The Costa del sol golf course guide is a “rough guide” and is purely the personal opinion of the author. Please take in to consideration that these comments are subjective, personal opinions and standards of golf differ. Please take this rough guide as exactly that, an honest, personal opinion from a fellow golf addict.

Alcaidesa Links Golf Course, Costa del Sol, Spain.

Alcaidesa golf course is a 18 hole, par 70 golf course.
Address: Ctra de Cadiz (N340), Km 124.6, La Linea, Cadiz. Tel: +34 956 791 040.

This is a beautiful and tricky golf course for every standard of golfer from 28 handicap to scratch. Allis and Clark have made and admirable attempt to create a rare links course on the Costa. Stunning views across the bay to Gibraltar and hilly terrain make it a delight to play. Take plenty of balls, as the fairways are tight and unforgiving surrounded by gorse and ravines.

A buggy is needed – even for the fittest amongst us- and as you play consider taking an extra club up on par threes because of deceptive wind.

Alhaurin Golf Course, Costa del sol, Spain.

Alhaurin golf course is a 18+18+9, par 72 golf course which was designed by Severiano Ballesteros.
Address: Ctra Mijas-Alhaurin, (MA485) Km6, Alhaurin el Grande. Tel: +34 95 259 5970.

Tight beyond belief, difficult beyond anything I have every seen before.

The first hole is extremely difficult with a narrow fairway and rocks to the sides of the fairway, which send your ball bouncing high in to the sky, never to be seen again. As you progress the course gets tougher and if you are not really on top of your game you could easily become more and more disheartened as you progress around the course. I stopped counting shots after I lost my tenth golf ball! By the 18th I had suffered several episodes of golf rage and was close to a nervous breakdown.

I’ve read course guides say that this course “compels golfers to concentrate on their game and choose with care which club they should use for every stroke.” Personally I would say this course is one of the toughest golf course on the Costa del Sol. This course is at best described as a challenge for an experienced player who is on top form, at worst its tight and downright cruel.

Alhaurin golf course is generally cheaper to play than most other local golf courses.

A buggy is essential as is an ample supply of golf balls.

Cabopino Golf Course, Costa del Sol, Spain.

Cabopino golf course is a 18 hole par 71 golf course.

It’s a relatively new course but it has matured very quickly and is very well maintained. The marshal’s are friendly and very welcoming.

There is a driving range on the approach road to the course, so if you arrive early you can loosen up your swing. Alternatively you could take the approach Andy and I prefer, loosen up with a San Miguel at the bar before you tee off.

Cabopino golf has a pleasant clubhouse, with a pleasant sun terrace where you can sit, eat, drink and enjoy the views of the ocean. The staff in the bar and restaurant are friendly staff and they serve good quality food.

The short at only course is only 5,170 meters long but it’s has tight fairways and is challenging.

The greens are large and were of fantastic quality when we last visited. The third hole is the one most people enjoy the most and it’s not one you will forget, it’s a par 4 which drops dramatically from the tee to the green and has outstanding views. A buggy is advisable on this course, which is hilly.

Dama de Noche Golf Course, Costa del Sol, Spain.

Dama de Noche golf course is a 9 hole, Par 70 golf course.
Centro Commercial Plaza, Oficinas 51-52, 29660, Nueva Andalucia, Marbella.

Dama de Noche golf course is a nine-hole course, which can be played as 18 holes. It is flat, wide and easy. It is ideal course for a high handicapper or anyone wanting a gentle stroll.

All that changes a night though because the is course is flood lit and can be played at night.

They say that the lighting system is designed to cast no shadows thus giving daylight quality and maximum visibility, does that apply in the rough as well I ask myself?

You do have to make a reservation for night golf because they only put the lights on if there is sufficient demand but for total golfing addicts or insomniac this course offers considerable novelty value and it’s one to talk about in the clubhouse when you go home.

El Chaparral Golf Course, near La Cala de Mijas, Costa del Sol, Spain.

El Chaparral golf course is an 18 hole, par 73 course.
Address: N340 / A7 Km 203.

El Chaparral is a club which closed several years ago for reasons that I don’t need to go into now. The course has now risen from the ashes and is trying to build a reputation for itself. Purely for research purposes, I tested out the clubhouse both before and after my round at El Chaparral and I found the staff to be particularly welcoming and they really did their best to make us feel at home.

Even though El Chaparral is only a stones throw from the coast it has an English parkland course feel to it. The fairways are long and narrow and I found the course testing, I didn’t have enough room to risk my driver off many tee’s yet I needed the driver to get the distance I needed off the tee’s to get any chance of reaching the green in regulation.

El Chaparral is extremely hilly and walking it is only for the bravest of golfers. Overall I would describe it as a very tricky course, bordering on frustrating, it tempted me to use the driver but punished me when I did!

The course is a little pricey for what you get. It was quiet when I played it but I’ve been back since and it is gaining in popularity.

Estepona Golf.

Carretera Cádiz, KM 150, Arroyo Vaquero, Apartado 532, 29680 Estepona.

18 hole, par 72 course.

The first time I played this course about nine years ago I was extremely disappointed. The fairways were worn, bare and baked, the greens were unkempt and the whole feel of the place was one of a lack of investment. Since then I have been tempted to re-visit by a friend who told me that improvements have been made yet the cost has been kept down. Well fair play, the cost has stayed relatively low and there has obviously been a lot of investment and as a result the course has improved considerably. It still needs some TLC but it is now playable. Still nowhere near the quality of Monte Mayor, La Cala or the like but it is perfect for a cheap round in between more serious games.

Flamingos Golf Course, Costa del Sol, Spain.

Flamingos golf course is a 18-hole, par 72 course.
Address: Ctra de Cadiz Km 166, Marbella / Benhavis.

A relatively new course but the work that has gone into the course makes that incredible, it looks like its been established for years.

Clearly no expense has been spared when they built this course. Everything from the hotel toilets to the course itself is magnificent, lavish and downright opulent. A visit to Flamingos really is a treat (and before you ask I don’t get a commission for writing this, I just tell it as I see it.)

Flamingos is worth a visit just to have a walk around the hotel, which has clearly been fashioned on the Alhambra Palace and its magnificent water gardens.

As for the golf course itself it is every bit as lavish as the hotel and clubhouse. As you meander around the course the views vary from a panoramic views of the Mediterranean to secluded views of the wild countryside. Around the course there is an incredible variety of trees, plants and vegetation, some native, some clearly imported so as to add to the experience.

Every now and them you stumble across an old (well they genuinely look old but they weren’t there in 2005!) ruins or statues and every corner holds a new surprise, all of them pleasant.

The front nine holes have generous wide fairways where you really can open up your shoulders, a rarity for Spanish golf and the greens are ample too, so get the low score on the card in front nine if you can. As you negotiate the back nine the fairways tend to narrow down, especially the 18th which really focuses the mind but even so the back nine are not overly cruel. The fairways are narrower than the front nine but they tend to be shorter and you have loosened up, so even though you have to be a little more precise than on the front nine the golf is still enjoyable.

If you visit Flamingos make sure you take the time to explore the hotel after your round. It’s well worth a look.

Over all I would describe Flamingos as a cracking course which tends to be a little on the pricey side but if you want to treat yourself you will not be disappointed. A Masters or Championship course of the future I will wager.