Winter is coming, but thankfully a sun-soaked reprieve is closer than you think. As Irish golfers layer up ahead of a few months of lift, clean and place conditions, why not extend your time in a t-shirt by swinging by the Costa del Sol?
Blessed with an annual average temperature in the 20°Cs, now’s the perfect time to plot a trip to this rich golfing hot spot as it looks to make up for lost time with travel now firmly back on the menu. With over 70 high-quality course to pick from, all supplemented by world class facilities for golfers and non-golfers alike, there really is something for everyone in the Costa del Sol.
Estepona Golf has earned a reputation for its playability and envious greens. Couple that with mountain and sea views, not to mention a tranquil terrace bar and restaurant and you’ve got all the ingredients for a great day of golf. Green fees here are very reasonable too with nine hole rates for those who might be juggling family commitments and are tight on time.
The town of Estepona is seaside bliss with the old fishing port ensuring fresh catches are served daily while the cove of Playa del Cristo is just one in a number of cultural wonders in this traditional, palm-filled and popular tourist destination.
Just thirty minutes up the road, players can visit Atalaya Golf and Country Club, proud home to 36-holes and one of the leading practice facilities in the region. The Old Course was first opened in 1968 but this is a club that has evolved year on and year and with its team of highly experienced, multi-lingual golf professionals, the academy on-site is sure to improve every aspect of your game should you wish to fine-tune through the winter.
Another classic Estepona track is Valle Romano, a regular haunt of the European Challenge Tour that offers unbeatable play and stay options for those wanting to test themselves at one of the region’s toughest courses, while staying handily on site. In saying that, this paradise next to the Mediterranean is at the heartbeat of golf in the Costa del Sol so don’t be intimidated by the reputation, while a wonderful food menu is sure to hit the spot for ravenous golfers coming in from a day on the course.
It might seem silly to recommend an Irish person visit a links course in Spain but Alcaidesa Links really is something to behold. Complemented by its Heathland course, this 36-hole championship paradise is as picturesque as it gets, boasting spectacular scenery and views of Gibraltar and Africa. The links was designed by Peter Alliss and Clive Clark and has hosted a number of prestigious championships including 2 PGA of Andalusia events and The Ryder Cup Junior Match when the U.S. took on Europe in 1997. Alcaidesa offers a wide variety of accommodation and golf packages with the award-winning Aldiana Club Costa del Sol an ever-popular choice for those visiting the region.
Anyone serious about their golf will know that the Costa del Sol boasts some of Spain’s most revered tracks, with Irish-owned La Cala Resort and its three magnificent championship courses up there with the best of them. FBD Holdings have pumped a huge chunk of money into this golfing haven and a full refurbishment of the 107-bedroom hotel oozes class. Away from the course, there’s something for all the family with the Resort’s leading Hydrotherapy Heath Spa the epitome of rest and relaxation, exactly what a person needs after a long covid-disrupted year.
There’s a trio of golfing delights awaiting here too with Campo America, Campo Asia and Campo Europa all presenting unique challenges to players of all abilities. You can test your new WHS handicap against some of the most acclaimed slope ratings in Spain, and what’s more, you can test out some of the latest and greatest clubs from leading manufacturers should you decide to leave your own bats at home. In fact, club rental is one of the great joys of golf travel to Spain, with players often upgrading from their own arsenal at very reasonable costs.
However, if you do decide to bring your clubs, those extra serious about their golf can utilise the facilities at La Cala and convert it into a winter training base with an additional 6-hole course, a par-3 course and a world-class golf academy all on-site for the ultimate golf experience.
We can’t stress enough that for all its fairway riches, the Costa del Sol is so much more than that. La Quinta Golf & Country Club in the Golf Valley of Marbella is a fine example of the balance to be found between on and off-course activities. Yes, the exclusive 27-hole club is an absolute paradise for golfers but so too is the country club terrace bar with a lavish array of food and drink options should you fancy dressing up to wine and dine instead.
Even at this time of year, the Costa del Sol will encourage you into the water with a multitude of different sports running year round and sure to get the adrenaline pumping. From water sports, beach activities and Go Karting during the day to live entertainment, music and dancing at night, why not extend the summer, or at least delay the Christmas preparations by escaping the sideways rain of Ireland’s slippery streets for one last hurrah in the sunshine this year?
To discover a new way to golf, why not step into the light at the Costa del Sol?
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