Guide to Golf in Spain
If you play Golf then you have to visit Spain – the golfing mecca of Europe and a winning formula of world-class golf courses in stunning locations and a climate which allows enthusiasts to enjoy their sport throughout the year (without the need for all-weather golf gear!)
From Andalucia’s “Costa del Golf” to the beautiful Catalonian courses nestling in the foothills of the Pyrenees, the Spanish mainland and islands boast an extraordinary range of golfing and golf courses to suit all tastes, abilities and budgets.
Small wonder the country has become one of the world’s favourite golf holiday destinations. Tour operators offer all manner of tailor-made golf vacations throughout Spain – from luxury golf and spa breaks through to corporate golf packages and beginners’ courses combined with sightseeing tours and other activities.
Huge resort complexes have sprung up around the most popular courses and recent years have seen an increasing trend among foreign buyers to invest in property on or near a golf course in Spain. Golf enthusiasts buy a holiday or retirement homes while sharp investors generate an enviable income from holiday lets targeted at golfers.
Costa del Golf / Costa del Sol
Golf is now at the heart of the multi-billion dollar tourist industry which dominates the Spanish Costas and nowhere more so than on the Costa del Sol which is king of the crop in terms of golfing heaven. This “sunshine coast” has more than 30 golf courses and Andalucia as a whole is home to nearly 60 courses, many of which host regular world championships.
The Costa del Sol’s many world-class clubs include Valderrama – Spain’s most famous golf course which hosted the Ryder Cup in 1997 and the World Golf American Express Championships in 1999 and 2000. The club has become the spiritual home of the prestigious Volvo Masters tournament (the European Tour’s flagship championship).
Other big names on the long list of top-flight Andalucian courses include Torrequebrada (so tough it’s called “the Beast”), spectacular Monte Mayor where the mountainside course has magnificent views of the Mediterranean, Gibraltar and North Africa and San Roque where you’ll find both the Seve Ballesteros golf academy and an equestrian centre run by Captain Mark Phillips.
Other regions of Spain may not have the same quantity of world-class courses as Andalucia but many offer top quality golf in extraordinarily beautiful settings. Cataluna, in the northeast corner of the country, has several exceptional courses including the PGA “Golf de Catalunya” near Girona and the highly rated Emporda Golf Club with its course designed by top American golf architect Robert Van Hagge.
The luxurious La Manga resort in the province of Murcia in south-east Spain has three of Europe’s finest courses and has played host to five Spanish Opens.
The Costa Blanca, Costa Azahar and Costa Dorada along the east coast also offer a wealth of good courses interspersed among this busy coastline’s popular tourist resorts. Las Ramblas at Torrevieja, La Sella at Denia and nearby Oliva Nova are among the many east coast resort complexes which have sprung up in recent years, attracting ex-pat buyers and golf-mad holidaymakers in equal measure.
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