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Guide of the best golf clubs in Marbella and Sotogrande10 Jul, 2023 Manolo Alarcon

La Reserva Golf Club Sotogrande

Photo: La Reserva Golf Club Sotogrande

The best golf clubs in Marbella, Benahavis, Sotogrande, Casares, Estepona and Manilva. This is the ranking of the best 20 golf clubs for Libehomes:

1- Finca Cortesin (Casares)

2- Valderrama (Sotogrande)

3- Real Club Golf Sotogrande

4- Los Flamingos (Benahavis)

5- La Reserva de Sotogrande

6- Marbella Club Golf Resort (Benahavis)

7- Rio Real Golf & Hotel (Marbella)

8- Las Brisas Real Club Golf (Marbella)

9- Aloha Golf Club (Marbella)

10- Real Club de Golf Guadalmina (Marbella)

11- San Roque Club (San Roque)

12- La Quinta Golf & Country Club (Benahavis)

13- Marbella Golf & Country Club (Marbella)

14- La Zagaleta Old Course (Benahavis)

15- Los Naranjos (Marbella)

16- Atalaya Golf (Estepona)

17- El Paraiso (Estepona)

18- Los Arqueros (Benahavis)

19- La Cañada (Sotogrande)

20- La Hacienda La Alcaidesa Links Golf Resort (San Roque)


The quantity, quality and variety of golf courses is so great that the Costa del Sol is also called Costa del Golf. Ready?




Real Club Valderrama, in Sotogrande, is the elite of the elite among the golf courses in Spain. Its importance transcends borders. It is considered the best golf course in continental Europe and one of the most important in the world.

The championships celebrated here are good proof of this: Ryder Cup in 1997 (Tiger Woods’ first); Volvo Masters (1988-1996 and 2002-2008); Amex World Championships (1999-2000); Open Spain; Andalusia Masters.

It was created by the most prestigious of golf course designers, the American Robert Trent Jones, and has been open since 1974.

The Real Club Valderrama has a main course with 18 holes (6,356 meters, par 72), and a secondary course with 9 holes, all par 3. The main course consists of four par 3 holes, eleven par 4 holes and 3 holes of par 5.

Each of the holes has its name (“El Árbol”, “El Túnel”, “El Sueño”…), but the best known for its difficulty is hole number 4, “La Cascada”. It is a spectacular par 5 of 533 metres, with a lake and a two-level green, defended by two bunkers and a stream with a waterfall.

In 2016, on the occasion of the Spanish Open, a contest was organized between three national teams of four golfers, just to complete this hole. The winners were the French, who did it in four shots in 34.87 seconds, halving the previous Guinness record.

We could also mention hole 17, called “Los Gabilones” but nicknamed “El Maldito”, due to its extraordinary difficulty. Suffice it to say that Tiger Woods sent the ball into the water a couple of times in the 97 Ryder Cup.

These are just a few examples of great golf moments in the fairways and on the greens of the Real Club Valderrama. In any case, the layout of the course allows for bogeying with relative ease, although making par is only up to experienced players.

To be able to play in this club you have to be a member or become friends with someone who is, since companions can play.

Obviously, the fees are not for all budgets (though the driving range is free). If you have the opportunity, just a visit to this emblematic place is worth it, even if you don’t play golf.



La Reserva Club is a neighbor of Real Club Valderrama (some of its fairways almost touch each other). This is a more modern golf course, founded in 2003 by Cabell B. Robinson. However, it maintains the tradition of excellence that makes Sotogrande an international benchmark in the world of golf.

The La Reserva Club golf course is located on a mountainous slope, with spectacular views of the sea and the mountains. It is an 18-hole golf course (par 72). At first glance we notice its wide fairways and extensive greens.

The terrain is generally smooth and undulating, but it poses interesting challenges for players. The abundance of water obstacles plays a role in this.

The first 9 holes are a true marvel. It is difficult to choose which one should be the iconic hole. Probably number 7 (par 3, 127 metres, handicap 18) would be the chosen one for us.

It is no surprise that La Reserva Golf Club has been included among the 12 best in Spain by the prestigious Golf World Magazine.

La Reserva de Sotogrande is an exclusive residential and holiday complex. La Reserva golf club is just one of the sports facilities it offers.

In La Reserva de Sotogrande we highligh The Beach, a 17,000 m2 artificial lagoon for all kinds of water sports. Motor boats are not allowed, for safety. However, one of the biggest attractions is the electric surfboard.

In addition, the complex includes the Racquet Center La Reserva Club, with 4 clay tennis courts and 5 paddle tennis courts with glass walls. Each sport has its respective academies.

As you can see, La Reserva Club is the perfect place to enjoy with the whole family: golfers and those who don’t play this sport.



A neighbor of the two previous ones, La Cañada Club de Golf is also located in the inland area of Sotogrande (the one with the best views, due to its elevated terrain).

It is an 18-hole golf course, with a par of 71, which also leaves nothing to be desired. In fact, nine of the holes were designed by Trent Jones himself (creator of Valderrama, among many others) and the other nine by the also famous David Thomas.

Apart from the excellent design, it shares an extraordinary location with the Real Club Valderrama. There are no constructions around that interfere in the slightest with the splendid views.

