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Matt Ginella’s Top 50 US (public) courses

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In case you don’t know Matt Ginella, which would surprise me, but anyway, let me briefly explain what his job is – and let me warn you, you might want to quit yours immediately.

The story is easy, Matt works for the Golf Channel and is paid quite a salary to travel the world and play golf. That’s it. He plays the best courses around the globe, then comes back to Florida and talks a bit about his endeavours. Sounds stressful? I don’t think so. In my opinion this guy has the best job on earth. And I guess there are thousands waiting in line waiting for the moment he decides to resign – for whatever reason.

So Matt travels the world, he plays astounding courses and he regularly creates best-of lists, which I really like in general.

Not long ago he (re)created the Top 50 US public golf courses list, and you should definitely have a look:

#WomenOnCourse campaign inspires a generation at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club

Host venue of the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, inspires a generation with unique interactive campaign to uncover what makes women great

As 126 of the world’s best female golf professionals prepare to compete in the inaugural Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open (FBMLO), 2-5 November, the host venue, Gary Player’s Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, is inspiring a generation in Abu Dhabi by showcasing the many diverse roles women play across all walks of life with an interactive #WomenOnCourse campaign.

Saadiyat Beach Golf Club has recognised the opportunity presented by the FBMLO to inspire and support women, both on the golf course and off. The #WomenOnCourse initiative launched yesterday and will continue throughout the tournament week, asking players, spectators and the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club family to get involved and show their support.

Clinton Norris, Sales Manager, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club says, “It is important we use this fantastic event to celebrate the major roles women play in our community and society at large. Our campaign is designed to support the Ladies European Tour and get people thinking and sharing their thoughts, whatever gender, age, ethnicity, so we can all appreciate and openly share how we are inspired by those we know and admire.”

#WomenOnCourse activities kicked off yesterday with a compelling discussion between LET professionals Melissa Reid and Camilla Lennarth, and two inspiring Emirati ladies Sarah Al Nowais, founder of FitNut Blog and co-founder TheADmovement and Fatima Al Ali, Fatima bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy as they shared their ideas on what makes women great and their thoughts about being ‘on course’, both in the literal sense of the golf course, and also ‘on course’ in life.

Camilla Lennarth said, “Whether it’s to win a tournament this season or achieve a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle, setting goals and check-points is integral to staying on course. What makes women great is their ability to empower one another and support their peers throughout these journeys. Being here in Abu Dhabi is a great opportunity to showcase golf and inspire the next generation.”

Sarah Al Nowais said, “TheADmovement was created to support and encourage women in Abu Dhabi to participate in an active lifestyle and sports. Seeing all these women here at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, taking part in the first ladies professional golf tournament in Abu Dhabi has really inspired me to try golf and I hope that other women take the chance to visit during the event weekend.”

Monday evening also saw Saadiyat Beach Golf Club host a clinic for 16 students from the Higher Colleges of Technology. Leading up to the FMBLO, the club in collaboration with FBMA, has hosted a Training Program – offering Emirati women and students a series of 10 lessons over a five week period. Fatima Al Ali, who participated in the training said “I really love golf now that I’ve taken part in the sessions and it’s so exciting to meet some of the world’s best players here in Abu Dhabi.”

The #WomenOnCourse campaign continues, with the club asking the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club family, the players, tournament spectators and general golf fans to get involved and share their thoughts on what makes women great.

(External source)

South Africa’s Western Cape wins award for “Best International Golfing Destination”

westerncape-17nov16The Western Cape’s natural paradise has been recognised as the 2016 Golf Destination of the Year for Africa and the Gulf States by the global trade association of the golf tourism industry, IAGTO.

Golf tour operators from South Africa who were present and exhibiting at the 2016 IGTM (International Golf Travel Market) collected the award on behalf of the Western Cape at the IAGTO Awards Gala Dinner held in Palma, Spain.

“It is fantastic to win this award in which we were up against the following nominees: Abu Dhabi, Agadir, Dubai and Casablanca. I hope it will encourage more golfers to visit South Africa, and in particular the Western Cape,” said Carl Reinders, of Pro Golf Africa Safaris, speaking on behalf of the South African golf operators. “South Africa has now been awarded an IAGTO Destination or Golf Resort Award for the 7th time since 2003, which highlights just what a fantastic golf destination our beautiful country is and the wonderful golf it has to offer.”

