Thursday, October 29, 2009

Spanish Golf

Maybe it's because the Volvo World Match Play Championship is under way, or because I've be watching a cooking show that features nothing but cuisine from Spain, that I thought to myself, "man, I wouldn't mind going there." I loved the food and the people and the golf courses in Portugal, why wouldn't I enjoy Spain just as much?

The Marabella region in the southern portion of the country has a number of layouts including some with views of Gibralter and Africa. Now that has to be something, looking at another continent while playing golf.

Finca Cortesin Golf Resort is hosting the World Match Play and I'd surely tee it up on the Cabell Robinson design if the opportunity arose. The event is raising money for the Seve Ballesteros Foundation, which aids in brain cancer research.

Looking around the web, I cam across the La Manga Las Lomas Village on the southwest coast and that appears to be a wonderful spot. The resort has three layouts including the South Course that was reworked by Arnold Palmer and has hosted the Spanish Open. I'd love to try out all three.

OK, now I just have to figure out a way to get over there!


  1. You would be surprised how little really good golf there is on the Spanish coasts. Valderrama is great in its way - it has a fabulous aura of class and quality - but the golf is not absolutely top drawer imo. Too narrow. Cortesin is spectacular but it's massively spread out and would be a nightmare walk - I've no idea how they are managing to hold the matchplay there. And much of the rest of the Costa del Sol is just very ordinary resort or development golf. La Manga, ditto. PGA Catalunya, north of Barcelona, is really nice but not as good as it is painted. The one place I really want to see is El Saler, the masterpiece of the great Spanish designer Javier Arana - it's near Valencia.

    But in general I would say the golf is better in Portugal.

  2. Adam:

    An interesting observation. Since I've never been to Spain, I'll give it a try if the chance arises and keep your critique so as not to be disappointed. If the golf is substandard, I'll have to console myself with seafood paella.

  3. I should say, though, that Spain is a fantastic country. The cities, especially in Andalusia, are astonishingly beautiful, the people are lovely and the food/drink are terrific. The siesta and late dinner culture may be in decline, but it still exists and it makes for a brilliant tourist experience. You get up, have breakfast, spend the morning doing tourist things, take lunch around two, with plenty of wine or beer, and then retire to your hotel for a snooze. About seven you rise, shower, get your gladrags on, and head out for a pre-dinner drink. Then you either spend the evening barhopping eating tapas, or you find a restaurant and eat dinner no earlier than nine. Cities like Granada and Sevilla are jumping at two in the morning on an ordinary Wednesday. I couldn't live like that, I'd turn into an alcoholic in no time. But for a long weekend it's mega...