Best Golf Courses In Spain

For many years the best golf courses in Spain have attracted travelling golfers from all over Europe and further afield - here are some of the very best you can play

Best Golf Courses in Spain - Real Valderrama - Hole 4
Looking back from beyond the fourth green at Valderrama, host of the dramatic 1997 Ryder Cup and widely recognised as the finest course in Spain
(Image credit: Real Valderrama Golf Club)

Best Golf Courses In Spain

With its welcoming climate and its excellent holiday accommodation and facilities, Spain has been a magnet for keen golfers for well over half a century.

Many of its finest courses are understandably located along its beautiful costas, but there are also plenty to be found both inland and on its beautiful islands such as the Balearics and the Canaries. Starting with the most famous golf course in the country, this look at the best golf courses in Spain features a wide selection of the very best of the best, as well as one or two that are perhaps less well-known but still thoroughly recommended.

The green fees quoted are high-season, so please look out for deals and offers, and the yardages are from the regular visitors or medal tees rather than any super-championship back tees. Happily, several of the 20 clubs featured here have more than one course, all of which are well worth seeking out.

Real Valderrama

Real Valderrama - Hole 4

The approach to the tricky green on the par-5 fourth at Real Valderrama, protected by a pond, bunkers, rocks and a cascading waterfall

(Image credit: Rob Smith)
  • Location Sotogrande
  • Founded 1974
  • Architect Robert Trent Jones Senior
  • GF €450 12:00-14:00 daily
  • Par 71, 6,464 yards
  • Contact Real Valderrama Golf Club (opens in new tab)

Host of numerous leading professional championships, Real Valderrama is one of the most exclusive and prestigious clubs in Europe. With its tree-lined fairways and unusually small greens, this beautiful Trent Jones Senior course is kept in immaculate condition. The bunkers are deep and filled with a coarse, grainy sand that is uniform throughout, and almost every hole is bordered by cork and pine that place a premium on straight hitting. The two long holes at the 4th and 17th are probably the most memorable, with the former played to an elevated green surrounded by rocks, waterfalls and a pond. The dramatic penultimate hole has decided the fate of many important tournaments and runs from left to right to a green fronted by a dangerous, shaved slope. Anything short will roll back into the water - just ask Tiger Woods. By limiting the level of visitor numbers, the course is seldom busy and this only lends to the dizzy atmosphere of playing somewhere very special indeed. It may be pricey, but it really is a true bucket list golf course, and the 17th is up there among the world's most famous golf holes.

Abama

Abama Golf Club - Hole 10

Looking down on the thirteenth green at Abama with the tenth hole and very distinctive hotel beyond

(Image credit: Abama Golf Club)
  • Location Tenerife
  • Founded 2005
  • Architect Dave Thomas
  • GF €150
  • Par 72, 6,309 yards
  • Contact Abama Golf Club (opens in new tab)

Considered by many to be the jewel in Tenerife’s golfing crown, Abama is a delight from start to finish. An opening pair of par 4s lead to an excellent and very long uphill par 5 with a feature waterfall cascading to your left. A pretty par 3 provides some relief before the climb continues via a short two-shotter with a steep green which, when it’s running fast, will delight in kissing your ball on both cheeks before releasing it back down the hill onto the fairway. Turning back down the hill, the 6th is a real highlight as the infinity green fronts fabulous views out to sea. Eight and nine take you back down to the clubhouse and you then arrive on the 10th tee which offers an excellent view down over lakes, bunkers and the green and to the eye-catching hotel beyond. The 11th green is the lowest point of the course, and the 12th is a par 3 lining the hotel with water waiting on the right. Thirteen is the last straightaway uphill hole and is distinguished by its split fairway, and this is followed by a very lovely, bunkerless, but certainly not waterless, short hole. There is a tough, tough finish taking in stroke indexes 4, 6, 8 and 2.