Reinders said that with the diversity that South Africa and particularly the Western Cape provides, with quality golf, wine, cuisine, culture, beautiful landscapes and of course the opportunity for safari, makes it a unique destination that should be on everyone’s bucket list. The fact that South Africa is also excellent value for money is an added advantage, together with the wonderful climate it has throughout most of the year.

The Western Cape has a fantastic array of golf courses, with some of the best courses in the country such as Pearl Valley, De Zalze, Erinvale and Stellenbosch Golf Club situated amongst the historical Stellenbosch and Franschhoek Winelands.

Within the city of Cape Town, courses such as Royal Cape, Clovelly, Milnerton and Atlantic Beach boast magnificent views of the famous Table Mountain. Arabella Resort and Spa, situated on the Western Cape’s Whale Coast, is also a past winner of the prestigious “Golf Resort of the Year” award presented by IAGTO, and combined with Hermanus Golf Club and the opportunity to see Southern Right Whales nursing their young is just another unique experience on offer in this beautiful part of South Africa. The city of Cape Town, which is at the centre of this fantastic region, is one of the most celebrated tourism destinations in the world.

The IAGTO Awards were established in 2000 to reward exceptional contributions to the world of golf travel. IAGTO’s 500+ golf tour operators from 62 different countries cast their votes for these Awards. Each operator was asked to nominate what they considered to be the best performing golf destinations this year enjoyed by their golf travelling clients.

The golf destination in each of the five regions with most votes receives the 2017 Golf Destination of the Year accolade. Operators were asked to consider the following criteria: customer satisfaction, quality of golf courses & accommodation, value for money, professional conduct of suppliers, support from the local tourism industry and accessibility to tee times.

(External source)

Costa Navarino and Monte Rei celebrate back-to-back WLG award successes

The stunning Greek resort of Costa Navarino, in the Peloponnese, has been honoured at the prestigious World of Leading Golf (WLG) awards for the third successive year.

WLG, an organisation representing many of the most renowned golf clubs and resorts in 17 countries, has held an award ceremony only for the past three years – and Costa Navarino is the only resort to have collected a ‘gong’ at each of the ceremonies.

In the first year it was for ‘best newcomer’; last year it was for ‘best service’; and this year, at a ceremony at Golf Son Gual, in Mallorca, it took the title for ‘best overall impression’.

The ‘environmentally responsible’ resort, in Messinia, comprises a number of distinct and complementary sites featuring five-star hotels, residences, spas and leisure facilities, including two stunning championship golf courses: the Dunes and the Bay.

But it wasn’t the only destination to get the warm familiar glow of award success, for Monte Rei Golf & Country Club, in the Eastern Algarve, took the top award for the second successive occasion. Last year it was titled ‘best member’ – this year the title was renamed ‘best overall venue’, but the outcome was the same.

Monte Rei features a championship Jack Nicklaus signature course in more than 1,000 acres of countryside, and was voted Portugal’s number one in the 2016 Golf Digest ‘best courses’ ranking.

Club de Golf Alcanada – the only course in Mallorca adjacent to the sea – received the award for ‘best service’, with particular emphasis being placed on the friendliness, competence and up-selling ability of its employees.

Its Robert Trent Jones Jnr course opened in 2003 and blends naturally into the typical Mallorcan terrain, while offering magnificent mountain and sea views, amid mixture of pine and olive groves. In addition, the club boasts a centuries-old Mallorca clubhouse with a sun-baked terrace.

For golfing gourmands, it did not come as too much of a shock to learn that the award for ‘best culinary offering’ went to Golf Club Beuerberg, in Eurasburg, Germany.

Beuerberg, located 20 miles south of Munich, opened in 1982 and is a former host venue of the European Ladies Open. The restaurant, under the experienced auspices of Urs Zondler, who has been in charge of the kitchen since it opened, is renowned not just for the quality and variety of food, but also the ambience and service.

Abu Dhabi’s Yas Links joined WLG only in early 2016, yet it created such an impression that it was awarded the title of ‘best course condition’.

Sprawled out along almost two miles of sandy Arabian Gulf coast, the Kyle Phillips’ design was the first links course in the Middle East. Measuring 7,414 yards off the tips, Yas Links took more than three years to construct and has eight holes abutting the coastline itself. It is ranked number one in the Middle East and #46 in the world by Golf Digest; and it sits at #62 in the world ranking with Platinum Clubs of the World.

