Spanish Golf Holiday

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Kieran O’Mahony

I was on a Golf Holiday in Spain last week. Group of 16 very competitive and demanding “middle aged men”. Five of us from Galway and the remainder from Dublin. The event was the 29th having started with a 4Ball in Ballybunion all those years ago. It moved to Spain some 15 years ago and from what was a long weekend to a marathon week in the Sun.

We base ourselves in Fuengirola and play our Golf in reasonably adjacent courses. Here is my take on the area as Golf destination. For those of us traveling from Galway, flights ex Shannon or Knock are much more preferable than Dublin and there are many options available depending on the days you wish to travel.

For this type of event, Fuengirola is an ideal Town/Resort to stay in. Although a little tacky on the Seafront you only have step back a street or two to find the authentic Spanish experience. Constitution Square (aka Post Office Square) is a brilliant place to eat with a multitude of real Spanish Tapas Bars to choose from and leisurely 2/3 hour meal here with a ½ bottle of wine can be had for €30 or less. Great atmosphere and a great place to people watch.

We stayed at the Las Piramides Hotel on the seafront. There are loads of hotels in the resort which are of similar standard (The Pyr, Las Palmeras, Florida Spa, El Puerto etc.) all of which we have stayed in various occasions and not a whole lot of difference in Standard. That being said the Piramides have just completed a full refurbishment on one of their two blocks and for a small supplement of circa €10 a night the new rooms are by a distance better than anything else in the resort. Standard single room B/B you expect to pay €60 per night, new rooms €70 per night.

We played golf for five days. Stayed more or less in the immediate area.

Day 1  Mijas Los Lagos. Really good course that was totally rebuilt a couple of years ago and although some of the lakes were dry (water shortage apparently) this was a real good test of golf and suited the lower handicappers.

Day 2 Santana. Everybody’s favourite and a course not to be missed if you are playing golf on the Costa del Sol. All players like this course where there is essentially no rough. All scores in the 30+ that day and 2 on 40Pts.

Day 3 Torrequebrada. Probably the toughest course in the area with the weaker players really struggled here. More scores in the 20’s than the 30’s. Personal favourite of mine with some brilliant holes to be navigated. On the downside, some very strange service from the Bar/Restaurant. Don’t be in a hurry if you order a sandwich!!!

Day 4 Mijas Los Olivios. This was the big surprise of the week. I would have considered this course one of the poorest in the area but much to our pleasant surprise was definitely the Best Turned out of the week. Greens were truly brilliant with a great roll and in mint condition. Bunkers have also been improved no end with proper sand (gravel gone) that enables one to play out of them now. All in all a good experience enjoyed by low and high handicappers.

Day 5 Santa Clara. Probably the least conditioned golf course but always a joy to play. Great finishing course where anything can happen. Have seen 10 point leads overturned here where disaster awaits the poorly executed shot. Some brilliant holes with the Par 5’s 8 + 10 being outstanding. Birdie chances but …………

Real plus for Santa Clara is the magnificent Clubhouse and the brilliantly run Restaurant by their host Packo!!! Highly recommend dining there and the Tapas option for the Group went down a treat for our group.

Cost of Golf slightly varied from course to course but averaged at €70 per round including the buggy. All told we felt we got good value for money.

I’m sure if any of you guys want a good deal on a similar trip, Joe Lyons here on Irish Golf Noticeboard will provide you with a very good quote. Email joe@irishgolfnoticeboard.ie

Until next week, regards to all,

Kieran.

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