The Costa del Sol has become one of Europe’s top holiday destinations, especially for the well-heeled. Not only is the region known for its beautiful beaches, fabulous restaurants and indulgent spa hotels. For the party people out there is no shortage of top class beach clubs or sophisticated night clubs to keep them busy to small hours of the morning.

But if you don’t want to just relax or party all night there are tons of activities to enjoy and probably the most well known in this part of the work is golf.

The costa del sol and Marbella in particular is a golf-lover’s haven with a huge choice of high quality courses to play and a climate that is perfect for golf being available for most of the years.

In fact golf is so popular here that many course are also big property developments offering fans the ultimate golf lifestlye.

With so many amazing courses in this area it is very hard to pick the best golf courses in Marbella but the following are definitely in that category.

1. La Quinta Golf & Country Club

The La Quinta Country Club is one of the most popular Marbella golf clubs, and it has a heritage. Designed by Ryder Cup and Tri World champion Manuel Piñero, the course is one of the finest in the region, appreciated by both amateurs and serious professionals. The 27 hole course is split into 3 nine-hole courses in beautiful natural surroundings with views of the Mediterranean and the mountains beyond the Benahavis valley. The courses are known for the speedy greens as well as the high quality of service. The three different courses offer golfers a variety of gameplay, and sophisticated digital swing analysis and other technologies help to create high standard facilities for players who want to improve their swing.

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2. Golf Royal Las Brisas

Designed by Robert Trent Jones Senior and featuring at number 7 among the Costa del Sol courses in ( as evaluated by Golf World Magazine, Golf Las Brisas is a pleasant Malaga course to play at. It is an eighteen hole, 72 par American-style course with a length of 6,704 yards. It has a solid pedigree, having hosted Spanish Opens, World Cups and the Mediterranean Open. It was originally designed in 1968 with stepped greens typical of Trent Jones courses along with water hazards on 12 holes. It is considered one of Spain’s best courses that high handicappers can enjoy, but it is ideal for experienced and serious players. Visitors are allowed on application.

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3. Santa Clara Golf

One of Marbella’s more exclusive golf courses, Santa Clara was built in 2001 and designed by Enrique Canales Busquet. This 18 hole course is straightforward with wide fairways and some gently sloping open greens. There are few roughs on the course, and while it can be a pleasant round, the course also offers a technical challenge. The 1st and last holes offer spectacular views over the Mediterranean and the Clubhouse is set on a vast, sunny terrace. A highlight is the Santa Clara Corner, which is formed by the twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth holes.

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4. Los Naranjos

This is yet another course that was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr with wonderful views over mountains, seas, and villas dotting the Costa del Sol countryside. It has many tree lined holes, interesting contours and slopes, and water hazards in the front nine. The back nine is less impressive but lined with los naranjos or orange trees and palms. There are a few slopes to climb though the course is mostly open parkland with rolling terrain. Booking in advance is essential, and golf carts are available for hire.

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5. Marbella Golf and Country Club

Marbella Golf and Country Club features at number 42 on the top  world list. Another course designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr from a very hilly terrain, most holes either plunge downhill or require playing uphill with almost no playing on the flat. The fairways are very well maintained and quite wide, while bunkers and water hazards make the course more challenging. The course also offers stunning views over the hilly countryside of the Costa del Sol, its high Sierra ranges and the Mediterranean Sea. This is also considered one of the Costa del Sol’s toughest courses.

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There are plenty of other popular and quality golf courses near Marbella that deserve mention. These include Aloha (by Javier Arana), the private La Zagaleta club designed by Bradford Benz, the Cabell Robinson-designed Santana and Valle Romano, the Villa Padierna (Alferini) by Cristobal Guerrero and the Villa Padierna (Flamingos) by Antonio Garcia Garrido. Its many well-known courses has earned the region the surrounding nickname “Costa del Golf”, and the golfing infrastructure at Marbella matches the year round pleasant weather to make for the perfect golfing destination in this part of the world.

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