones Senior, measuring 6,960 yards the golf course has been designed along the natural terrain and winds in and out of the deep sand dunes.
Holes of note here are the 400 yard par 4 third hole which encapsulates a fantastic sea, depending on the direction of the wind you almost have to hit it out-to-sea to ensure you hit the fairway. Trent Jones has listed this hole as one of the 18 for his “Ideal golf course” as he states is one of the best holes he has ever designed.
The 18th Hole is also a fantastic 535 par 5 dogleg, accuracy off the tee here is paramount as the approach into the raised green is guarded by not two but three bunkers – not a shot for the faint hearted. Troia is a fantastic golf course and yet again great value-for-money, after playing here you will have gained another lasting golfing memory, one that you will savour forever.
Southern Spain is on the agenda again this time the location is the exclusive Sotogrande, now one of Europe’s top destinations for high-class and named golf courses with the likes of Valderrama Sotogrande as neighbours La Reserva in our opinion is the “unsung”.
La Reserva de Sotogrande is the masterpiece of the one and only Cabell B Robinson world famous golf designer and only opened it doors in 2003, it has one of the most impressive golf clubhouses and facilities of any golf course and recently received a face-lift and a new exterior décor. The golf course although it was still very young received many awards for its design and quality cascading it above many of its nearby peers and was the receiver of receiver many awards.
This 18 golf championship masterpiece measures some 6,733 yards from the back tees and has numerous Tee boxes to ensure the golf course is enjoyed by golfers of all standards.
In typical Cabell Robinson style La Reserva has hue generous greens which are always an open invitation for a par score, be aware however of the wide open fairways which are designed to throw you off-line with cleverly placed undulations cascading your ball into the swathes of white sand of the bunkers.
The golf course has stunning scenery with the backdrop of the mountains and outstanding views down across the Mediterranean coastline. La Reserva de Sotogrande is more than a golf course it is an experience, and one every golfer should take at least once in their golfing career.
The 17th sets up the end of the course with two challenging holes to finish. The tee-off is tough as you have bunkers and trees to the left and a lake to the right. The water theme continues on your second shot to the green and the lake to the right runs along the entire length of the hole!
Almeria, Europe’s sunniest and certainly driest climate with almost desert like conditions is another great location for great golf courses. Located to the North of the region you will find the next golfing gem in the guise of Valle-del-Este golf course.
The golf course is overlooked by its own five star hotel and is the main hotel on the outskirts of Vera, adjacent to the Almanzora Desert (location for hundreds of Spaghetti Westerns) and the beautifully decorated white painted towns such as Mojacar.
This 18 hole championship golf course is designed by Jose Canales the popular Spanish golf course designer, Canales has taken the natural contours of the landscape and the wild flora to design a par 71 golf course which at only 6,285 yards is not the longest around and has unique disc shaped tee-boxes to set it apart from other golf courses.
Each of the holes here is designed to be a little different from the previous one, keeping the golf course not only challenging but interesting too. The driving range, first, 10th tees and 9th and 18th greens are all adjacent to the hotel making Valle del Este an enjoyable round of golf for golfers of all abilities.
The 12th is a par 3 measuring 174 yards has a tee shot over the dried river bed which is a real test! The hole really plays to the desert feel of this golf course, you really could be in the wild west wilderness.