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The 'Costa del Golf' and its top courses

Las Brisas Golf courseSpain’s sunny southern coast has long been known among the golfing fraternity not as the Costa del Sol, but as the Costa del Golf, and for a number of good reasons. For starters there is the almost-guaranteed year-round sunshine. Furthermore, in Andalucía there are more than 90 golf courses and golfing resorts, with around 60 of these dotted along the Costa del Sol, four of which are ranked amongst Europe’s top ten. Many of the courses are internationally recognised too, such as the Finca Cortesín Golf Course, home to the European Tour Volvo World Matchplay Championships since 2009. The highly rated Valderrama Golf Club can also boast of its credentials, having been selected as the Ryder Cup venue in 1997. Ten years later the same club secured another milestone after hosting the Volvo Masters on its 20th anniversary.Real Club de Golf Guadalmina With all this in mind, the Costa del Sol is one of Europe’s top golfing destinations and attracts hundreds of thousands of international golfers each year. So to help you find your dream course, we’ve compiled a top five list of our favourites on the Costa del Sol. La Zagaleta A members-only course, the exclusive La Zagaleta enjoys a hilly layout with some spectacular shots and excellent wide-ranging mountain and Mediterranean views, rolling fairways and interesting greensites. www.lazagaleta.com Valderrama A difficult tree lined, thinking man’s course with small, testing, well-bunkered, often raised, fast greens. Its Ryder Cup and European Tour status add to what is inevitably a memorable experience. www.valderrama.com Finca Cortesin Set across two valleys, this course is very long and often demanding. It features a modern design with generally good bunkering and testing greensites, many of which are raised, requiring a good variety of shots. www.fincacortesin.com Golf courseGuadalmina Comprised of the north and south courses, the Guadalmina South is the better of the two and is predominantly tree-lined and easy to walk. It is the closest golf course to the sea on the Costa del Sol. www.guadalminagolf.com Las Brisas This highly rated course is the closest to Marbella town and one of its oldest. It has a spacious design over gently undulating ground adorned with specimen trees. Effective bunkering, water carries and sometimes small, sloping greens combine to demand accurate shot placement to score well. www.realclubdegolflasbrisas.com With thanks to the ‘The Pocket Guide to Golf Courses Spain and Portugal’ for their comprehensive and authoritative assessments of the Costa de Sol’s golf courses.