As avid golfers, Chris (handicap 12) and I (handicap 14) have been playing down in this region for a number of years. Here are some useful tips for anyone interested in knowing more about golf on the Costa del Sol in Spain. This region is also known as the Costa del Golf – probably due to the great weather for golf all year round and the fact there are over 70 courses in the area.
Pay as you play options
Many courses are geared up for people to just book a round and play. As you would expect, their rates are dependent on the popularity and condition of the course. There are some 9 hole courses and plenty of 18 hole courses to choose from including championship level courses to a good ‘holiday’ level course for the not so regular golfer.
If you want to ‘turn up and play’ it is always advisable to ring around and see if you can negotiate with the caddy master. Sometimes, they are willing to ‘do a deal’ depending on the numbers of tee times they have booked on that day and the time of year.
Look out for early riser and late afternoon tee times, they are often cheaper.
Another idea, is to ring a booking agent and see if you can get a better rate through them. A local paper for the Costa del Sol ‘The Golfer’ has adverts from these agents and one includes Brigitte Golf.
Buy a ‘book’ of tickets
Some courses have various options for booking a number of tee times in a year or for playing in a 30 day period. We used to buy 20 ‘golf green fees’ at Lauro Golf with a buggy which worked out at a much cheaper level than just ‘paying and playing’. We had 12 months to use these tickets up and as we had UK handicaps, were able to use these to play in the ‘members’ competitions.
Join a club
Not a cheap option, many clubs actually do not promote membership as they are geared to ‘pay and play’ golfers. There are not as many Members clubs on the Costa del Sol as you would think. Many are privately owned and are set up to promote to visitors – either individuals or group tours.
The Members clubs that exist in the region, require a significant joining fee or require you to purchase a share as well as paying an annual fee.
Buying a share in a golf club, should not been seen as an investment – like all shares their value could go up or down! Buy a share because it is your means to playing golf as a member of a club, not because you want an investment. I know of people who have bought shares in clubs at a time paying 80,000 euros to now be worth only 20,000. Others have paid 20,000 euros at a different club to now be worth only 1,500 euros. Ouch!!!! That level of return hurts.
Becoming a member of a golf club in Spain, is the same as joining any sports club around the world. It is a great opportunity to make new friends, take part in competitions and develop your skills in the game.
We have joined Miraflores Golf and love it. There is a good mix of European golfers from all countries and the club is run as a true members club with regular Ladies, Men and Mixed competitions. There are a number of social events throughout the year as well.
Hiring golf clubs
As you would expect for a region set up for golf, there are various options to hiring golf clubs in the Costa del Sol. At Malaga airport there is a golf hire company, which you can pre-book in advance and collect as you arrive in the airport. A number of shops also offer clubs for hire and this includes Sunshine Golf. Some golf hire companies will deliver clubs to your hotel if you require.
I would strongly recommend enquiring at the golf club you intend to play at – they may do you a deal for combining a green fee as well as equipment hire.
It can take time . . .
Do not expect a quick round, in the height of the season do not be surprised if you take up to 5 hours for a round. Many courses are busy and many players are not single handicap golfers, so they are taking their time to get round!
Enjoy golf in great weather . . .
Wherever you play golf on the Costa del sol, you will find the sun is shining (well usually) and the courses are in good condition (well usually again!). However, I do remember coming out to this region one November to play a week of golfing and we only managed 5 holes, before the clouds opened up and it started a week of non-stop raining with terrible flooding and courses being closed. Fortunately, this is far from the norm but can happen from time to time!
Happy golfing – and good luck keeping it on the fairway!