The three-time Volvo World Match Play venue, Finca Cortesin – located just inland from the Malaga coast – took the honour of ‘best newcomer’, which seems to be a platform for future glories.

Its 6,802m, par-72 championship course opened in 2007 and is ranked as one of Spain’s best. Designed by Cabell B Robinson, it makes the most of its natural Mediterranean landscape and includes 20 varieties of flora and a forest. It also incorporates a Jack Nicklaus Academy and offers a golf-club valet and cleaning service, state-of-the-art practice facilities, buggies with the latest GPS technology, and an on-course buggy bar for ice-cold drinks.

Claus Feldt, WLG’s chief executive, said: “Once again we were able to reward the crème de la crème of WLG members. The standard of competition for all of these awards is probably the highest anywhere given that all WLG members have to attain amazingly high levels anyway; so to emerge victorious in any category is a real badge of honour for golf resorts.

“It makes you really proud to work in an industry where so many people take such immense pride in what they offer to their clientele. We should also give our thanks to everybody who came along to enjoy the evening’s activities and to Andreas Pamer and his team at Son Gual for the use of their stunning venue and their excellent hospitality.”

Alcanada’s director of golf, Kristoff Both, added: “It was a really memorable and enjoyable evening; a great opportunity to meet with like-minded people, and to exchange views and ideas in a very convivial atmosphere. To receive this prestigious award alongside so many other fantastic clubs is a huge honour for us.”

WLG and its member clubs are passionately committed to preserve golf culture, but not only by heeding to such things as rules, dress code and etiquette – they commit to the very highest of quality standards concerning the design and caretaking of golf courses and services, as well as the levels of ambiance and gastronomy.

(External source)

Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club Listed in World’s Most Iconic and Influential Clubhouses

Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, the premier golf resort in the Middle East located in the heart of Dubai, is proud to join the ranks of the world’s most well-known Clubhouses in Golf.com’s recent listing of The 18 Most Iconic Clubhouses.

The influential list compiled by leading Golf Magazine’s Joe Passov has recognised Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, and its home the UAE, as being a destination for this world class sport, acknowledging the club for its impressive aesthetics, architecture and history alongside the 18-hole championship golf course it is renowned for.

Coming in at number eight on this respected list, special reference is made toward the iconic nautical heritage of the Club’s concrete ‘sails’ and everything it represents.

“It is a great honour for Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club to be included in such a prestigious list of world-renowned golf clubs. Our iconic clubhouse is a Dubai landmark, which represents the city’s important nautical heritage, as well as being the only golf clubhouse in the world to be featured on the Nation’s banknote. To join the prestigious list of golf clubhouses including The Royal & Ancient Golf Club, St Andrews and Augusta National Golf Club, as well as being the only club from the Middle East really puts golf in Dubai on the international map”. Christopher May, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Golf.

(External source)

TaylorMade is teasing their new range of clubs… again!

It feels like yesterday that…

There are some constants in this world: a day has 24 hours, the sun comes up every day and TaylorMade release way too much stuff!

This of course is just my opinion, but I can’t really trust a company which brings out new clubs at this machine gun speed and then tries to make a point that it’s much better than their last edition.

We all know that the golf technology is extremely brought to its limits and unless there are no rule changes we won’t see major and dramatic changes. Here a yard, there a yard. Here a meter, there a meter.

I understand the companies spend so much on Marketing because this is a big business. Yes there will be consolidation in the market, Nike Golf and alike, but why is it necessary to over-flood golfers with new sticks. All those who bought the 2016 gear, will now have “the old stuff”.

Not very likely that every 2016 M1/2 owner will move and immediately jump on the 2017 edition. But what’s left behind is the bad feeling that others have newer equipment.

My petition to the world: Don’t always buy the newest equipment, don’t fool yourself that you’re only hacking because of non-optimal clubs. Instead, if your clubs are not older than 5 years or so, invest in some training sessions with your pro of choice. You don’t always need the newest, you need those clubs which best fit your swing and which put you in the fairway – every single time. And maybe it’s your swing, that’s a bit rusty, not the clubs.

In case your game is spot on, your GIR rate is beyond 75%, your putts cap at 30, and your clubs are more than 5 years old, in that case I actually do believe you should try out some new gear. And put it on the Santa wishlist…

Finca Cortesin reveals 2017 golfing news at International Golf Travel Market

Top Spanish golf resort Finca Cortesin topped off a successful 2016 at the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) in Mallorca this month with their news for the season ahead.