However, La Cañada differs from the neighboring golf clubs in other aspects. We could say it is its economic version. The club was created on the initiative of a non-profit sports association dedicated to promoting golf.

Since 1982, this association has managed the first public golf course in Spain, the “Campo Municipal de Golf La Cañada”. Logically, La Cañada does not have the elitist and exclusive character of the Real Club Valderrama or La Reserva Club.

The club is open to all visitors and boast of offering the best value for money on the entire Costa del Golf. It is in fact one of the most popular, with an average number of sorties among the highest in Spain (almost 70,000 a year).

La Cañada Club de Golf has a total length of 5,841 metres. Its fairways, not very long, are affordable for players of all levels.

As is also logical in an institution of its type, La Cañada Golf Club places a special emphasis on teaching and children’s golf: in fact, the Municipal Golf School that it manages, with around 300 students, is considered one of the best in Spain.

The club is also a pioneer in Adapted Golf, with a school for the disabled that welcomes around 60 students. As if that were not enough, the club has an excellent restaurant, a gastronomic reference in the area, famous for its tasty rice with lobster.



This is a classic among golf courses on the Costa del Sol. The Real Club de Golf Sotogrande (par 72, 6,492 metres) is the first designed in Europe by the legendary Robert Trent Jones (in 1964).

With almost half a century of history, the club needed a full-fledged restoration and this was carried out with great success by Roger Rulewich and David Fleury, the two golf architects who have worked with Trent Jones for 35 years.

The restoration work, carried out between 2015 and 2016, meant an increase of 45 percent of the surface of the field, thus recovering its original size.

The importance of the Real Club de Golf Sotogrande is highlighted by its own creator, who considers it one of his five favorites among the more than 500 he designed around the world.

The Real Club de Golf Sotogrande is a perfect example of what Trent Jones means in the world of golf: courses that are perfectly adapted to the landscape and with a delicate balance between interest and difficulty for experts and fun for those who are not.

This can be summed up in the idea that a successful hole should be “easy bogey and hard par” (holes 4, 7, 13 and 15 are especially noteworthy).

The fairways of the Real Club de Golf Sotogrande are quite wide. However, the greens are elevated and well defended by bunkers. That’s where players encounter the main difficulties.

Another curious fact is that the Real Club de Golf Sotogrande was the first in Europe to be sown with Bermuda 419, the variety of grass that later became standard for sports facilities due to its incredible resistance to trampling. It was also the first course to introduce a fully automatic irrigation system.

Unlike Valderrama and La Cañada, the Real Club de Golf Sotogrande is located in the beach area. One of its streets reaches a distance of only one hundred meters from the sea and the beach bars.

It is an area of large luxury villas, where the Santa Maria Polo Club and the emblematic Sotogrande marina are also located.



A 5-minute drive on the highway from Sotogrande toward Cádiz we find the San Roque golf club. It is located in a spectacular environment, on high ground, surrounded by nature and with incredible views of the sea and the mountains.

San Roque Golf Club is an extensive resort that has: two 18-hole golf courses, the Old Course and the New Course; practice areas and putting green (one with 18 holes and two with 9 holes); pitching area; three practice bunkers; club house with luxury restaurant, shop and changing rooms.

The Old Course was built by Dave Thomas in 1990. The New Course was added in 2002 by Perry Dye, representative of another of the great North American dynasties in the world of golf.

The club was presided by the great Severiano Ballesteros and has served as a framework for important tournaments (such as the Spanish Open, in 2005 and 2006).

Open to the general public, San Roque Golf club enjoys a very good reputation in terms of value for money. Visitors are often surprised, as they don’t expect a field of this level for the price of admission.

And it is not an easy course at all, but rather the opposite. Those who have played the Old Course highlight the great variety in the layout of its holes, each one with a different challenge (holes 11, 13 and 18 are noteworthy). On the New Course the fairways are more undulating and have a greater abundance of obstacles, both bunkers and water.



Situated between the San Roque and Valderrama golf courses is the Almenara Sotogrande Golf Club. It is in an area a little further inland, next to the Los Alcornocales natural park. It is an idyllic setting to practice golf amid trees and with incredible views.

Also designed by Dave Thomas, Almenara Sotogrande is a 27-hole course, with 3 9-hole courses. It has been recently remodeled by Manuel Piñeiro, a legendary golfer, who has incorporated notable improvements.

Water and trees (pines and cork oaks) are the predominant elements in the landscape of the Almenara Sotogrande Golf Club. And in fact they have given their name to the 3 routes that make up the course: Lagos (lakes), Alcornoques (cork oaks) and Pinos (pines).

The Lagos course has wide fairways that run along the border of 3 lakes and beautiful groves, mainly pine trees; in the second (Alcornoques), the streets are quite wide, undulating, and also border a wide lake. The last of them, Pinos, has narrower fairways, so you have to fine-tune your shots, and has sand bunkers. The par 3 at the end of this course is a challenge up for the most experienced players.

Keep in mind that the streets are quite steep here. Using  a buggy is recommended to all those who are not very fit. Thankfullly we find drinking water at many points along the route.

As for accommodation, the Almenara Sotogrande Golf Club could not be better served: literally next door we find the spectacular 5-star hotel SO / Sotogrande. Apart from truly luxurious accommodation, SO / Sotogrande has elite facilities such as the SO / SPA & HEALTH CLUB and the SO / FIT gym, open 24 hours for its guests.