Alcanada

Alcanada Golf Club - Hole 16

The sixteenth hole at Alcanada is a long par 4 looking out over Alcudia Bay and the lighthouse

(Image credit: Alcanada Golf Club)
  • Location Mallorca
  • Founded 2003
  • Architect Robert Trent Jones Junior
  • GF €145-€165
  • Par 72, 6,391 yards
  • Contact Alcanada Golf Club (opens in new tab)

This Robert Trent Jones Junior design on the north-eastern shores of Mallorca is bold and exciting. There are sea views from all but one hole, brought into focus by a small island with a lighthouse that sits in Alcudia Bay, just a 5-wood out to sea from the 16th green. Opening with an excellent par 5 that crosses a gully, the course runs up and down between shore and foothills, and is extremely photogenic. This is one of the tougher courses on the island, but is also one that rewards and thrills with elevated drives and plenty of variety. Fairly recently, it was the beneficiary of an extensive makeover which saw the re-laying of all 18 greens, an upgrade to the irrigation system and the renewal of sand in every bunker. There is also a strong but cosmopolitan club atmosphere, and the stylish clubhouse and terrace are just perfect for relaxing after a most enjoyable round.

Aloha

Aloha Golf Club - Hole 9

The front nine at Aloha concludes with a short, uphill par 4 overlooking the mountains

(Image credit: Rob Smith)
  • Location Marbella
  • Founded 1975
  • Architect Javier Arana
  • GF €235
  • Par 72, 6,468 yards
  • Contact Aloha Golf Club (opens in new tab)

This was the final course designed by Javier Arana who sadly passed away shortly before it opened. He personally chose many varieties of trees and planting to make sure that something would be in bloom throughout the year. It has hosted many important championships, most recently, the 2016 and 2019 Spanish Women’s Open. The design has two quite separate and distinct loops, with the front nine running over undulating land to the south of the spacious clubhouse. It opens with a long, snaking par 5 played from an elevated tee before two short but very different par 4s, the first with a pair of attractive ponds populated by turtles waiting on the right. Seven and eight are two very notable holes with the former played to a plateau fairway before a pitch down to a green hidden in a valley beyond. The 8th is a picturesque short hole framed beautifully by mature trees and with the imperious La Concha mountain offering a stunning backdrop. The back nine opens with a thrilling par 5 played down to a split fairway, and green at twelve has the prettiest of settings, protected by water and sand as you play your approach down the hill and over a tree. The 13th is a tough one-shotter to a green overlooked by a magnificent old carob tree, and there is plenty of fun to be had all the way to the difficult but very attractive finishing hole.

Read full Aloha Golf Club course review

Anfi Tauro

Anfi Tauro - Hole 17

The penultimate hole at Anfi Tauri plays down past a huge rocky outcrop to an infinity green with the dazzling ocean beyond

(Image credit: Rob Smith)
  • Location Gran Canaria
  • Founded 2006
  • Architect Robert von Hagge
  • GF €130
  • Par 72, 6,389 yards
  • Contact Anfi Tauro Golf Club (opens in new tab)

Anfi Tauro is the most westerly course on Gran Canaria and is also the boldest and most dramatic design on the island. No expense was spared in carving through the volcanic rock to create a genuine rollercoaster of a course. The front nine is on slightly lower ground that is still elevated enough to offer fine views out to sea, and there are several standout holes including the two par 3s. The 3rd is played at an angle across a gully, and the 6th is a stunner which crosses a plateau to a palm-fringed green with the backdrop of a rocky peak and the ocean. The back nine is more elevated and hilly, and there is a real heart-stopper at thirteen which is played down to a must-hit green. The 17th is a short par 4 played down to a green overlooked by a massive rock, and from start to finish there are plenty of beautiful and memorable holes.

