Spain has such a wide choice of styles and standards of golf course it is a difficult task to really identify which are the 10 best golf courses, and of course the opinion of whether a golf course is a good one or not is very much in the eye of the beholder and can also depend on how they have played on the particular day they have visited.
So, using our years of travel and golf experience in Spain this is our beholder’s opinion of the 10 best golf courses in Spain
World famous Valderrama is best known as a superb matchplay venue due to hosting the Ryder Cup in 1997 under the guidance of Spanish captain Seve Ballesteros. Always in absolutely fabulous condition, this wonderful golf course is situated in the exclusive Sotogrande Estate in the southern part of Cadiz and offers travelling golfers the opportunity to enjoy a world-class and world-famous course. Although no longer Spain’s number 1 golf course, it holds a unique place in the pantheon of truly world class golf courses.
Real Club Seville Golf is a particular favourite of the Golf de la Luz team and combining a visit to the club with a stay in the beautiful old town of Seville is a fantastic way to enjoy the very best that this part of Andalucia has to offer.
The golf course is fairly flat and a relatively easy walk, but it’s challenge is to be found in the length of some of the holes that climax in slippery and undulating greens with subtle borrows and slopes everywhere. Finding the green could be considered the easy part of your round here at Real Club Seville, but getting the ball in the hole when on the green can be the undoing of many golfers of all standards!
Situated close to the historic city of Girona just to the North East of Barcelona is the amazing PGA Catalunya Stadium course. Many golfers find the sister Tour Course a decent challenge and it is certainly worth playing, but it is on the Stadium Course that plenty of golfers have had their game dismantled by this beast of a golf course! In every area the Stadium Course is difficult – length, elevation changes, the type and length of the rough, bunkers and finally the greens – and you know that when you are given 6 shots over your handicap on the tournament scorecard that it is going to be a tough day. But, don’t be put off! Just to say that you have survived such a tough golf course with your sense of humour and golf swing intact should be enough to make you visit again, because this is truly an amazing golf course.
Featuring changes of elevation throughout the round that are probably unique anywhere in Europe, the golf course at Finca Cortesin is a fantastic – yet approachable – challenge for most golfers with sub-20 handicaps. And higher handicap players will also enjoy the course. Buggies are thankfully included with all green fees at Finca Cortesin and the whole experience is a true 5 star day out, from your pyramid of range balls on the elevated tees of the driving range, through to the service of the friendly staff team, the excellent conditioning of the course and the wonderful views from many of the holes, finishing in a run of tremendous closing holes and the comfort and welcome of the luxurious clubhouse. Highly recommended!
A 5-time venue of the Volvo Masters, the golf course at Montecastillo was designed by Jack Nicklaus and is still considered one of the great man’s best course designs. Another course that features great elevation changes throughout the round, it is a decent challenge for golfers of all standards due to its variety of tee positions. The slopes and hills mean that a buggy is strongly recommended here at Montecastillo for all but the fittest golfers as you plot your way around this challenging golf course near Jerez in the Cadiz province of Spain. With free golf always available for residents of the on-site 5 star Barcelo Montecastillo Hotel it is almost impossible to find a reason not to visit sometime in your golfing career!
The golf course of La Reserva de Sotogrande is located in the exclusive golfing enclave of the Sotogrande Estate which features a plethora of world-class golf courses in the southern reaches of the Cadiz province. Easily accessible from either Gibraltar or Malaga, La Reserva features a superbly conditioned golf course and wonderful practice facilities and clubhouse for all visiting golfers to enjoy. Your buggy is always included at La Reserva, and once again you will probably need this, as there are some long walks and hills to navigate on this fantastic golf course!
Plotting a course around the crater of a long- extinct volcano is not the usual habitat of a golf course designer, but in the days of the British Empire a group of ex-pats chose to do exactly that! In a spectacular hillside location close to the capital of Gran Canaria – Las Palmas – the golf club at Bandama is in fact the oldest golf course anywhere in Spain. With all that history the golf course is certainly very mature and the greens are among the very best in the country. 3-putts rare not uncommon on these slippery dance-floors, and unless you have a very gentle touch it is not unheard of for visiting golfers to find themselves back on the fairway after putting off the green!
Another special connection to Spain’s favourite golfing son is to be experienced at the Buenavista Golf Club in the northern quarter of Tenerife. Designed by Seve Ballesteros the golf course features Seve’s favourite trademark combination of six par-3’s, six par-4’s and six par 5’s and occupies the most spectacular sea-side location. With the ocean on one side and the towering volcanic mountains to the other, retaining your concentration without being distracted by the incredible vistas all around is a big step on the way to posting a good score at Buenavista. With most golf courses in Tenerife being located in the South of the island, Buenavista is a place that is not visited by most golfers on the island, but is certainly well worth the effort.
Another Canary Islands golf course that is not the easiest to access is the hillside layout at Tecina Golf on the island of La Gomera. Admittedly not the most challenging of courses, the unrivalled location and spectacular views compensates for this. Winding its way down the slope from the first hole right at the top of the hill, the golf course is more like a “golfing garden” with the beautiful flora and fauna of La Gomera delighting the senses throughout your round. Over the water on Tenerife you will see the Teide volcano from every hole, so once again, even if you have forgotten to bring your “A-game” you are still sure to savour every moment of your round here at Tecina Golf, La Gomera.
Whilst probably not usually found in a Top 10 of Spanish Golf, the Jose-Maria Olazabal designed La Monacilla Golf Club is worthy of a mention in this list. Long and pretty tough is a fair assessment of the course, but it is a great design with superbly challenging holes in every section of the golf course. Sown with Bermuda grass, some players complain that it is dry during the warmer months of the year, but the beauty of the Bermuda is that playability is guaranteed all year around, and the greens are superbly conditioned. A lovely colonial-style clubhouse is a suitably cool and airy place to unwind after enjoying La Monacilla and looking back on one of south-west Spain’s best courses.
So, there we have it – the definitive guide to our take on the Top 10 golf courses in Spain. We hope you enjoy them as much as we have and welcome your feedback when you have visited!