Marbella, located in the middle of at least 50 golf courses on Spain’s southern coast known as the Costa de Sol, makes an ideal home base for a golfing holiday. The quaint white washed old town of narrow streets, good hotels and about a gazillion restaurants is a few minutes’ walk to the beach and has a convenient public garage on Avenida del Mercado.
With a thriving expat community of mostly Brits you can sometimes forget that you are still in Spain and not some British owned enclave. None-the-less if it is golf you are seeking, you’ve come to the right place.
In mid-January the weather can be turbulent, but still plenty of pretty moderate days with afternoon average highs about 17° C. (Check here for monthly averages).
Day 1 – Marbella Golf Country Club – tee time 11:20am. Weather: Started windy with clear skies and temps about 14° C. Wind died down later in the afternoon. The course is quite hilly, especially the front nine making it impractical to walk. The Robert Trent Jones designed course is in good condition with some elevated tees. A Clear day, which this was, affords views of the Strait of Gibraltar.
On a Monday the course was rather busy with a member tournament teeing off earlier that morning, taking us 4:15 to finish the round.
Day 2 – La Quinta – tee time 12:50PM. Weather: Partly cloudy, about 16 with a light wind. Although not as steep as Marbella, the front 9 of this Robert Trent Jones course still has a lot of up and down through the valleys between the La Quinta upscale properties. Despite the hills, most players do walk.
The back 9 however has a very different feel with a much flatter terrain and fewer trees. On a pretty Tuesday the course was full but moving right along. It wasn’t until the last couple of holes that we had to wait, finishing the round in about 3:50.
Day 3 – Alhaurin Golf Course – tee time 12:10PM. Weather turbulent and windy, rain imminent, and about 13° C. One of those days you think you’re crazy to be out on the course. Clearly everyone else thought so as we had the course to ourselves and didn’t even see another golfer until the 15th hole. Rain showers hung in the hills a short distance from the course but never managed to actually move our way. The Seve Ballesteros designed course is in good condition, especially the greens, and is dramatic as the weather. Steep up and downs through the ravines of the Alhaurin development. Walking, although possible, would be difficult. Even the golf carts use gasoline rather than electric motors.
The course is both a physical and emotional roller coaster ride up and down the blind fairways. A terrible shot has an equal chance of bouncing back into the fairway as well struck ball has of rolling off the fairway into the abyss. Taking our time and poking along we finished the round in 4 hours.