The number of Brits going on golf holidays in Europe has increased by over 300% since 2016, and for good reason. Golfing in Europe has never been so accessible; flights, accommodation, course bookings, transfers, everything can be organised and ready within a few clicks of a mouse.
Although, it can be extremely overwhelming deciding where to golf. New courses and shiny resorts seem to be popping up all over Europe and now there are far too many to choose from which begs the question, where is the best place in Europe to play golf? Thanks to Glencor Golf’s booking data, we can tell you!
In 2019 the most popular golfing destination was Spain, closely followed by Portugal and then by Turkey. Though not just golf in Spain in general, specifically the south. This could be due to a number of reasons, but we’ve boiled it down to just two.
Firstly, it doesn’t matter when you book your holiday. Whether it’s a winter escape or a weeks leave in July, there will more than likely be blue skies and temperate climes. Secondly, its home to some of the greatest golf courses in the world, so without further ado, here is our guide to golf in the south of Spain for 2020.
Widely accepted as the best golf course in all of Spain, the Real Valderrama golf club designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones Snr, is a 6356 metre, 71 Par masterpiece. Only a few miles north of Gibraltar, this course is easily accessible requiring very little travel. It has been described as having the best fairways in Europe, if not the world, by many top pros and leading golf writers. The Real Valderrama is a must visit for any golf enthusiast of any skill level.
The Islantilla Golf Resort features a 27-hole golf course and has become one of the most well-known golf courses in the area of Andalusia. It is the only course in the area to have held an official European Tour event. Since its opening in 1992, it is often mentioned as one of the top golf courses in Europe, partially down to the elevated tees which give you an amazing view of the Atlantic Ocean.
Real Club de Golf Sotogrande
Despite being designed over 50 years ago, the Real Sotogrande still challenges even the best of golfers half a decade after its construction. Being the first course designed by Robert Trent Jones, this course is steeped in history which alone attracts avid golfers from across the world. The challenge that awaits any golfer that dare to face this course can be best summed up by Jones himself who said, “The golf course is a battleground: Players attack the course and it is the architect’s obligation to defend it”. Not for the faint of heart, this 72-par course will test even the most seasoned of golfers.
The La Finca golf course is known for its greens which vary massively from hole to hole. The 7th and 14th most notably, the first being the shape of an English bowling the green and the other reminiscent of a Chinese Wok. It is also known for its extremely generous fairways, allowing golfers to use their drive regardless of their handicap. Having hosted a plethora of tournaments at a professional level, the La Finca is sure to challenge the experience golfer while ensuring an enjoyable time for those with a lower handicap.
Designed by José Gancedo, Las Ramblas is completely different in its architecture to all of its southern neighbours. This course rambles its way through hills, ravines, canyons and is peppered with trees and lakes. Known as a nightmare for beginners, the best advice anyone can give when challenging this course is to not take it too seriously and just have fun!
Real La Manga
Yet another course that has graced the south of Spain for over half a century, the Real La Manga received its name in 2017 from the Royal Household of Spain, in recognition of its high-quality facilities and wide range of services. This includes its Golf Practise Centre, which is regarded as the best in Europe if not the world. The South course itself is littered with hazards, with 15 of the 18 having at least one water hazard. This course is sure to provide ample challenge for any golfer.
Compared to the other courses on this list, Las Colinas is a relatively young challenge having only opened its doors in 2011. However, the undulating greens and the numerous tees at each hole create such a versatile game, that many deem it a championship golf course already. While the par 71 course is not very complicated, the accuracy and distance required can be extremely challenging for experienced players and great fun for players with a lower handicap. This course is ideal for a group of golfers with varying skill levels, each being challenged in their own way whilst still being able to play together.
Visit https://www.glencorgolf.com/ and discover a wide selection of golf holidays and golf breaks today.