Director of Golf, Francisco de Lancastre said: “IGTM was particularly busy for us this year and we had a full diary every day of the event. We have firm ambitions to be Europe’s top golfing experience and to this end have a lot of improvements going on that we wanted to share with partners old and new. IGTM was the perfect platform for this.”

Finca Cortesin has unveiled new and improved practice facilities at their Golf Club with new tee line and range furniture, following a substantial renovation. The Jack Nicklaus Academy has benefited from new flightscope technology and guests will also enjoy the arrival of a new club car fleet of buggies, all with premium seats and the latest GPS technology.

With on-going 2016 improvement plans already underway, the resort also plans to increase their gap in between tee times in March 2017 from 12 minutes to 15 minutes, making the experience more seamless for guests. The renovation of the entire golf course maintenance machinery with Toro Company will also be completed by Summer 2017.

Francisco de Lancastre continues: “Looking ahead to 2017 we also plan to renovate our greens from a cool season grass to a warm season grass. This will allow us to improve the quality of our greens throughout the year by adopting a Bermuda species which has important environmental benefits – something we feel very passionate about here at Finca Cortesin.”

Finca Cortesin is a five star boutique hotel in the southern Spanish province of Andalusia. Alongside its 6,802 meter Championship golf course and a Jack Nicklaus Golfing Academy, the hotel has Spain’s only snow cave and a Michelin starred restaurant Kabuki Raw. The hotel has developed a reputation as one of Spain’s top golfing destinations with impeccable facilities and wonderful service.

(External source)

About Finca Cortesin
Finca Cortesin is an independent luxury development located close to Sotogrande in Spain. Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea to one side and the tranquil hills of Casares to the other, Finca Cortesin was designed in the style of a traditional Spanish ‘finca’ (rural estate). The Andalusian retreat features an elegant 67-suite hotel, an 18-hole golf course with a state of the art Jack Nicklaus Academy, a 6,000sqm beach club and a top spa featuring Spain’s only snow cave with bespoke treatments by French beauty brand Boilogique Recherche. The hotel offers four restaurants including El Jardin de Lutz serving authentic Spanish cuisine, and signature Japanese restaurant Kabuki Raw. The development also features exclusive villas available for purchase or rental.

Beachfront golf in Marbella: Real Club de Golf Guadalmina

Planning a golf trip to Marbella is rather difficult. Not because there is a lack of appropriate opportunities to swing a club, it’s rather the opposite! The Costa del Sol in the south of Spain offers not less than 70 golf courses along a coast line of roughly 300 kilometers. And especially the region in and around Marbella offers so many courses that it’s tricky to pick THE right one.

After our tour through Andalusia it was Marbella being the last stop on our itinerary. Sure thing we wanted to end the journey with a nice and memorizable round of golf in the sunshine.

There are so many great golf courses to be found in this region that it’s really difficult to find the one that’s just right for you. I investigated so much in preparation for the tour that I was seriously confused about where to play eventually. Long story short, I decided to play the Real Club de Golf Guadalmina. This club offers two courses whereas the south course stands out and offers nicer scenery and architecture, at least in theory. Also it was very close to our hotel and I got a good rate.

A word and a blow, instead of checking in the hotel I immeadiately drove to the club house which sits in the middle of a… well, dated residential area with a supermarket-like car park. Entering the club house, it was nobody there to greet or guide you, all lockers and bathrooms were locked and apparently reserved for members who know the numeric code to enter. The waiters in the downstairs bar weren’t really helpful either so I had to ask my way through the facilities. I’m not saying I was shocked, but I had hoped for another kind of start to this round.

Finally I found the person at the counter to pay my green fee, bought the obligatory club logo ball souvenir and left the building. It took me a while to understand that in order to get to the first tee of the south course you need to leave the premises, cross the car park, pass the weird shops and bars to the side of it and then walk for a couple of minutes on a public street through a residential area to then get to what was the first tee. Seriously, I haven’t expected this – in any shape or form. Again, not that I was shocked but this course received so many so positive reviews from all over the place… I was dissapointed, I guess that’s the word.

Next dissapointment was just around the corner: on the first tee there were like 20 people waiting to tee off! I had a tee time in ten minutes and all these folks were about to start their round just now. Apparently there was a double booking for some slots and so I had to wait until all 38 French golf tourists in their fourballs were ready to go and I had my turn finally. That was roughly one hour later.

