The Championship course at La Manga Club in the south is perhaps one of the most forgiving tests of golf available. While it is considered a top-calibre championship course at 6,499 metres from the White Tees, it also presents a comprehensive test for both the scratch player and players of all handicaps. Read our La Manga Club review here.
The South Course, located in the valley's heart, has wide palm-fringed fairways and water hazards that come into play on 15 of the 18 holes. In addition, any errant shots will be punished by the numerous carefully placed water hazards and bunkers.
Both Seve Ballesteros and Arnold Palmer have played the South course at La Manga Club. It is La Manga's most well-known trio. It begins immediately next to the hotel with a hole characteristic of the impending challenge; the first is relatively straightforward, with space for error on the left. However, a giant lake lurks behind reeds on the right, eating just the distance of most amateur tee shots into the fairway.
The front nine is very difficult, with two par 3s over 200 metres and several intimidating par 4s that will need precision driving through lakes and bunkers, necessitating long irons or fairway clubs to the green.
Although the back nine is shorter, it contains a handful of interesting dog-leg holes. The 11th and 12th holes, which require precise club selection to greens over the sea, should be given special attention. The vast rough area on 14 will provide most golfers with a "food for thought" followed by the par 4, 15th, which thoroughly merits its stroke 1 rating. The creek that borders the 16th Green now feeds a freshly created lake that protects the front of the green, which will undoubtedly need complete focus from all golfers. Finally, the par-5 18th, which has water on both sides of the fairway and a ravine just short of a well-protected green, will be a very tough finish.
The South Course has hosted several major professional events, including the Spanish Opens (both men's and women's), PGA Championships, and Qualifying Schools for both the men's and women's European Tours. Furthermore, it continues to be a solid favourite of many corporations worldwide as the ideal setting for their corporate gatherings.