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Showpiece Homes, Luxury Living… and Golf

Over the past year the role of the Costa del Sol’s tourist board has been transformed into a more streamlined marketing operation – for the benefit of both visitors and expatriate residents. As business development director Lynn Mitchell explained as guest speaker at the Costa Press Club’s monthly dinner-meeting this past week, Turismo Costa del Sol (as the public company is now known after changing its status as a “Patronato” from 1 January) has a new management structure that oversees 11 different segments: from cultural, sport, health/wellness and business-orientated travel to green, hinterland, active and nautical pursuits. One of the organisation’s other little-known roles is to offer advice on residential-tourism, a key area of interest for property owners and new buyers that covers such aspects as town planning regulations and legal security. Lynn heads two segments: vocational and leisure (which is traditional sun and beach tourism, plus other holiday activities such as amusement parks) and golf – considered by many to be the area’s “star” attraction. As Lynn noted, the Costa del Sol is unquestionably the premier golfing destination in southern Europe. For industry professionals, the Coast’s golf amenities (60 courses along a 100-kilometre stretch, as well as numerous academies and practice facilities) are a vital tool in easing the seasonality of tourism – i.e. mass tourism during the summer months. For visitors and residents, they are an enticing lure for buying a holiday home or even settling permanently on the Costa del Sol. Furthermore, as an article published in this week’s International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) bulletin on behalf of the Andalucía Tourist Board highlights, the Coast’s appeal as a golf resort par extraordinaire is across a wide spectrum. “When it comes to choosing where to go on a golf holiday one destination lays out the red carpet more than most to welcome the fairer sex – Spain’s southern-most region, Andalucía. Golf courses, golf resorts, hotels and ancillary service providers throughout the region pull out all the stops to make women golfers particularly welcome.” The article noted that, in addition to golf, the region also offers a wide and varied range of complementary services such as luxury spas and wellness clinics – and the opportunity of enjoying a glass of champagne on a clubhouse terrace overlooking the Mediterranean! Of course, this “open mind and open arms approach of the people of Andalucía” can also be enjoyed by women golfers who have settled in southern Spain, especially on the Costa del Sol, which is home to more than half of the region’s golf courses. Meanwhile, in other golf news this week it was announced that Manuel Piñero and Marta Figueras-Dotti would be Spain’s captains when golf returns to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next year. Although born in Extremadura, Piñero – one of the key members of the barnstorming “Spanish Armada” in the 1970s and 1980s – is considered a “local” in Marbella, as the designer of the La Quinta golf course in the hills above Nueva Andalucía and founder of the academy that bears his name at the same club. Another international golf star who was actually born in Marbella, Azahara Muñoz, is currently the front-runner among Spanish women players hoping to gain selection in the national team for Brazil 2016. So what better location for our featured home this week than Guadalmina, where Muñoz learnt the game and still returns for off-season training. This frontline golf and beach villa is excellent value at €2,380,000. Pictured: For woman golfers wanting to travel in style to courses along the Costa del Sol… Land Rover unveiled its first luxury compact convertible SUV, the Evoque, in the lead-up to the Los Angeles Auto Show (which starts today), and Spectre actress Naomie Harris was one of the first to view the vehicle. Special Selections We appreciate your taking the time to read about this outstanding property, but perhaps it’s not exactly right for you? If not, we invite you to have a look at our other special selections for: La Zagaleta, Luxury Villas, Golf Properties, Seafront Properties, Apartments and Special Offers. Click on the category of your choice and follow the link. Also please feel free to roam around our website: www.villamarbellanow.com.