I had a nice chat with the starter and it wasn’t really his fault but the whole situation was kind of stupid. Especially because I played on my own and was obviously stuck in huge traffic right from the start. As the North Course was closed that week for maintenance I had no chance but wait, play slow and be patient. I told everybody “I’m in no rush” which was true but I had no idea how horrible the next hours turned out to be.

When I finally teed off I decided to play two balls, an advice the starter gave me. It didn’t really help. When I finished hole 1, I realized that there were three groups on the next hole – a par 3!

So I couldn’t help it and had to wait. I practiced putting a good 10 minutes on the first hole until I finally teed off myself. It was quite a busy spot of the course with a busy street to the left and the highway behind the hole. I tried to forget all that once I putted for a par and tried to move on.

Next hole 3rd was a dogleg left with villas to both sides. I had to wait for some minutes before I absolutely bombed my drive to split the fairway. So I was standing there in the middle of the hole, waiting for the French to move on while the group behind me closed up and waited for me to clear the fairway. I wanted to scream that it’s not my fault but I had more chances to let them know later.

When I finished hole 3 I realized that the group in front of me not even had teed off the 4th yet. Oh boy, it got slower and slower, that was for sure. I went over and had a little chit-chat with the French folks and finally couldn’t do anything else than let them go play and wait.

That was the time when the Spanish couple arrived in their cart and realized that I was still waiting there. They were members of the club and seemed very nice, although pretty annoyed about the slow play too. We decided to play together and talked a lot. It turned out that they just months ago moved from Madrid to Marbella because the quality of life supposedly is so much better in Marbella. They said they literally live on the golf course and play here at least 4 times a week. They just take their golf cart from the underground parking and head to the course. Wow, what a lifestyle: Living in a nice house or apartment with sea views right next to a golf course which you get to play a couple of times per week. I was jealous. Pretty jealous.

The path between the 4th green and 5th tee box went under the big motor highway, the autovia. So to set the scene, imagine a nice golf course with a 6-way highway cutting right through it – that’s what you have there. Really a pity. Apart from that the course was rather nice.

We played the 5th, again with a lot of waiting, when we decided that all this absolutely doesn’t make sense at all and totally ruined our mood already. To avoid that we headed for the 15th as it seemed there wasn’t somebody playing the back nine at that time. With the 15, 16, 17 and 18 I finished nine holes in total (the not so pretty ones) in almost 4 hours!

What a pathetic round of golf!

I was disappointed with the area where the course was located, a little bit with the course facilities, with the noise, the slow play and that I just was able to see half of the course. Needless to say that it wasn’t possible to get a refund at the reception.

A golf day to forget.

The first Ballesteros Design I played: Real Novo Sancti Petri Golf Club

The prefix “Real” stands for “Royal” in Spanish. That’s the case for Real Madrid and also Real Golf de Valderrama. And also for Real Novo Sancti Petri Golf Club.

The latter surprises a little bit because there is very little royal flair in the Urbanization Novo Sancti Petri, south of Cadiz. It’s a rather nice holiday residential area with dozens of hotels and uncounted weekend and holiday apartments. The big asset of Sancti Petri is the beautiful stretch of beach, long, wide and white along the Costa de la Luz.

The coast in general is famous for travelers and sun seekers, but indeed this part of the region is beautiful and offers a lot to recreational or regular guests.

We stayed at one of the best hotels the coast has to offer and enjoyed some days by the pool, strolling the beach, enjoying the sun, the wine, the tapas and the southern Spanish lifestyle.

Of course golf was on the agenda too. As little as Novo Sancti Petri is, it offers quite a variety of golf courses. I decided to go for the most prestigious club, which alone offers two championship courses plus a short a pitch & putt course, and also went to play the apparent better course, the “Mar y Pinos” (Sea and Pines), or “A” as they call it themselves.

I paid a very reasonable green fee, ordered a cart (because I walked at least 12km every day during the week before) and off I went. The signage turned out to be somewhat improvable but eventually I managed to find everything I needed to.

The driving range features a lot of possibilities to warm up and is home to the Jack Nicklaus Golf Academy, just in case your swing needs some urgent adjusting.

On tee 1 I was grouped together with a German couple, both in their 50s, he played golf, she only took pictures and used the first nine as a nice walk. She didn’t really talk much but he was very nice and we chatted along quite nicely. Turned out that he’s coming for 20 years and just started to find back to his game.