El Saler

El Saler - Hole 17

The closing two holes at El Saler skirt the practice ground and run close to the beach

(Image credit: El Saler Golf Club)
  • Location Valencia
  • Founded 1968
  • Architect Javier Arana
  • GF €110
  • Par 72, 6,607 yards
  • Contact El Saler Golf Club (opens in new tab)

El Saler was one of the first golf courses to be designed ecologically, specifically to be integrated into a protected landscape in as natural a way as possible. The course is split roughly 50/50 between a mixture of linksland, reminiscent in places of some of the famous Scottish golf courses, to areas of typical Mediterranean pine forest. As such, it is remarkably varied and interesting, and it has hosted the Spanish Open as well as other leading professional tournaments.

Finca Cortesin

Finca Cortesin - Hole 18

The beautiful location of Finca Cortesin will make for a superb setting for the 2023 Solheim Cup

(Image credit: Finca Cortesin Golf Club)
  • Location Sotogrande
  • Founded 2007
  • Architect Cabell Robinson
  • GF €320
  • Par 72, 6,434 yards
  • Contact Finca Cortesin Golf Club (opens in new tab)

The excellent Finca Cortesin is up in the hills near Casares just minutes away from the porcelain-white beaches of Marbella and Sotogrande. A decade or so ago it hosted two Volvo World Match Play Championships, and it is now set to trump that with the staging of the 2023 Solheim Cup. The development is described by its designers as a place where nature gently vanishes into the deep blue sea. For many holidaying golfers, it may also turn out to be a place where your golf ball vanishes into a deep blue penalty area, but it is really the bunkering that defines this lush, green oasis. It was designed with golfers of all capabilities in mind and there are many fine views of the ocean, particularly from the fifteenth green. A wide array of flora have been imported from all over the world to create an ecological haven and the accompanying luxurious hotel offers restaurants, a gymnasium and a spa.

Read full Finca Cortesin Golf Club course review

Infinitum

Infinitum - Hills Course - Hole 15

Stroke Index 2, the fifteenth on the Hills Course at Infinitum is a tough par 4 skirting a lake

(Image credit: Infinitum Golf Club)
  • Location Salou
  • Founded 2008
  • Architect Green Project, Greg Norman
  • GF €115 - check website for packages
  • Hills - Par 72, 6,541 yards
  • Lakes - Par 71, 6,489 yards
  • Ruins - Par 34, 2,642 yards
  • Contact Infinitum Golf Club (opens in new tab)

Less than an hour down the highway from Barcelona is the historic, walled town of Tarragona. Just beyond, you will find not one but three excellent courses which make up the paella of golf on offer at Infinitum. Two of the courses, the Lakes and Ruins, are comparatively recent additions to the burgeoning Greg Norman portfolio. With the former, he has created the toughest design on site with water pretty much everywhere! And where there isn’t water, there is sand… and occasionally some grass! This is of course an exaggeration as it is actually a completely fair course which offers the golfer options and rewards straight-hitting. The Hills is a surprisingly different but equally attractive design by local architects, Alfonso Vidaor and Magi Sardà. Running over gently undulating land and with very large greens that will test your judgement of pace, this is a lovely course with three holes - at 13, 17 and 18 - with greens sited in a quarry. In between these two, the very sporty Ruins Course is a 9-holer which marries elements of the other two and is ideal for those who have less time available.

Read full Infinitum Golf Club overview

Las Colinas

Las Colinas - Hole 11

The eleventh hole at Las Colinas is a sweeping left-to-right par 5 that takes you to the southern edge of the course

(Image credit: Las Colinas Golf Club)
  • Location San Javier, Murcia
  • Founded 2010
  • Architect Cabell Robinson
  • GF Approx €85-€95, check website for details
  • Par 71, 6,561 yards
  • Contact Las Colinas Golf Club (opens in new tab)

Las Colinas is up in the hills and has distant views down towards the sea and the Mar Menor lagoon. Cabell Robinson has again waved his magic wand to lay out a superb design, one of the best golf courses in the Costa Blanca. The first couple of holes are particularly tough, uphill and turning to the left, before you emerge to the panoramic vista from the third tee. The par 3s are particularly strong and varied with water, trees, sand and elevation changes all adding to the test. The standout hole is perhaps the 14th, played from a slightly elevated tee over a babbling brook fed by a waterfall, with a lake waiting to swallow anything pulled left. The closing hole, a par 5, is defended by sand and water, not to mention the distracting prospect of a thirst-quenching drink on the welcoming terrace in front of the clubhouse.

