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Golf Travel Guide: Costa del Sol

Written by  on Thursday, 24 November 2011

Golf Travel Guide: Costa del Sol

The days are getting shorter, and the weather is getting colder and wetter; winter is definitely on its way. Who wants to golf in that? Well obviously you do, but why should you when there is a much more appealing alternative? Look no further than Spain's very own sweet spot, Andalucia. More specifically, you should look to the coastal region Costa del Sol for a golfer's paradise of sun, sea and sandtraps.

You will be spoilt for choice here as Andalucia is home to a good 72 course and 45 of these can be found in the "Costa del Golf". When trudging around a wet, slippery golf course gets too much, there is no better antidote than to enjoy a game while basking in the kind of climate that only a Spanish holiday can offer all year round.

Courses

Sunshine aside, are the courses themselves worth the journey? Of course they are, especially when you take into account the fact that four of them have ranked among Europe's top 10 golf courses. With so many to choose from you can be sure to find one tailored to your own abilities, with beautiful scenery including views of the sea and mountains providing icing on this luxurious cake.

Here is a selection of some of the finest courses Costa del Sol has to offer:

Valderrama

Many professionals agree that Valderrama's championship course has one of the finest fairways in Europe, although with such requirements for precision integrated into its design it is not for beginners. However it is widely praised for its challenging holes that bring out the best in everyone who plays them, and is widely regarded as the greatest golf course to be found in Europe.

Royal Sotogrande

Situated close to the beachfront and surrounded by lush vegetation, this golf course is easy on the eye, but has a lot more to offer than picturesque scenery. With large greens and long tees it gives players some flexibility with the length of hole they wish to play, and there is also a nine-hole course adjacent to it, which is just perfect for improving your short game.

Alcaidesa

A golf course should not be sold on its view but if it displays the Rock of Gibraltar, and even the North African Atlas Mountains if the weather's right, it really is worth mentioning. But sightseeing aside, the real reasons to visit Alcaidesa are the excellent 36 holes it offers, catering to all ages and abilities. Wide fairways, gentle undulations and various, naturally-occurring water hazards courtesy of the river valley all combine to present a challenging and hugely satisfying game.

Accommodation

There are also a number of holiday packages available that combine a hotel stay with a few rounds. Prices will vary based on how many nights you want to stay, as well the number of rounds you play but if you know where to look you can find some good deals:

Hotel Guadalmina Spa and Golf Resort – from £129.00

With rooms offering all the comforts a decent hotel should provide, such as a minibar and wireless internet, and a great spa facility, the hotel is worth staying in even for non-golfers. But with two championship courses of varying difficulty, as well as a shorter course for beginners, this is an ideal golf-getaway at a reasonable price.

Hotel PYR Fuengirola – from £159.00

Accommodation comes in the form of beachfront apartments, ideal for families and other large groups, complete with a pool, bar and terrace. There is a selection of nearby golf clubs to include in your package, including Cabopino and Calanova.

La Cala Hotel and Golf Resort – from £165.00

The luxury hotel comes complete with pools, tennis courts, a gym and Jacuzzi and is so comfortable you might even forget that you went there to play golf. But with three outstanding 18-hole championship courses of varying difficulty and a short 6-hole course where you can hone your skills, you won't want to miss a round.

Transport

Of course before you can enjoy all this you need to get there first. At this time of year a flight to Spain can be very affordable, with some airlines offering return flights to Malaga for as low as £65 excluding the various fees. Being a hugely popular location for tourists, there is transportation available from the airport to Costa del Sol. Whether you go by bus, taxi, train or a hired car you will have no trouble getting to your destination.

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Neal Granville

Neal takes responsibility for the running of the golf course, retail and coaching at Sandford Springs. It is a role that makes everyday a new one and keeps him busy so he has to rely on the people around him.

"My team at Sandford Springs are incredibly important to me. I can trust them to get the job done and I know that our members and guests at Sandford will always receive an experience and service that is second to none," he said.

Neal’s favourite holes at Sandford Springs are 13, 14 and 15 which in his words are ‘Sandford’s own Amen corner’! Neal started off his professional career following a collegiate scholarship in the USA and like most golf pros he had ambitions of being the world number one.

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