A couple of kilometers further along the motorway in the direction of Cádiz, but on the sea side, we find the sixth golf club in the Sotogrande area, Hacienda Alcaidesa Links Golf Resort.

This is a very special golf club, as it has the only “links” course in southern Europe. And what is a links golf course? The name comes from Scotland, the place where golf was invented.

The “links” are a certain type of vacant land in coastal areas, located between the beach and the crops. They are bare of trees and have a characteristic type of undulating terrain. Those were the places where some of the local inhabitants used to entertain themselves hitting balls with sticks as a sport. Thus they devised a new sport, without suspecting what it would become later.

The fact is that the coast of Sotogrande has a striking similarity with these areas of Scotland and has made it possible to host a true links course.

The links course (18 holes and par 72) has a course of 5,866 meters, of which almost two kilometers run along the beach. Needless to say that the landscape is incomparable, with the sea and the Rock of Gibraltar as a backdrop to the countryside.

On the inland side, the field is bordered by a protected wooded area, without no constructions of any kind.

Apart from being the only golf course of its kind in southern Europe, La Alcaidesa course has been included by Golf World magazine among the 20 best “links” courses on the old continent.

It has also been the scene of championships, such as the 1st PGA of Spain in 1995, the 2nd PGA of Andalusia in 1993 and 1994 and the Ryder Cup Junior Match of the United States against Europe in 1997.

The Resort also has another golf course, Alcaidesa Heathland (18 holes and par 72), with a length of 6,373 meters and designed by Dave Thomas. This course stands out for the great variety of its natural landscapes and the layout of its holes.

The holes on both courses at La Hacienda Alcaidesa Links Golf Resort pose interesting challenges for players. It is recommended to use the buggy for those who are not very fit, since this golf course is one of the most demanding on the Costa del Sol from a physical point of view.

As you see, buying a villa in Sotogrande means being able to enjoy six spectacular golf courses within a 5-7 minute drive. And this without leaving the area.

Driving in the direction of Estepona, Benahavis and Marbella, the golf fans can choose between more than 70 golf courses on the Costa del Sol, which is also rightly called the Costa del Golf.




A club with a lot of tradition, founded in 1959 by Norberto Goizueta, a visionary entrepreneur of Navarre origin.

The tourism boom in Spain had not even started and Marbella was yet to develop. However, the new club was already hosting important tournaments, such as the 1965 Spanish championship.

In 2008 it received the best accolade in its career, when King Juan Carlos I granted it the title of Real Golf Club. This is no doubt one of the best golf clubs in Marbella.

Guadalmina Golf is actually two courses in one, north and south (both 18 holes and par 72), and it is the most extensive on the Costa del Sol. In fact, one of its most striking features is that its fairways reach the beach.

The south course is famous for its difficulty and is therefore recommended only for experienced players. Its streets are long and narrow and are lined with good-sized trees.

The north course is also demanding, although for another reason: its more undulating terrain is interrupted by a fair number of water obstacles.

Here it is advisable to keep on the center of the fairways, otherwise it is easy to end up falling into one of the hidden water traps in the rough.

Beginners also have their place at the Real Club de Golf Guadalmina: it is the renowned driving range for 40 players, with a covered platform for 21 seats, putting green, chipping green and practice bunker.

This is undoubtedly one of the best courses on the Costa del Golf. Guadalmina Baja is the area of luxury villas par excellence on the Costa del Sol (and one of the few that are located on the beach).



Created in 1968 by Robert Trent Jones, one of the most prestigious golf course designers in the world.

Real Club de Golf Las Brisas is one of the most emblematic courses on the Costa del Sol. It is the first constructed in the famous “Golf Valley” (in the heart of Nueva Andalucía, the inland area of Puerto Banús).

With its 18 holes, par 72 and 6,198 metres, Las Brisas Golf has been intelligently designed to offer players interesting challenges. It is considered one of the best golf clubs in Marbella.

Its fairways are wide, but the terrain is undulating and has its fair share of obstacles, including ten artificial lakes and numerous bunkers.

Trent Jones has managed to integrate these obstacles into the landscape, creating abrupt angles that require precise shots and highly technical golf.

In the aesthetic aspect, Las Brisas Golf also leaves nothing to be desired. The field constitutes a true botanical garden, with trees and plants of dozens of species.

You can play in Real Club de Golf Las Brisas only if you are a member or if you are accompanied by a member. It does, however, have a restaurant open to the public, with excellent food and the best views in the area.

Las Brisas area has an abundance of luxury villas.



A short distance away we find Los Naranjos Golf Club (the “brother” of Las Brisas Golf).

This is another of the great golf courses in the Golf Valley and Nueva Andalucía. It is also the creation of Robert Trent Jones and was inaugurated a few years later, in 1977.

Unlike Las Brisas, Los Naranjos Golf (par 72, 18 holes) is open to the general public and has a variety of fees. It is a golf club suitable for international competitions, but also for mid-level players.

Not surprisingly, it has been repeatedly chosen as the best golf course on the Costa del Sol.

The course is characterized by its wide and long fairways, wide greens and wisely placed water hazards. Holes 1 to 9 present greater difficulties and challenges than the rest.