La Reserva

La Reserva golf course pictured

La Reserva offers stunning views of the Mediterranean

(Image credit: La Reserva)
  • Location Sotogrande
  • Founded 2003
  • Architect Cabell Robinson
  • GF Approx €170-€200
  • Par 72, 6,614 yards
  • Contact La Reserva Golf Club (opens in new tab)

Right next door to Real Valderrama is La Reserva, designed by Cabell Robinson, a former student and employee of Robert Trent Jones. Despite their proximity, the courses could hardly be more different. La Reserva is a little more forgiving, particularly from the tee, and also more undulating. It offers spectacular, far-reaching views, and there are two evenly matched loops of nine, each providing an enthralling mix of risk and reward, drama, variety, and most of all, fun. Water regularly comes into play, nowhere more so than on the 15th and 17th where anything right will dive headlong into the agua. One of its great joys is that no two holes are the same; the golfer constantly changes direction and leaves each hole not knowing what to expect next. The back nine is a little hillier than the front, but the reward here is some of the most panoramic views on the course. At times you can see the ocean, and you may also get to see some of the magnificent birds of prey which fly down low over the course. Another delight is the distinctive Moorish clubhouse. The Mediterranean menu is varied and delicious, backed up by friendly service offering that perfect balance between welcome and efficiency.

Mijas Golf

Mijas Golf - Los Olivos - Hole 6

The green on the par-3 sixth of Los Olivos at Las Mijas is very well protected by sand on one side and water on the other

(Image credit: Mijas Golf )
  • Location Fuengirola
  • Founded 1976
  • Architect Robert Trent Jones Senior, Cabell Robinson
  • GF €88-€95
  • Los Lagos - Par 72, 6,898 yards
  • Los Olivos - Par 70, 6,110 yards
  • Contact Mijas Golf (opens in new tab)

Mijas Golf is one of the biggest golfing names as well as one of the oldest clubs on the Costa del Sol. There are two extremely strong and enjoyable courses, with Los Lagos - the Lakes - the longer and more demanding of the two. As you would expect, water features regularly, and there are plenty of the large and distinctive Trent Jones bunkers. The course underwent a full upgrade a decade ago. By way of contrast, the Olives was opened in the mid 1980s and is shorter with the emphasis on accuracy rather than length. There are five par 3s and three par 5s, more expansive bunkering, and a large double green shared by the 10th and 17th. This is an excellent club with two very different and interesting courses.

PGA Catalunya

PGA Catalunya - Stadium Course - Hole 13

There is plenty of water in play on the Stadium Course at PGA Catalunya such as here on the signature par-4 thirteenth

(Image credit: PGA Catalunya Golf Club)
  • Location Girona
  • Founded 1999
  • Architect Neil Coles & Angel Gallardo
  • GF €115, check for offers
  • Stadium - Par 72, 6,678 yards
  • Tour - Par 72, 6,411 yards
  • Contact PGA Catalunya Golf Club (opens in new tab)

This complete golfing resort in the north-eastern corner of the country was originally created under the guidance of the European Tour in order to offer its own alternative to America’s TPC Sawgrass. With fir trees, lush vegetation, scrub and even purple heather, PGA Catalunya offers excellent value for money for one of such quality and is a regular host of top, professional tournaments. The Tour Course is a little more forgiving but also extremely scenic and enjoyable. An hour to the north of Barcelona, the onsite accommodation means keen golfers never need to leave!

