Spain is one of Europe’s greatest golfing nations. The land of rioja and tapas has given us golfing heroes like Seve, Jose Maria Olazabal, Miguel Angel Jimenez and now Jon Rahm. It’s also one of the first places on any golfer’s travel wish list and is home to some world class courses.
It is blessed with long hot summers, expansive coastlines, sophisticated cities, and mountainous landscapes. If you’re looking to head out on a European escape, we’ve picked five must-play courses on the Spanish mainland and its Canary Islands.
PGA Golf De Catalunya Stadium
Found at the foothills of the Pyrenees just 45 minutes south of Barcelona, the PGA Catalunya Stadium is arguably one of the best-known golf courses in Spain. In recent years, the resort has hosted The European Tour’s final qualifying school, a six-day marathon where aspiring professional golfers compete to win playing rights on Europe’s most lucrative professional golf circuit.
Recently voted at #4 in continental Europe and #1 in Spain, it’s not hard to see why this course is so highly rated.
A magnificent, rolling championship layout set amid pine, bent cork and oak forests, with spectacular views over the Pyrenees. Two large lakes between the 3rd and the 5th and 11th and 13th provide a scenic dimension to the course and create a dramatic atmosphere. There are five tees for each hole, a system that is unique among all Spanish golf courses, making the course highly enjoyable for golfers of all abilities. Small, sloping greens and uncompromising driving conditions make the Green course a thorough test of golfing skill.
For a full review of PGA Golf de Catalunya, click here.
Real Golf Club de Las Palmas, Gran Canaria
Built in 1950, the Real Golf Club de Las Palmas is just 15 minutes away from Las Palmas, one of the biggest cities on the volcanic island of Gran Canaria.
Known locally as ‘Bandama’, the course is laid out in a volcanic crater and is known as a testing layout. The raised greens test your short game skills and require good course management to match the par of 71. There are handicap restrictions for this course which are 26 for men and 34 for ladies.
Hacienda del Alamo
Having opened in 2006, Hacienda del Alamo has become quite well known for its challenging fairways. While the surrounding terrain of olive orchards, lakes and cascades makes for a visually stunning course, it also provides many hazards to consider.
At 6,724 metres, the course is the longest in Spain, so its best to make use of available buggies on site. Away from the course itself, the site has a golf academy as well as a driving range and two putting greens to work on your game beforehand.
Real Club de Golf Sotogrande
The Real Club de Golf Sotogrande is one of the oldest golf courses in the Costa del Sol and ranked within the top 10 in Continental Europe. With excellent bunkers and water hazards, the course requires its players to use finesse, strategy and confident execution of shots.
The fairways are fringed by amazing eucalyptus, pine, oak and palm trees that, although beautiful, make the course play difficult for anyone who is struggling to drive the ball straight. A good piece of information to know before heading out on to this course is that most of the greens are elevated with undulations and slope.
For a fuller review of golf on the Costa del Sol.
Finca Cortesin Golf Resort
Surrounded by unbelievable Mediterranean forest, the 18-hole Finca Cortesin Golf course is ranked within the top five in Spain. The absence of development and property in the area makes for a peaceful and secluded golfing experience. There are plenty of bunkers, water hazards and trees to challenge your skills and keep you focused from the distractions of the landscape.
In 2008, the World Match Play moved to Finca Cortesin and just a year later, Ross Fisher claimed the 2009 World Match Play Championship here. More recently, the course has been refreshed with environmentally-friendly Bermuda grass on all its putting surfaces.