The terrain is comparatively flat, with gentle undulations. The course design has managed to make good use of its characteristics.

The facilities at Los Naranjos Golf Club have been renovated and are impeccable. As an example, the modern buggy incorporates a GPS system, which helps a lot in the field.

To highlight: the clubhouse and the restaurant with its terrace, a perfect place to watch the sunset over the valley.

Los Naranjos Golf area offers a wide range of new construction or fully renovated villas.



Aloha Golf Club is the third of the large golf courses in Nueva Andalucía. Another of the Costa del Golf classics, Aloha Golf is an exclusive club, for members only. However, it opens its doors to the general public in a certain time slot, for most of the year.

The club is the work of Javier Arana, considered by many to be the best Spanish golf course designer of all time. The 18 holes of the course respond to a traditional conception and exquisite attention to detail.

The course is 6,293 metres, with four par-5 holes, ten par-4s and four par-3s. It demands precision and offers great variety and guaranteed fun.

The gently undulating fairways, with lagoons and ornate groves, make the game at Aloha Golf a pleasure for the senses. The spectacular views of the La Concha mountain and the sea also contribute to this.

The designer specially selected the plant species that populate the field so as to have flowering plants and trees during all seasons.

Aloha Golf Club has a luxury terrace with spectacular views of the Giolf Valley. It also has a restaurant considered among the best in the entire area of Nueva Andalucía and Puerto Banús. This is open to the general public throughout the year.



A few meters from the Aloha Golf Club we find the Banus Executive Golf. This is a little gem, especially for those who enjoy the short game.

Banus Executive Golf has a 9-hole course (all of them par 3). Its design is a delight and the maintenance is impeccable. The club also has two practice holes for short game and a wide driving range, to practice the drive at ease.

Now, if you like both soccer and golf, this is your place. Banus Executive Golf has a regular soccer field and three other 7-a-side soccer fields, also in perfect condition.

The clubhouse, the pro shop, the bar and the restaurant complete this original sports club, for golfers and soccer fans.



Also Javier Arana’s creation, Río Real Golf is another of the great classics among the courses on the Costa del Golf.

Open since 1965, it is the closest golf club to Marbella city center (5 kilometers to the east, along the A-7 coastal highway).

Its location is truly privileged. Its incredible views make you forget how close it is to the city. The fairways follow the course of the Río Real until Los Monteros beach, one of the best in Marbella.

The Río Real course is, together with the Real Club de Golf Guadalmina, one of the only two golf courses that have holes by the sea on the Costa del Sol. By all accounts, this is one of the best golf clubs in Marbella.

In fact, one of the services most praised by customers is the buggy transfer from the restaurant to the Trocadero, the emblematic designer beach bar located a few meters from the golf fairways.

Río Real Golf Club stands out for the beauty of its landscaping, with lush trees that include cypresses, pines, palms, olive trees and other species. Not in vain is it considered one of the best in Spain by the Royal Spanish Golf Federation.

The player will find here 18 holes with par 72, in a spectacular course of just over 6,000 meters. The variety of challenges and obstacles will force you to use every club in your bag.

Rio Real Golf & Hotel is quite a tourist resort: therefore, there is no clubhouse, but rather the facilities of the boutique hotel, which includes a swimming pool and tennis courts.

Inside, exquisitely decorated by Pascual Ortega, we find a restaurant renowned for its cuisine.



Also in Marbella East we highlight the Santa Clara Golf Marbella, a more modern course (founded in 2001). Santa Clara Golf has struck the perfect balance for players of all levels to enjoy equally.

Golf course with 18 holes, par 71 and 5,922 meters, Santa Clara Golf Marbella really offers everything. Playing on foot is like a good training session, since it is somewhat hilly, especially in the first holes. It is thus recommended to rent a buggy for the first 9 holes, as the course then descends towards the sea.

There are sections to hit long shots, but precision is more important on this course, given the abundance of obstacles. We even find a par 3 from a bridge over the highway, the most unusual of all.

Santa Clara Golf Marbella has a renowned golf academy. The spaciousness of its practice tee stands out, with 20 posts and a long grass court, suitable for all clubs.

It also has a practice bunker, two putting greens and a pitching green. The clubhouse offers a pleasant restaurant serving Mediterranean cuisine, with the sea in the background.



Just a few meters from Santa Clara Golf we find another of Robert Trent Jones’ creations, the Marbella Golf & Country Club.

With 18 holes, par 72 and nearly 6,000 metres, it is a fairly difficult and demanding course, not particularly suitable for beginners. However, it has one of the best golf academies.

The terrain is quite rough, especially on the first nine holes, which go up and down the hill. From hole 10 to 18 the terrain is flatter.

Some fairways are quite narrow and require a lot of precision in your shots. The abundance of bunkers and raised greens is another of Trent Jones’ “trademarks”.

A special highlight in Marbella Golf & Country Club is the clubhouse, with its Art Deco-style bar from the 30s, which for many is the best on the Costa del Sol.



Five kilometers to the east of the two previous clubs we find another of the great courses in the East Marbella area, the Santa María Golf Club Marbella.

With an 18-hole, par 72 course, the Santa Maria Golf Club is located in Elviria, one of the most prestigious residential areas of Marbella.

