La Manga West Course
Since opening in 1972, La Manga Club has enjoyed a tremendous reputation around Europe and the rest of the world. La Manga has catered for tourists and professional sports teams for many years, including the England international football team.
However, in addition to the five-star hotel and huge wellness center, La Manga is famous for golf and there are three excellent golf courses to enjoy. The pick of the three courses must be La Manga West Course, which is considered the jewel in the crown.
You will find that the course of La Manga West is very distinct from its sisters, playing between pines rather than palms because it is set in an immense protected forest. It starts as it will go on, a 336-yard par 4 made tricky by a pond in front of a small green whose curves make it exacting to chip shot should you miss the green. An adorable par 3 over a ravine to a green enclosed by pines is then followed by a much more open-feeling par 5 – although you still need to be precise on this acute dog-leg to avoid the trees and ditch.
Do not be deceived by the length of La Manga West Course, as despite its short length of 6,250 yards, this is a tough golf course to master.
The scenery around the course is beautiful and the course itself is well taken care of, providing a true and fast playing surface, especially on the fairways and greens. There are a good variety of holes and you never get the feeling you have seen the same hole before as you play your way around the 18 holes.
Despite being a small and picturesque golf course, you must be on top form to score low at La Manga West Golf Course. Set among pine woodlands and on undulating land, the course feels natural but with very narrow fairways in some places, mishit shots can be severely punished.
Some of the undulations are perhaps better described as being hills, especially in comparison to the other two La Manga courses which are flat in comparison. The front nine holes are very tight and require accurate driving from the tee, especially with natural storm gullies waiting for your ball. The back nine holes are slightly more open and hilly than the front nine but no less of a challenge, especially with the bunkers and water coming into play around holes 9, 10 and 17.
The holes from 10 to 14 are considered by many to be the best stretch on the West Course and these are the ones furthest away from the first tee. Each of those holes are pleasing on the eye but can play brutally tough and you must consider club choice carefully.
In fact, playing the West Course is as much about knowing your distance as anything else and if you are lucky enough to spend a weekend or longer at La Manga resort, you will benefit hugely from playing this course more than once.
The 18th hole is a great way to finish and the elevated tee with views over La Manga and the Mediterranean is a real treat to end a great round of golf.
Complete with a nice driving range plus good putting and short game practice areas, La Manga West Golf Course should be high on your list of golf experiences.