Situated in the Sotogrande resort in Andalusia, Valderrama has hosted a plethora of championships including the Volvo Masters and the famous 1997 Ryder Cup. A prominent feature of the estate is thousands of large cork trees, while the stunning views of the countryside and the Mediterranean create beautiful playing conditions. Whilst being one of the most revered Spanish golf resorts it is also widely regarded as the best in Europe. Better still, the climate allows for golf all year round.
This Spanish golf resort’s grounds have one 18-hole course, along with a par-3 nine-hole and some of the best practice facilities around. The Valderrama Club was constructed in 1974 by no lesser architect than Robert Trent Jones. An investment in 1984 by wealthy businessman Jaime Ortiz-Patiño allowed the course to gain the recognition it receives today. Trent Jones’s signature hole is the par-5 fifth, with a pond to the right of the two-tiered green. It combines good shot value with charming surroundings. The first nine holes ease you nicely into your swing, but have a distinctly “English flavor” with narrow fairways and elevated greens. The closing holes are challenging, but if the tee positions are chosen wisely, it is a very playable course for most. The nine-hole practice course, which was once described as the best in Europe by Nick Faldo, adds to an outstanding golfing experience.
Where to stay
A day of sun and 18 holes can take its toll, so relax at the five-star Gran Hotel Elba Estepona, which is within walking distance of the course and has a stress-busting seawater spa. It also offers four restaurants with a variety of cuisine prepared using seasonal produce.
See also: The K Club: Ireland