Santa María Golf was originally a 9-hole course to which another was later added. The first section of 9 holes goes uphill towards the mountain and the second one returns, with incredible views of the sea from almost all the holes.

Of course, for those who are not very fit it is recommended to use the buggy, since the climb is quite demanding.

We highlight the superb state of the course, with impeccable grass, and also the design of the holes. The last 9 are the best, with special mention for hole 19.

The Santa Maria Golf Club is a highly technical course, varied, with fast greens that require precision shots.

As for the clubhouse, it deserves mention for its special charm, since it was made using an old Andalusian farmhouse from the 19th century.

The H19 restaurant also stands out, with views as pleasant as its Mediterranean and international cuisine.

The club also offers a swimming pool, two tennis courts and a bowling club.



Driving another 3 kilometers along the A-7 motorway we arrive at Cabopino Golf Club. Of the great golf courses in Marbella, it is the one located furthest to the east.

The area is famous for its quiet residential areas and also for the Cabopino beach and marina, next to the protected natural area of the Artola Dunes.

Cabopino Golf Club, with 18 holes, is a relatively modern golf course (open since 2001). Given its location, we highlight the splendid views of the sea, which seems to be within arm’s reach.

The same can be said of the abundance of broad-crowned pines, characteristic of the area, which offer pleasant shade all around the fairways.

The course offers fun and interest for players of all levels, although it is arguably the perfect place for the medium handicap player.

We highlight the spectacular hole 3, one of the most accomplished on the entire Costa del Golf: a par 4 with a start from high ground and a green well defended by bunkers.

On the other hand, number 10 takes the cake in terms of views, due to its position open to the sea.

In addition to its well-kept golf course, the club offers the Cabopino Golf Academy (which includes children’s courses).

In the clubhouse at Cabopino Golf Club we find a professional shop and the restaurant “El Mirador”, with seasonal Mediterranean cuisine and splendid views.




Designed by golf legend Seve Ballesteros, Los Arqueros Golf is the ideal place for experienced players who appreciate the game on mountainous terrain (and unbeatable scenery).

With 18 holes, par 71 and 5,700 metres, Los Arqueros Golf is not one of the most extensive courses, but it has everything necessary to pose interesting challenges to the most experienced players.

The course takes good advantage of the accidents of the terrain. It is very varied, with quite narrow fairways (where you will need to fine-tune the shot) and several holes on a steep climb.

For those who are not very fit, the buggy is recommended. Beginners have their place too: driving range, chipping green, putting green and practice bunker.

The clubhouse at Los Arqueros Golf is very cozy and offers great views over the 18th hole.

The area around Los Arqueros, in Benahavis, has a wide range of villas, both new construction and modern design as well as already built, of traditional style.



In the immediate vicinity of Los Arqueros Golf & Country Club we find El Higueral Golf Club. It is a smaller course than its neighbors in Benahavis, with only nine holes, but it offers players a very interesting alternative.

Ingeniously designed by Roderick Segar, El Higueral Golf Club is a course with original features and personality.

In terms of environment and maintenance, it is considered one of the best on the Costa del Golf. Segar has used the terrain to perfection to achieve an ideal combination of difficulty and fun for players of all levels.

Some experienced golfers are fooled by the affordable aspect of El Higueral Golf Club and overlook it. However, it is by no means a beginner’s course and holds surprises and challenges that amaze even experts.

On the other hand, El Higueral is a perfectly affordable golf course for those who are not too fit, since it allows you to walk everywhere.

It does not have a clubhouse, but it does have a very nice cafeteria. Small, manageable and very pleasant would be the characteristics that best define El Higueral Golf Club.



For those who love silence and nature when playing golf, the Marbella Club Golf Resort is the place.

It is located in a mountainous area above the AP-7 motorway. There are only a few developments of luxury villas, such as Monte Mayor. Even within the golf resort itself there are some brand new, modern style luxury villas. However, they are quite dispersed, so peace is complete.

The Marbella Club Golf Resort is owned by two of the most luxurious hotels in Marbella, the Puente Romano and the Marbella Club. As can be supposed, the quality of the services, the maintenance and the facilities correspond to a true elite club.

The Marbella Club Golf Resort has an 18-hole, par 72 course. It is the work of Dave Thomas and was inaugurated in 1999.

Given its location, we must highlight the impressive views along the entire route. The one at tee 18, with Gibraltar and the coast of Africa in the background, is worth mentioning.

We must point out the mountainous terrain: the use of the buggy is advisable for those who are not very sporty.

The fairways are varied and some of them pose serious challenges. There are frequent slopes and a good number of water obstacles.

We highlight the excellent condition of the fairways and roughs.

The Marbella Club Golf Resort has a club house and a restaurant, not very big, but very cozy. In any case, overcrowding here is not a problem. It is also worth noting the magnificent riding club.



La Zagaleta golf club, in Benahavís, consists of two courses with 18 holes each. The first to be built, the Old Course (1990), is reserved exclusively for the residents/owners of this impressive residential complex of luxury villas; the New Course (2005), is open to members who are not owners in La Zagaleta (and their companions).

Those who know La Zagaleta may assume that its golf club is one of the most impressive on the Costa del Sol. And of course they will not be disappointed. La Zagaleta is considered the most luxurious and exclusive residential complex in southern Europe.

