Published on : Thursday, March 30, 2017
Thousands of tourists choose the Costa del Sol every year as the ideal destination for their golfing holiday, on account of its excellent climate, and the fact that the Malaga coastline is a major golfing hotspot. But courses by the sea are not the only option, and various towns further inland boast an attractive golfing offer, with exceptional facilities and unique landscapes.
There are three alternatives in the areas of Antequera and Valle del Guadalhorce, where we find tourist enclaves such as Caminito del Rey, the Dolmens of Antequera and the beauty spot of El Torcal. Let’s have a look at the most exceptional holes on the courses of Alhaurín Golf, Lauro Golf and Antequera Golf.
Alhaurín Golf: an elevated teeing ground with views of the mountains and the sea
Alhaurín Golf Club is one of the most spectacular courses. Fun, bold, demanding, and stunningly beautiful, it allows players to enjoy the surroundings. This 18-hole par-72 course was designed by Severiano Ballesteros, a golfing legend, who created a layout that would challenge any golfer.
According to the director of this complex, José Ramón Gómez, the emblematic feature of this course is the elevated teeing ground on hole 6, with impressive views of the Sierra de Mijas and the Mediterranean sea. The fairway on hole 6 is unique, with an elevated teeing ground, followed by a dogleg to the right, taking you over the top of a mountain, with stunning landscapes that make it even more special.
Surrounded by native Mediterranean woodland species, including pines, oaks, cypresses and orange trees, this par-five hole has an elevated tee and offers only a partial view of the green. This stunning course, nestled between the mountains and the coast, has an Andalusian-style hotel and a clubhouse with a restaurant.
Lauro Golf: a hole protected by an established pine grove
One of the most characteristic holes at Lauro Golf is number 11, a short par-three with a very narrow entry onto the green on account of the established pine grove that protects it. The whole of Lauro Golf is designed with a view to integrating the golf course into the surrounding nature, and this hole illustrates that approach perfectly. The design of the hole is based on a complex entry, on account of a single pine tree located around 20 metres in front of the green. The flight of the ball must get around the problem of the tree or squeeze through the narrow entry point it leaves, depending on the position of the flag.
According to the manager of this complex, Carlos Pitarch, a bunker to the right and the woodland area itself are a challenge to players, who might think they are tackling one of the easiest holes at Lauro, but they must focus in order to get a good result. The anecdote surrounding this hole, named after the bullfighter Marcial, is that it was designed by Folco Nardi on the ground during the construction of the course, since originally it was intended to be a par-four, but that would have entailed cutting down a number of very tall pine trees of considerable value. Eventually, the designer decided not to cut down a single tree, adapting hole 11 to the surroundings, and it’s not uncommon to see rabbits, ducks, herons, and even eagles here.
Antequera Golf: drive between lakes with a panoramic view of El Torcal
Antequera is not only famous for its cultural, historical, and gastronomic heritage; it has also become a major spot for golf. The town has a golf course right in the geographic centre of Andalusia, surrounded by olive trees with views of the countryside and the mountains behind El Torcal. This fun 18-hole course was designed by twice winner of the Ryder Cup, José María Cañizares. The most outstanding hole is number 13, unique in golf course design, according to the director of Antequera Golf, Víctor Casado.
At the foot of El Torcal Natural Park, a World Heritage Site, hole 13 (par four) has three interconnected lakes, two of which are just opposite the teeing ground, so players have to hit their drive over the top of them. There is an area where the ball drops, and the second swing to the green is around 120 metres, but in front of this there is a third lake.
The green is designed with varying levels, slopes, and sand traps around it, to give it a unique touch. It is appreciated by players on account of the beauty of its fairway, its authenticity, its difficulty, and its technicality.