Golf is a wonderful and integral part of living in Marbella and Andalusia where you can enjoy more than a hundred golf-courses all year round. Over 50% of them are located in the province of Malaga, on the Costa del Sol and in Marbella, one of the most popular golf destinations in Europe. It’s a true golf aficionados’ paradise, with magnificent landscapes, sunny weather and warm climate best for playing golf.
In 2017, the licenses issued by the Real Federacion Española de Golf in the region were increased by 10%, and the numbers continued to rise until 2020, showing interest in the “gentleman’s game”. No wonder, considering an excellent infrastructure, ecological situation, microclimate, rich cultural heritage, healthy and elicious Mediterranean cuisine, the ability to satisfy the high demands of members of some of the best golf clubs in Europe and all the delights available on the prestigious southern coast. They don’t call it “Costa del Golf” for nothing! Yes we are lucky living here and being able to get in a car and in the blink of an eye be at a golf course, including demanding and challenging, or a golf course worthy of hosting championships of all sorts.
GOLF IN THE TIMES OF COVID.
Our coast, as Spain and the whole world, has suffered dramatically from COVID – 19. The situation changes every day, but if there is one sport that allows you to stay safe, it is golf, with its ability to comply with social distancing rules and the services of specially trained staff who are ready to offer guests the usual warm welcome, but in a “new reality”. By the end of May 2020, when Spanish golf courses reopened, the Golf Federation introduced a new set of rules to ensure the safety of players and the rapid recovery of the golf industry. It’s not hard to follow the protocols. Just remember that the biggest risk of catching infection is not at the course, but in a restaurant, parking lot or pro-shop. Avoid hugging and shaking hands; do not use a buggy collectively; have masks and most importantly, keep the required social distance. As The Times writes, “The challenge today is to find six feet (let’s say two meters) that you can call your own”. Golf allows it.
Like many other medical specialists, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford University Dr. Charles G. Prober calls golf “one of the safest sports in today’s environment.” Scientists are sure that fresh air and sun are necessary for our immune system, physical and mental well-being. However, being outside is “neither 100% safe, nor inevitably dangerous”, but the risk of getting a high concentration of the virus and getting infected outdoors is less, and that’s a fact.
Worries about the future or regrets about past will never help us copy with stress and pandemic fears. Let’s enjoy the present moment! And where it’s better to do if not on the green golf courses, in the sun, where the Mediterranean Sea sparkles in front, and the majestic Andalusian mountains stand proudly as the background of a beautiful picture?
Marbella Golf Course with the Mediterranean Sea on the background.
FIND YOUR GOLF COURSE.
Golf enthusiasts living in the ‘Perlas del Mar’ are lucky indeed. The location allows a fantastic choice of first-class well-groomed superb golf courses. Within a short distance there are golf clubs of Guadalmina, La Quinta, Los Arqueros, San Pedro Golf, Atalaya, El Paraíso, Los Flamingos, Marbella Club Golf Resort, Golf Valley in New Andalusia and many others.
We are delighted to introduce you to some of them.
Guadalmina Golf Resort.
The closest to ‘Perlas del Mar’ (3.4 km via Calle Lyon) is Guadalmina Golf, the oldest and one of the most prestigious golf resorts on the coast. It stands out for its facilities, a unique golf course that goes all the way down to the sea and according to reviews, the “most interesting social life for 2000 people from 17 different nationalities”. Two courses of the club host international tournaments and championships. Guadalmina Golf School is the envy of many other clubs.
