Best golf courses in Marbella and around
Updated: Mar 31, 2021
Spain boasts some of Europe's most picturesque and popular championship calibre golf courses frequented by some of the most renowned golfers the world has ever seen.
By a golf enthusiast, Costa del Sol, which literally translates to "Coast of the Sun” is often called the "Costa del Golf" (Coast of the Golf). It certainly deserves the title as the area represents some of the highest class golf courses in continental Europe.
From a playing perspective, Marbella hosts a range of golf courses that will suit golfers of all abilities, from scratch handicappers to holiday hackers, men or women, rest assured that you will find a course that will suit your needs.
For practical purposes, the grater Marbella area can be divided in 3 locations comprising a total of 19 courses: Marbella east, central Marbella, and the 64 square-mile area west of Marbella including Nueva Andalusia, San Pedro and Benahavís.
Below, we are sharing our selection of Marbella golf courses which any golfer needs to play at least once in their lifetime.
The most famous courses of our selection are located west of the town in the general vicinities of Nueva Andalucia, Puerto Banús, and Benahavís. The area is naturally favourable for golfing, as the foothills of the Sierra Blanca and Sierra Bermeja offer great topographical and floral variety, including spectacular lush river valleys, woods, large clearings, and steep slopes, with all the advantages the latter provide in terms of the panorama and the game itself.
More or less from east to west, the courses are:
The Aloha Golf
Aloha is an entertaining course which requires accuracy and hard-hitting. The course is narrow and it has plenty of hazards and trees which are all strategically placed. The greens have an uneven surface which makes it a challenging play even for the more skilful players. Members have priority when it comes to playing and non-members can play at the invitation of a member. The atmosphere of the club is excellent and it has a perfect balance between a cosmopolitan vibe and warm welcome.
Las Brisas Golf
The tour of this Marbella club presents multiple water obstacles: there are ten artificial lakes fed by two streams. The greens, mostly elevated, are heavily protected by bunkers. It is a course that requires playing precision golf. As the opinion of great golf players, we can reflect one of Paul Azinger (USA): ¨Las Brisas does not have a bad hole. In fact, it’s one of the best courses I’ve ever played¨.
Los Naranjos Golf
Since its opening in 1977, Los Naranjos has been the host of several major competitions, including the Spanish Open. It is ranked as one of the best golf courses in Spain. The course is run on the philosophy that ¨golf means more than just hitting a ball¨. The clubhouse emphasises a total golfing experience and it rates itself as ¨the Costa del Sol friendly golf club.¨
La Quinta Golf
La Quinta has three 9-hole courses that allow you to play different variations of 18 holes. The golf course is truly superb, as each 9 hole course blends into the natural landscape with stunning panoramic views on Marbella’s Golf Valley. The course was designed by Manuel Pinero, who was a three times World Champion and winner of the Ryder Cup. It may seem like an easy golf course but there are deep bunkers and sloping fairways that create extra difficulty. This course requires accuracy and stamina.
Los Arqueros Golf
Los Arqueros is a course good for all kinds of players. It can be challenging for the average golfer and an exhausting test for professionals. The course appeals to attacking players prepared to make bold shots. It is not particularly long but sometimes tight with hazards constantly in play. It is situated among the mountains fo the Sierra de Ronda mountain range which makes it both original and beautiful.
Created in 1958, Atalaya old course was designed by Bernard von Limburger, the 1925 German Golf Champion who became his country’s finest golf course architect of the time. It’s a pleasant, flat parkland course with many bunkers, wide fairways and elevated greens. Elegant and mature with spectacular views of the magnificent La Concha mountain, it is the perfect oasis of tranquillity.
Villa Padierna Golf Club
The Villa Padierna resort has three courses: Flamingos Golf, Alferini Golf and Tramores Golf, as well as the Villa Padierna Michale Campbell Golf Academy - the only school in Europe that specialises in the short game and private classes.
All of the 3 courses have 18 holes.
Los Flamingos Golf has hosted prestigious golf tournaments such as 2002, 2003 and 2004 European Seniors and the Women’s Spanish Open in 2010. The course was designed by the prestigious architect Antonio García Garrido, who is known for his meticulous landscaping. The greens are generous in size, but the fairways are slender on the first half of the course, where more precision is needed than on the second half.