La Zagaleta is located in a spectacular natural setting of wooded hills populated by deer, fallow deer, mouflon and other wild species. Obviously a dream setting for a golf course.

Consequently, both the Old Course and the New Course are true models of how to integrate golf courses with nature.

The Old Course (par 72, 5,693 metres) is the work of the Californian architect Bradford Benz. Its exquisite arrangement makes the player see only nature around him.

The impressive views of the sea and the coast of Africa stand out. It is a very technical golf course, demanding, even difficult, with very undulating terrain.

The clubhouse deserves a special mention, with almost 5,100 m2, a swimming pool, restaurant, party room, billiards room, bridge room and pro-shop.

The New Course (par 70, 5,159 metres), the creation of Steve Marnoch and Jonathan Gaunt, is more affordable, being located on more flat terrain.

Of course, it has interesting obstacles and its environment is as spectacular as its “big brother”, the Old Course.

La Zagaleta completes its offer of sports facilities with a magnificent equestrian center.



The complex known as Los Flamingos Golf is located in the surroundings of a luxury hotel resort, the Anantara Villa Padierna Palace Resort. The complex actually includes three golf courses, Los Flamingos, Alferini and Tramores.

The first of them (18 holes, 5,714 metres, par 71) was designed by the prestigious architect Antonio García Garrido. The architect left his mark on the elaborate landscaping, with an array of trees and stunning views of the Mediterranean.

The fairways of the first 9 holes are quite narrow, which requires a lot of precision when hitting, and the greens are of a good size. It is not surprising that Los Flamingos Golf has hosted prestigious golf tournaments, such as the European Seniors.

For its part, the Alferini course (with 18 holes, 6,641 metres, par 73) is quite difficult, even for experienced golfers.

For those who are looking for a challenge of their own height and find some of the courses on the Costa del Sol too easy, this is the ideal place. Here you have to hit long and straight, as there is little margin for error.

There are not many trees, but this is made up for by the hilly nature and the beautiful design of the course, with a great final hole with spectacular views from the tee to Gibraltar and the African coast.

Using a buggy is advisable, since the terrain is quite steep and there are some holes quite far from each other. The only point to improve is that there are no drinks in the field itself, so at least you will have to bring water with you.

Tramores (18 holes, 3,468 metres, par 63) is the most affordable of the three courses in Los Flamingos complex. In fact, this is the ideal place to get started in the sport, since it includes the Villa Padierna “Michael Campbell Golf Academy”.

Tramores is however far from being boring. Some experienced golfers take it as a good place to “warm up” before trying something more difficult, only to be surprised by its very technical holes and at the same time a lot of fun.

Nestled between two beautiful valleys, Tramores also offers beautiful views of the Mediterranean.

Los Flamingos is an area known above all for its contemporary style villas.



La Quinta Golf & Country Club is located within the so-called Golf Valley. This zone extends from Benahavis through the area of Nueva Andalucía, the vast inland territory of Puerto Banús.

La Quinta Golf was designed by the famous golfer Manuel Piñero, three times world champion and winner of the Ryder Cup.

It is a special golf club, since it has a total of 27 holes, divided into three 9-hole courses. Each of these has different characteristics and adapts to different levels, so each player can find their ideal spot.

Camp A, San Pedro, 2,460 meters long, has wide fairways and open spaces, ideal for woods and long irons.

Camp B, Ronda, with 2,445 metres, has narrow fairways and requires greater technique.

Finally, Camp C, Guadaiza, is the most technical of all, due to the abundance of water hazards and others.

When an online reservation is made, the club allows you to play flexibly on any of the courses.

La Quinta Golf & Country Club offers a golf initiation program for children and young people and offers a restaurant, shop and other services.

Throughout La Quinta Golf area there are developments of modern newly built villas.




Finca Cortesín is a luxury resort located in Casares that includes a 5-star hotel, fine restaurants, developments of luxury villas, townhouses, and apartments, and a golf course at the level of the best in the world.

The first thing to know is that the Finca Cortesín golf course is not for all budgets, since we are talking about one of the most expensive on the Costa del Sol. However, it must be admitted that what you receive is at the height of what is paid, both in facilities and service.

That said, you have to pay attention to the offers, since Finca Cortesin Golf Club has special packages with accommodation, meals and golf at very attractive prices.

As for the golf course itself (18 holes, 6,766 meters, par 72), let’s note that it is not one of the easy ones. Perfect for masters, it will pose a real challenge for mid-level players. However, beginners will feel right at home as it includes a spectacular driving range.

Needless to mention that the conditions of the course are excellent and the setting is spectacular, with privileged views of the sea, especially from holes 9 to 18.

Except for the most sporty, it is recommended to use a buggy, since the distances are quite long between each green and the tee-off of the next hole.

The fairways are wide, but very undulating and have a large number of bunkers (a hundred!) with excellent sand that makes it easy to get out.

The pleasant experience is completed with regular visits from the drinks cart, cold towels every 6-7 holes, cleaning of the clubs at the end of each round, etc.



Neighboring the luxurious and exclusive Finca Cortesín Golf Club, Casares Costa Golf is a compatively cheap alternative. However, this does not mean a lack of quality, neither in facilities nor in service. In fact, users rate it as one of the best golf courses on the Costa del Sol in terms of value for money.