The club is famous for its history and “pedigree”. Once upon a time the lush greenery and picturesque beach attracted the attention of Norberto Goizueta who was enjoying his yacht trip. The Basque businessman saw the potential of the place and became the one who “imported” golf to the Costa del Sol and created the first course (Málaga Parador de Campo), inaugurated by King Alfonso XIII. Together with Marquis Ricardo Soriano, an aristocrat from Salamanca, the pioneer from Navarra started the golf revolution. Much to the surprise of the farmers of San Pedro de Alcantara, he got rid of the local sugarcane and corn plantations and sowed grass for the second golf course on the Costa del Sol, Guadalmina. From time to time, the farmers asked each other if Don Norberto went crazy. They also asked him a question, “You sow, fertilize, water and when everything grows, you mow the grass. When are you going to harvest these fields? “It takes a lot of time to harvest a golf course,” replied Goizueta. Half a century later, in 2008, His Majesty Juan Carlos awarded Guadalmina with the Royal Appointent, and it became the Real Club de Golf Guadalmina. Goizueta sold the neighboring plots of land to wealthy aristocrats, businessmen and politicians seeking privacy in seaside residences; then he built the Guadalmina Hotel. The oasis of peace and elegance Guadalmina was born. This golf course saw the Dukes of Windsor, the families of the magnates Agnelli and Krupp, Aristotle Onassis, Stavros Niarchos, Henry Ford and many others. The glorious stars of the Hollywood Golden Age began to arrive – Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, Mel Ferrer and Audrey Hepburn, Richard Burton, Omar Sharif, Michael Caine, Sean Connery…
In summer 2020, due to the pandemic, all competitions had to be canceled. But in September life returned to the golf courses with new safety rules and events resumed, including International Thursday and Monthly Texas Scramble.
Guadalmina Golf Course Entrance.
San Pedro Golf Club.
As Andalucia.com informs, “San Pedro’s small municipal golf club may well be overshadowed by the plethora of luxurious golf clubs in the area” but it is a small, nice, family and kids-friendly place where you can practice your golf swing or get yourself some private lessons without spending a fortune.
San Pedro Golf Club is 8 min’ drive from ‘Perlas del Mar’.
Los Flamingos Golf & Country Club.
Elegant and impressive 3 Los Flamingos golf courses (2 of championship standard) are designed by Antonio García Garrido, renowned for his creative approach to landscape. Many prestigious golf tournaments have been held here. Michael Campbell, a famous professional golfer from New Zealand, called Los Flamingo “a challenging and interesting place that makes you come back for new experiences.”
Besides, it’s great to enjoy traditional “Tuscan aura” and Italian landscapes of the Grand Hotel Villa Padierna Palace, its Italian park-style gardens with cypresses, old olives and citrus trees, streams and lakes, pergolas, flower beds, sculptures and statues that adorn the paths. Recognized as Europe’s # 1 New Hotel, Villa Padierna Palace was selected in 2010 for the stay of Michelle Obama, then the First Lady of the United States. In addition to the courses and American Golf Academy, there are stylish bars, restaurants, beach club, one of the largest SPA and fitness centers in Europe with exceptional facilities and the latest technology.
Los Flamingos Golf is 12 min away from ‘Perlas del Mar’ (8.2 km).
Los Flamingos Golf Course.
El Paraiso Golf.
The name speaks for itself – Paradise! Located 7.1 km (11 min. drive) from ‘Perlas del Mar’ in a peaceful valley surrounded by green hills, with wonderful views to the sea and coast, this golf club was created by the famous South African Gary Player, who is considered in the world the third best golfer of all times. He designed the amazing course with great attention to detail. The charming, rustic-style Clubhouse is very popular among the club’s members and guests. Since 1996, El Paraiso Golf has remained one of the few on the Costa del Sol owned and operated by its members.
El Paraiso Golf Course with La Concha Mountain on the background.
Atalaya Golf & Country Club.
Located 10 min. away from ‘Perlas del Mar’ (6.8 km), this club offers two magnificent 18-hole golf courses. Besides, it’s one of the largest places for training in Spain, where golf is taught in different languages. It is worth mentioning its active social life and cosmopolitan atmosphere – which is not surprising because the club brings together 36 nationalities.
Atalaya Golf Course and one of its lovely terraces.
La Quinta Golf & Country Club.
Designed by three-time World Champion and Ryder Cup winner Manuel Piñero, La Quinta Golf Club is set in an area of exceptional beauty – amidst the rolling hills, between the blue sea and the green mountains. You will find 3 golf-courses, Golf Academy, an excellent Clubhouse, a restaurant, an exclusive sports club, a gym, padel and squash courts, a swimming pool, a Turkish bath, a beauty salon and much more. La Quinta attracts the Spanish and European Championships, incl. the Benahavis Senior Masters, and have once seen British Prince Charles playing.