The course was built in 1990, designed by nobody less that Severiano Ballesteros. I’m not a big expert on course design and definitely wouldn’t recognise Seve’s handwriting but I have to say that the overall layout and architectural course design was not more than ‘good’. Saying it was ‘mediocre’ wouldn’t do justice, but it’s clearly not the biggest asset this club has to offer – or reason to get awarded with the prefix “Real” to the club name.

Hole 1 is a very straight hole, an easy one for the start. With a good tee shot you can reach the green next to a small lake which forms a water hazard for a number of the following holes. For the second you have to drive the ball over water towards a normal-width fairway, surrounded by holiday villas to the left.

After 3 and 4, two rather unspectacular dogleg-left par-4s you get to the next par-4 dogleg-left. This time your second shot has to travel over water to a smaller green. Which didn’t work out in my first attempt I have to say.

Hole 6 is without a doubt one of the more spectacular ones. It’s an uphill tee shot with a second into the green which sits right on top of the beach with beautiful views along the coast. Very pretty indeed.

Hole 7 is a rather long over-water par-3 and is followed by an intersting par-5 and a dull par-3 to finish the first nine.

Today's highlight: golf at Novo Sancti Petri

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I totally screwed up the 10th (God knows why) and really enjoyed playing the following holes; long par-5s, interesting par-4s and short par-3s. All in all I preferred the back nine, both in quality of the design, the absence of holiday homes right next to the fairway and water hazards and frankly because I played really good golf there. I think it’s just a mood issue. The more birdie chances you have (and eventually make) the better you like the holes.

So after all, I enjoyed playing this course. There are of course some things that didn’t go well: The staff was friendly but not very helpful with orientation, the caddie master wasn’t helpful at all, the carts were neither equipped with water, towels, tees nor with a GPS system and as I forgot my GPS watch at home, there was a lot of guess work involved.

Would I recommend the course to others? Yes if you are in the neighbourhood, no if you would need to travel just for this.

Golficiency Rating: 5/10

Spontaneous Andalusian Golf Break

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What to do when you realise you have so many holidays left for the year? No question, you find some great ideas where to spend them. As summer started to turn ugly in Central Europe we decided to head to South Spain, enjoy the sun, the culture, the history, the tapas, the vino, the flamenco, the hospitality, the picturesque ancient towns and the golf. And no doubt – they have plenty of all.

Starting from Malaga, we had on our itenerary penciled in for Nerja, Granada, Cordoba, Sevilla, Jerez, Cadiz, Sancti Petri, Vejer de la Frontera, Gibraltar, Ronda and Marbella. Basically every single corner of Andalusia.

Everybody knows that golfing is easy in South Spain as they have plenty of courses, both at the Costa de la Luz or the Costa del Sol (aka Costa del Golf). The problem is even to decide which one to play as due to the sheer amount of possibilities you are seriously overwhelmed and need either expert advice or a lot of reading. I did both and had an initial list of courses to take into account.

Pretty early in the process I ruled out three courses, not because I changed my mind but because I figured I won’t spend that much money on golf. Don’t get me wrong, I’d absolutely love to play these but for somebody who has to work hard for his lifestyle, the requested green fees are totally out of this world:

  • Real Club Valderrama (Best course in Continental Europe since 1988), Robert Trent Jones design
  • Real Club de Golf Sotogrande, Robert Trent Jones design
  • Finca Cortesin Golf Resort, Cabell Robinson design

And also, as we planned a road trip through all of Andalusia we didn’t want to spend too much time in the Sotogrande region anyway – because there are much nicer places to see and visit.

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So we decided to change plans and put down these four courses as the ones to play:

  • Real Club de Golf Sevilla, José Maria Olazábal design
  • Montecastillo Golf Club, Jerez, Jack Nicklaus design
  • Novo Sancti Petri Golf, Severiano Ballesteros design
  • Real Club de Golf Guadalmina, Marbella, Javier Arana design

One thing I can tell you now as we already arrived back home, we didn’t fully make it through this list unfortunately. But the other thing I’d like to report; golfing in the south of Spain is pretty amazing! And the whole region of Andalusia is so rich in culture, history and lifestyle that golf became a fairly peripheral matter quickly.

Do yourself a favour, book a trip and find out for yourself what an amazing piece of land this is.

Keep checking back at golficiency.com for the course reviews of the Andalusia trip.

Photo credits: Westin La Quinta Resort, Marbella