Designed by Juan Carlos Martínez, the course has 9 holes located in an idyllic setting. The route takes us through a gently sloping valley, surrounded by greenery. Here we find vineyards, fruit trees and typical species of the Mediterranean forest.

As for the course itself, we must highlight hole number 7 (par 5, 472 metres), which has become famous on the Costa del Sol due to its great difficulty and is subject of frequent bets.

Three par 3s and five par 4s complete a course with a lot of variety, although in general it requires precision.

The layout is very comfortable, which is why many players consider it unnecessary to use the buggy.

Casares Costa Golf also has a golf academy, restaurant, gym and beauty salon. In short, everything necessary for the family to enjoy a full day of golf.



Very close to the two previous golf courses we find Doña Julia Golf Club. Only a few hundred meters separate some of its fairways from those of Casares Costa Golf.

Its layout begins very close to the Casares beach and extends inland, along increasingly higher ground, providing spectacular views of the sea and the African coast.

Doña Julia Golf Club completes the golf offer in the Casares area. Created by the renowned Malaga architect Antonio García Garrido, the club has 18 holes wisely integrated into the landscape.

Its technical difficulty is notable, even in the lowest pairs. The maintenance is excellent, which is not surprising, since it complies with the demanding standards of the United States Golf Association (USGA).

Facilities include clubhouse with restaurant, changing rooms and pro shop for golf items.

In addition, there is very good news for the very sporty (or if any of the family prefers the ball to golf clubs and balls): the Doña Julia Golf Club has two soccer fields, which are used by local clubs in their competitions.




Valle Romano Golf & Resort is located 7.3 kilometers northwest of the city of Estepona (14 minutes by car). The resort offers an 18-hole course with par 71 and a course of 6,231 meters.

It is the work of Cabell Robinson, creator of renowned golf courses in seven countries. Being on high ground, it offers unbeatable views of the sea and the coast of Africa.

It is a demanding field, relatively difficult. It has unevenness and dangers that guarantee a fun and interesting game, even for professionals.

The greens are hard and fast. Some famous holes stand out for their difficulty, such as 1 and 12. In fact, the course has hosted international tournaments, such as the 2018-2019 European Challenge Tour.

The players highlight the impeccable state of the course, the cozy clubhouse and the natural grass practice court.

Valle Romano Golf & Resort also offers a wonderful chipping green with a bunker for playing short game, a putting green and a professional shop.



Azata Golf is a new golf course in Estepona, inaugurated in July 2020. It is a neighbor of Valle Romano (some of its tracks are almost adjacent). It therefore enjoys the same spectacular views of the sea and the Sierra Bermeja.

It is also an 18-hole course with par 71 and a length of 5,703 meters. Its designers, Stirling & Martin, have managed to create a fun and interesting golf course for practically all levels. For this they have taken good advantage of the accidents of the terrain.

The Arroyo de Enmedio river skirts and crosses the tracks on its descent to the sea. There are also steep embankments, which add interest to the landscape.

The first 9 holes of Azata Golf are very technical. The streets are narrow and quite steep. They demand a good strategy and precise blows. The last 9 are already more open and allow a more relaxed game.

We must highlight the picturesque bridge on hole 3 (a par 4), with an incredible mountain landscape as a background.

Azata Golf includes a cozy club house, with a shop and a cozy restaurant, the Tito Buggy. It also has a prestigious academy run by Kiko Luna (Spanish national golf coach).

In just a few years of life, Azata Golf has already earned a solid reputation on the Costa del Golf.



A couple of kilometers further to the west of the city of Estepona we find the Estepona Golf club. A neighbor of Valle Romano, it is also located on high ground, which opens to the sea with impressive views.

Estepona Golf offers an 18-hole course (par 71, 5,671 meter length), with interest for players of all levels. It is a really varied course, in which no two holes are alike. Some are very technical and others, wider and longer, are perfect for a good drive.

The fairways are generally quite wide, but they all contain a fair amount of obstacles, which pose considerable challenges. The terrain is relatively rough in the area, with quite a few unevenness in the course.

The many uphill climbs require good shape, especially the 13th hole, known as “Cardiac Hill”. For this reason, those who are not very sporty are advised to use the buggy.

Among the holes, number 14 deserves mention, due to its special difficulty and its orientation towards the mountains of the nearby Sierra Bermeja, with incredible views.

The course of Estepona Golf has been improving its facilities and maintenance year after year. Also noteworthy is the restaurant with panoramic views of the sea.



To the east of Estepona city, halfway to San Pedro de Alcántara, we find La Resina Golf course. This small 9-hole course is one of the most modern, relatively, on the Costa del Sol (founded in 2006).

The fairways are not very long, so it is a perfect golf course for those who like to play the short game. The holes are all par 3 except for one par 4. However, its designers have achieved a fun and interesting golf course, not only for amateurs but also for professionals.

To do this they have made good use of the irregularities and unevenness of the mountainous terrain.

Located in an elevated area, surrounded by green spaces (including the Selwo wildlife park), the La Resina course offers splendid views of the coast and the sea.

The field itself is an orchard, with lanes lined with flowers, which give us the impression of being in the middle of a garden.