It takes you 9 min to drive there from “Perlas del Mar” (5,3 km).
Cycling Tour of Spain runs along Boulevard San Pedro de Alcántara
Los Arqueros Golf Club.
The first golf course designed in Andalusia by Severiano Ballesteros is located at the foothills of Sierra de Ronda and the landscape has influenced it beauty and layout. Considered one of the best players in the world, Ballesteros has used his skills and know-how to create approximately 30 golf courses around the world. In Los Arqueros, his task was to adapt the course to natural environment, providing an opportunity not only to play golf, but also admire the scenery and breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea, the Rock of Gibraltar and African coast. He succeeded completely!
The distance between your villa in ‘Perlas del Mar’ and this golf club is 7 km via A-397 (12 min) or 9 km via Ctra. Benahavís / A-7175 (14 min).
Los Arqueros Golf Course.
La Resina Golf Club.
Two golf architects Craig Cook and Bradley Smith, well-known in the US and Europe, have skillfully designed this course around beautiful lakes and ancient olives. It resembles in miniature the course of the world-famous Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, USA, therefore has a nickname ‘Little Augusta’. The area has also been dubbed the “cul-de-sac of sports superstars”. The former UFC champion and martial arts celebrity Conor McGregor, English football player from Tottenham Hotspur Harry Winks, Irish football star Stephen Carr, famous Danish goalkeeper Thomas Sørensen are among its residents. Would you like to meet Cristiano Ronaldo, who bought a € 1.5 million villa in 2019? Not a problem. This golf club is just 11.5 km from your villa in ‘Perlas del Mar’ (14 min drive via A-7).
La Resina Golf Course.
Masterpieces of the Legend.
The golf scene of our coast is inextricably linked with the name of Mr. Robert Trent Jones Sr., an English–American golf architect who designed or re-designed more than 500 golf courses in 45 U.S. states and 35 countries. Jones took pride in saying, “The sun never sets on a Robert Trent Jones golf course.” His clients included U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, for a putting green at the White House and a single hole at Camp David, as well as the Rockefeller family, Aga Khan and the King of Morocco Hassan II, for private courses. His 18 courses of ‘Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail’ is the largest single golf design contract in history. Jones also redesigned the famous 11th and 16th holes at Augusta National Golf Club.
The world’s most influential golf architect loved the Costa del Sol. Among his local creations are the courses of Marbella Golf & Country Club, located 18 min’ drive from ‘Perlas del Mar’. Two other courses are even closer: Los Naranjos Golf (10 min; 5.8 km) and Real Club de Golf Las Brisas (11 min, 6.7 km). They were commissioned by José Banús, a developer of Nueva Andalusia and Puerto Banús. Both clubs provide an exceptional experience and pleasant atmosphere. They often host championships, incl. the World Cup, Spanish Open and other important events. The very first Jones-designed club in Europe, the Real Club de Golf Sotogrande, was opened in 1964 in Sotogrande and is a must-see for anyone who loves golf and its history (40 min drive from ‘Perlas del Mar’).
Speaking of the world-class golfing experience, we should mention legendary Jones’ ‘child’ Real Club Valderrama, Spain’s premier golf course, continental Europe’s # 1 golf course and one of the most renowned golf courses in the world. Valderrama has hosted the Ryder Cup (incl. the first in continental Europe history), Volvo Masters, WGC-American Express Championship, Andalucía Masters, Open de España and many other prestigious tournaments. This golf club is 37 min. away from your ‘Perlas del Mar’ villa.
Life goes on, despite the pandemic. Let’s stay strong and support ourselves and each other through difficult time of uncertainty. It has long been proven that playing golf is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. Most of the golf courses on the coast are open and you can enjoy this wonderful outdoor sport, especially if you live in Marbella. Exercise, nature, sun, breeze, good cheer, these are all our friends!
SOCIAL MEDIA VERSION
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