Real Las Brisas

Real Las Brisas - Hole 16

Water and sand protect the lovely par-3 sixteenth, the final short hole at Real Las Brisas

(Image credit: Rob Smith)
  • Location Marbella
  • Founded 1968
  • Architect Robert Trent Jones Senior, Kyle Phillips
  • GF €300
  • Par 72, 6,195 yards
  • Contact Real Las Brisas Golf Club (opens in new tab)

Real Las Brisas is home to a particularly fine, undulating parkland course with history. Happily, it has also very much moved with the times. It was host to the World Cup of Golf almost half a century ago which was won by the American pair including a relatively young Jack Nicklaus. Nick Faldo won the Spanish Open here in the same year as the first of his three Open victories, 1987. Realising that there were many new designs raising the bar, a few years ago the club invited Kyle Phillips to provide a comprehensive upgrade. His distinctive and stylish bunkering has raised its game even higher, and the result is a very engaging and stylish course kept in fine shape.

Real La Manga

La Manga - South Course - Hole 12

Looking back from behind the green on the par-3 twelfth of the South Course at La Manga

(Image credit: Rob Smith)
  • Location Sotogrande
  • Founded 1974
  • Architect Robert Dean Putman, Arnold Palmer, Dave Thomas
  • GF €198 - 50% discount for hotel residents
  • North - Par 71, 5,933 yards
  • South - Par 73, 6,700 yards
  • West - Par 72, 6,037 yards
  • Contact La Manga Golf Club (opens in new tab)

Probably the best-known golfing resort in Murcia if not in Spain is the expansive and all-encompassing La Manga Club which not long ago was granted royal status and so is now officially ‘Real’. This mecca for the active is home to not one but three fine golf courses, not to mention just about every other sporting and recreational activity anyone could possibly want. The North and South courses date back to the 1970s with the latter benefitting from the creative mind of Arnold Palmer. Both have been remodelled over the years, while the West is a Dave Thomas design which opened just over 20 years ago and has outstanding views, narrow fairways, frequent blind shots and gullies snaking through the course. Opinion is split as to which is the best, and this makes a personal game of compare and contrast a very tempting idea. There is plenty of excellent accommodation of varying types on site and the club is very much one of Spain's southern treasures.

Real El Prat

El Prat Golf Club - General View

El Prat has 45 holes of excellent golf

(Image credit: El Prat Golf Club)
  • Location Barcelona
  • Founded 1912
  • Architect Greg Norman
  • GF Approx €95 depending on loops played
  • Par - 5 loops of nine holes, each par 36, played in various combinations
  • Contact Real El Prat Golf Club (opens in new tab)

Barcelona Golf Club was founded in 1912 before reinventing itself as El Prat in the 1950s. Over the years, its location sandwiched between the city’s burgeoning airport and the sea started to present problems. A relocation in 1997 to a far more spacious site in the foothills some way to the north of the city proved the perfect solution. This allowed Greg Norman to build 45 holes of sumptuous golf in an idyllic setting, which in turn allows all manner of playing combinations to accommodate different requirements and timings. This is a consummate golfing resort, packed with interesting and at times spectacular holes, that also happily doesn’t break the bank.

Real Sevilla

Real Sevilla - Hole 18

Looking back down the closing hole at Real Sevilla, a long and demanding par 4

(Image credit: Real Sevilla Golf Club)
  • Location Seville
  • Founded 1991
  • Architect José María Olazábal
  • GF €125-€165
  • Par 72, 6,164 yards
  • Contact Real Sevilla Golf Club (opens in new tab)

For a royal golf club, Seville is something of a youngster as it came into existence as recently as 1991. It was awarded its regal status 20 years ago by King Juan Carlos I, and its course was designed by Spanish golfing hero, José María Olazábal. It covers a relatively flat plot of land, but a fair amount of its acreage is liquid rather than solid! This is both strategic and visually very attractive, while the relatively small greens place a premium on accurate approach play. In an area that is comparatively less well-known for its golf, this is a very engaging course that has much to offer.

