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The Best Golf Courses in Marbella

“The Costa del Golf”

An expert guide to Golf in Marbella

Ever wondered what the top Marbella golf courses are? Playing golf on the Costa del Sol is something that most of us have experienced. The coastline now boasts over 70 golf courses from Malaga in the east down to Gibraltar in the west, however, the coastline has not always been the go-to destination for golf breaks in Spain.

Most of the development on the coastline started in the 1970s and was partly down the Robert Trent Jones, one of the most celebrated course architects of his time, perhaps of all time.

The problem that was faced by all course architects developing on the Costa del Sol was how to preserve and grow the grass in the fierce Andalusian summers

It would be hard to argue that without Jones’ success in growing grass in the local climate it would have been a very tough task developing the game of golf on the Costa del Sol. Many great architects have now developed and left their mark on the coastline and have made it a go-to destination for any golf addict looking to play in sunnier climates.

The first golf balls hit on the Costa del Sol were circa 1920, A pastime for the British Royal family who regularly took vacations in the summer to the Malaga area.  Beatriz de Battenberg – Queen Victoria’s daughter and the Spanish King Felipe’s great grandmother – took on the design of a 9-hole course, which was built on the site of the current Parador del Golf near Malaga Airport.

This makeshift small course sowed the seed and a desire to make the Costa del Sol the region with the largest concentration of Golf courses anywhere in Europe….

This Blog concentrates purely on the Marbella and Estepona regions of the Costa del Sol, Known locally as the Costa del Golf and the Golden Mile.

Whilst Marbella as a region holds the largest concentration of courses on the Costa del Sol with 21 courses, Estepona is ranked in third with a further 10 courses.

In our opinion, this particular region is where the best quality of accommodation, Gastronomy, and nightlife is.

GOLF IN MARBELLA AND ESTEPONA

Guadalmina Club de Golf was the first golf course in Marbella, built-in 1959 on the west side of the resort. Rio Real Golf in the east followed shortly afterwards in 1965. As demand grew so did the number of golf courses in Marbella with Atalaya Golf in 1968 and Las Brisas in 1969.

Today you are spoilt for choice, whilst ranking the very best courses will divide opinion, we wanted to share with you our top 10 Marbella & Estepona Courses as well as providing you with some lovely accommodation options to truly tailor your golf break.

The Top 10 Golf Courses in Marbella

10th

Los Arqueros Golf & Country Club

Design – Seve Ballesteros

Opened for play – 1991

The Best Golf Courses in Marbella - Los Arqueros

The course itself was designed by Seve Ballesteros to give the average golfer and in fact golfers from all abilities the opportunity to play a good challenging round that is both enjoyable and easily playable.

Where to Stay:    Fuerte Marbella

9th

Valle Romano Golf Course

Design – Cabell B. Robinson

Opened for play – 2010

The Best Golf Courses in Marbella - Valle Romano Golf

Valle Romano Golf, in Estepona, is an outstanding 18-hole course, fitted out to play host to the most demanding and prestigious tournaments. Its design guarantees the enjoyment of amateur golfers, while being transformed into a challenging circuit for professionals.

Where to Stay:  ONA Valle Romano

8th

Cabopino Golf  

Design – Juan Ligués Creus

Opened for play – 2001

The Best Golf Courses in Marbella - Cabopino Golf

Cabopino has spectacular views of the Mediterranean, as well as beautiful vegetation with a profusion of magnificent wide crowned pines.

Where to Stay:  NH Marbella

7th

Los Flamingos Golf  

Design – Antonio García Garrido

Opened for play – 2002

The Best Golf Courses in Marbella - Los Flamingos

Flamingos Golf has hosted prestigious golf tournaments such as the 2002, 2003 and 2004 European Seniors and the Women’s Spanish Open in 2010.

Where to Stay:  Anantara Villa Padierna

6th

La Quinta Golf   

Design – Manuel Pinero

Opened for play – 1989

The Best Golf Courses in Marbella - La Quinta Golf

Having opened for play as an 18-hole course in 1989, La Quinta has since expanded and now boasts a 27-hole complex for visitors to enjoy. The 27 holes have been split into three nine-hole loops and each offers tremendous views of the mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. A & C (San Pedro and Guadaiza) would be our preferred 18-hole loop.

Where to Stay:  Westin La Quinta Golf & Spa Resort

5th

Real Club de Golf Guadalmina South Course

Design – Javier Arana

Opened for play – 1959

The Best Golf Courses in Marbella -Clubhouse view at real club de sotogrande

This is the oldest course, is renowned for its difficulty, thus making it more suitable for experienced players.
 Fairways are narrow and well protected by old trees requiring more straight shots.

The Great Sir Henry Cotton named the long 7th hole ‘Tipperary’ as it’s a long way to go! 

Where to Stay:  Hotel Guadalmina Golf & Spa Resort

4th

Los Naranjos 

Design – Robert Trent Jones

Opened for play – 1977

The Best Golf Courses in Marbella -lake and fountain at sunset los naranjos

Los Naranjos belongs to a select group of golf courses on the Costa del Sol, designed by world-famous golf architect Robert Trent Jones and was built at a time when suitable land was still available. The course quickly caught world fame thanks to its championship layout and design, during the hosting of the World Cup, Spanish Open and other important competitions.

Where to Stay:    H10 Andalusia Plaza

3rd

Rio Real Golf Club

Design – Javier Arana

Opened for play – 1965

The Best Golf Courses in Marbella - Rio Real

Javier Aranas the legendary Spanish golf course designer, took the natural terrain and used numerous varieties of trees, Olive, Cypress & Pine to name but a few, to create a golf course that golfers of all abilities can enjoy

Where to Stay:  Rio Real Golf & Spa Resort

2nd

Finca Cortesin 

Design – Cabell B. Robinson

Opened for play – 2006

The Best Golf Courses in Marbella - Finca Cortesin

Finca Cortesin has hosted numerous high-profile events including the Volvo World Match Play Championship on three occasions, one of the world’s most prestigious professional golf tournaments and ranked in the top 5 golf courses in Spain by the Golf World Magazine.

Where to Stay:  Finca Cortesin Golf Resort

1st

Las Brisas 

Design – Robert Trent Jones

Opened for play – 1968

The Best Golf Courses in Marbella - Las Brisas

Real Club de Golf Las Brisas, one of the oldest courses on the Costa del Sol. Designed in the golden age of course architecture, Robert Trent Jones’ course is a masterpiece that demands accuracy on the part of the player, and it is not enough to hit long shots, Course management is paramount. The layout contains many water hazards including ten artificial lakes and ample protection from bunkers for greens that are mostly raised. All of this lies in a unique natural setting. 

Robert Trent Jones had a fantastic philosophy when designing Golf courses.

“If players are going to attack a course, I am going to defend it!!”

Where to Stay:  Puente Romano Marbella

The Golf in Marbella is just incrediable, manicured fairways, wonderful layouts by some of Spain’s greatest course designers, pure greens and a fantastic history. A great region for local tapas to Michelin stared resturants and award winning bars. It is hard to beat what is on offer in Marbella.

Thomas Hall – Spanish Sales Specialist – 360 Golf Holidays