The club offers a complete practice area, with a driving range, putting green and practice bunker. The clubhouse has a bar, a snack bar and a conference room.



El Paraíso Golf Club, located on the New Golden Mile, is an extensive golf course with history and tradition.

Designed by golf star (and great course designer) Gary Player and opened in 1973, it is one of the classics on the Costa del Sol. 18-hole, par 71 course, extending 6,131 meters from the championship tees.

It is considered a course of medium to medium-high difficulty, suitable for players of almost all levels.

The terrain is relatively flat and open: there are only a couple of ascents, so you can walk well with a cart. Nevertheless, do not rule out the possibility of doing it in a buggy, depending on your physical condition.

The fairways are wide and lined with palm and leafy pine trees, with areas of spectacular views of the sea and mountains.

It does not have too many water hazards. On the other hand, it does have many sand bunkers.

At El Paraiso Golf we highlight the cozy clubhouse, with its large terrace overlooking the 18th hole. Its restaurant is cozy and serves very good food.

El Paraiso area has promotions of modern villas and also traditional style villas.



Further east, in the heart of the New Golden Mile, is El Campanario Golf & Country House. It is a small golf course, with 9 holes. However, it is located in a resort that offers much more.

This is the perfect place to spend the day with the whole family (and those who do not play golf do not get bored).

The club includes a complete spa and wellness area with therapeutic massage, a modern gym with views, a 22-metre indoor pool, a solarium with a Jacuzzi, three tennis courts, two paddle tennis courts, a cafeteria and a restaurant specializing in Mediterranean food.

The holes are all par 3, to practice the short game.

El Campanario Golf is an ideal alternative for groups looking for golf as one more ingredient in a day of relaxation and sport.



Finally, in the easternmost area of the territory of Estepona (at the beginning of the New Golden Mile) we find Atalaya Golf & Country Club.

This is another of the great clubs on the Costa del Sol. And it is great in the first place because of its size, since it consists of two courses with 18 holes each, the Old Course and the New Course.

The club is situated on relatively flat ground. This makes it suitable for playing on foot, although of course there is a buggy service.

The Old Course (par 72) is one of the classics on the Costa del Sol. It was founded in 1968 by Bernard von Limburger, one of the most renowned German golf architects.

The course has been renovated over the years to improve the game and to host professional tournaments.

The Old Course is really perfect for playing on foot: its wide fairways are lined with dense trees, which provide pleasant shade. It also offers wonderful views of the La Concha mountain and the sea.

The three lakes and the streams that serve as obstacles are home to various animal species.

As for the game, the successful design of the course guarantees interesting challenges for players of all levels. For example, the elevated greens do not make it easy to choose the right club for each hole.

The New Course, for its part, was inaugurated in 1990. With par 71, this work of Paul Krings occupies the hills that are just above the Old Course.

Its route includes some slopes, but it can be done perfectly on foot. Of course, in the warmest months you may have to resort to the buggy.

Its higher position gives it even more spectacular views than those of the Old Course. Here the holes are uneven, which complicates the choice of club a bit more.

Apart from the two courses, the Atalaya Golf & Country Club has a golf academy (driving range, practice green and chipping area with two bunkers).

It also has a luxurious clubhouse with restaurant and terrace with panoramic views. One detail that stands out is the beautiful Gaudí-style kiosk that they have installed.




La Duquesa Golf is located in the municipality of Manilva, halfway between Estepona and Sotogrande. Its location is privileged: a few meters from the sea, next to the picturesque Puerto de la Duquesa (just over the A-7 coastal highway).

Puerto de la Duquesa is famous as a leisure area, with a large number of bars and restaurants. And it is surrounded by great beaches. As we can see, this residential area of villas and apartments offers everything for enjoyment just a few meters away.

Although it is not as famous as the big Sotogrande clubs, La Duquesa Golf is also a reference. Its creator is, once again, Robert Trent Jones. And it has been open since 1986.

La Duquesa Golf is an 18-hole, par 72 course. The golf experience with sea views at La Duquesa Golf is second to none. The views are incredible. Depending on the orientation of the tees, the views extend from the African coast to the city of Marbella itself.

As for the holes, there are two clearly differentiated areas. The first 9 demand a precise game. They have narrow fairways and relatively elevated greens. In the last 9, on the other hand, the fairways are wider and allow a more relaxed game.

Medium level players can thus correct the mistakes made in the first part of the tour and be more satisfied with their performance. The last 9 holes are also the most spectacular. Particularly noteworthy is the 17th hole tee.

As we can see, players of all levels enjoy at La Duquesa Golf. The course can be easily completed on foot. It has unevenness, but they are not important. Even so, of course, it has of course a buggy service.

In addition, the club offers: golf school, driving range, putting green, chipping area, restaurant, bar, pro shop and swimming pool.


Thinking about people who take into account the schools in the area when buying a home, we also wrote a detailed article about the best international schools in Marbella. And now they will also be able to know more about the golf courses closest to their new residence.

If you want to buy a home in Marbella, Benahavis, Sotogrande, Casares, Estepona or Manilva, just a few minutes from these fantastic golf courses, our real estate agency Libehomes is a specialist in villas, chalets and farms in these areas. Do not hesitate to contact us at +34 951 386 117 /

10th Jul, 2023 by Manolo Alarcon

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