Alferini Golf is the ideal course to hold competitions and big tournaments. Its natural surroundings are exceptionally taken care of. It’s a pleasant and relaxing golf course.
Tramores Golf is ensconced in a lovely landscape between two valleys with impressive views of the Mediterranean Sea. It is Villa Padierna Golf Resort’s third course and its facilities include the Villa Padierna “Michael Campbell” Golf Academy since this is the course the school recommends for its students. Tramores is a fast, accurate course, yet still entertaining and requiring skill. It is perfect to start enjoying the game immediately.
El Paraiso is one of the oldest established courses on the coast. For more than forty years it has been a Mecca of golf, whether you are a low handicap or just wanting to enjoy a round of golf on your holiday, the course offers golfers of all ages and abilities an exciting challenge. Its setting is incomparable - lush fairways are punctuated by meandering streams, flanked by palm trees and an abundance of exotic fauna, including oleander, jacaranda and mimosas.
Marbella Club Golf Resort and Equestrian Centre
Marbella Club Golf is an exciting cocktail of nature, service, excellence and a top Dave Thomas design located in one of the most picturesque parts of the Costa del Sol. The golfing experience combines a challenging but fair design, breathtaking views, unique holes, powerful nature, consistently high levels of maintenance and a controlled number of golfers. All these characteristics ensure a unique and exclusive golf experience.
El Higueral golf course is simply a surprising golf course. It has an easy going set up, with a superior course maintenance standard, beautiful surroundings just down below the Benahavís mountains. What makes it a special golf course is its fresh and modern design which has perfectly balanced difficulty, fairness and entertainment. It is highly recommendable to play this course. It’s probably one of the most exciting golf courses on the Costa del Sol.
The course sits on a slight incline to the sea, allowing many holes magnificent views to the Mediterranean Sea. It is not particularly tough despite the fact that it crosser the river, from which the club takes its name.
This well established Championship 18-hole course is 5,827 metres long with a par of 72. Marbella Golf has an imaginative and impressive layout and the course challenges professionals and amateurs alike. Surrounded by lush green hills and olive trees, Marbella Golf is unique, beautifully complimenting the natural environment. Each hole is unique in character and affords views of the azure Mediterranean Sea.
Slightly further away from Marbella, in a beautiful coastal setting, there is Valderrama and La Reserva - both known on an international scale.
Real Club Valderrama
Valderrama is located in Sotogrande, the largest and southern-most region of Spain. Valderrama has been consistently ranked as number 1 in Continental Europe since the late 80s and has been included in the Top 100 in the World since 1999. The Par 71Championships Course measures 6356 metres from the professional tees. The fairways have been described by top pros and leading golf writers as the best in Europe, if not the world. It is not an easy course - nor was it indeed to be. Since 1988, Valderrama has been the host to many PGA European Tours, or the World Golf Championships once starring Tiger Woods and Mike Weir.
La Reserva Club
Founded in 2003 and since its inception has played a host to a number of world-renowned golfing tournaments including the European Nations Cup, the MENA Tour and the Copa del Rey de España. With an abundance of water features, La Reserva Club manages to balance an aesthetic surround with a course suitable for novices and pros alike.
Finca Cortesin boasts a magnificent par 72, 18-hole golf course by one of the world’s leading golf course architects, Cabell Robinson. The course has been designed to incorporate the area’s original flora and fauna and is reputed to have the best greens in Southern Spain. At nearly 7,500 yards, this is one of the longest golf courses in Europe and also boasts a Jack Nicklaus Golf Academy. In October 2009 Finca Cortesin hosted the Volvo World Match Play Championship, which beforehand was run in the UK for 40 years.
The San Roque
The San Roque Club holds a place in the heart of many a Tour professional. It sits on an enviable backdrop surrounded by lush hills and historic Cork Oak woods. The course is rarely outside the top 5 courses in Spain and is almost unmatched for scenery and elegance. The course is designed to reward canny tactics and skilful drive placement.