Real Sotogrande

Real Sotogrande - Hole 13

Bunkers protect the par-3 thirteenth at Real Sotogrande, with more sand and water awaiting anything too long

(Image credit: Real Sotogrande Golf Club)
  • Location Sotogrande
  • Founded 1964
  • Architect Robert Trent Jones Senior
  • GF €250-€280
  • Par 71, 6,424 yards
  • Contact Real Sotogrande Golf Club (opens in new tab)

This was one of the very first well-known holiday destinations for sun-seeking golfers and it has constantly reinvented itself to meet the ever-increasing expectations of its visitors. Benefitting from a comprehensive upgrade in 2016/6, it is presented in tip-top condition, and some consider it to be a worthy rival for Valderrama. While not too demanding from the tee, its main defence is the elevated and sloping greens which mean that the golfer must plot his way round strategically and carefully.

San Roque

San Roque - Old Course - Hole 17

The penultimate hole at San Roque is a par 5 that will tempt the longer hitters

(Image credit: San Roque Golf Club)
  • Location Sotogrande
  • Founded 1974
  • Architect Dave Thomas - Perry Dye
  • GF Old Approx €150 - New Approx €60
  • Old - Par 72, 6,589 yards
  • New - Par 72, 6,649 yards
  • Contact San Roque Golf Club (opens in new tab)

San Roque is yet another of Spain’s leading clubs that boasts not one but two very fine courses. The Old was designed by Dave Thomas and Tony Jacklin, and Seve Ballesteros, one of the best short game players of all time, was engaged to add his flair to the bunkering. Three years ago, it was closed for a very significant upgrade that included changes to all the key features and a reversal of the two nines. The course twists and turns through housing and apartments, and the result of all this investment has been met with widespread acclaim. The New Course opened in 2003 and was designed by Perry, son of the great Pete Dye. It covers a relatively compact site and is visually very impressive with the heavy and distinctive bunkering a real feature. The short par-4 3rd, for example, has more than 20 traps to avoid. With two very strong and different designs, San Roque is undoubtedly one of the best clubs in Spain.

Santander

Santander - Hole 18

On the outskirts of Madrid, Santander is a fine test of golf that finishes with a risk-reward par 5

(Image credit: Rob Smith)
  • Location Madrid
  • Founded 2005
  • Architect Rees Jones & Seve Ballesteros
  • GF Approx €120-€150
  • Par 72, 6,352 yards
  • Contact Santander Golf Club (opens in new tab)

One of the world’s largest banking corporations, Santander was founded in 1857 and has its operational centre in Madrid on a site that is now home to an extremely enjoyable golf course. It is actually laid out on what was previously uninspiring land, part of which was a rubbish tip! This is hard to imagine now as the result is an extremely attractive course kept in fine condition with bold bunkering and plenty of water. This becomes particularly intrusive at three of the short holes; the 7th which is played from an elevated tee over the lake, the 11th where it lines the green to the left and behind, and the penultimate hole where it borders the front half of the circular green. Subtle elevation changes add to the challenge and visual appeal, and the holes are attractively separated by olive trees. The par 5s are also very strong, especially the pair on the back nine. The 12th calls for as long a carry as you dare over water before working your way up the slope to a green fronted by bunkers, while the closing hole heads along to a beautifully-sited green beyond yet more water. If you fancy a game of golf in Madrid, this comes highly recommended.

Son Gual

Son Gual - Hole 18

The closing hole at Son Gual is a long par 5 with water on the left, then in the middle, and then on the right!

(Image credit: Son Gual Golf Club)
  • Location Mallorca
  • Founded 2007
  • Architect Thomas Himmel
  • GF €109-€140, check website for details
  • Par 72, 6,543 yards
  • Contact Son Gual Golf Club (opens in new tab)

Alongside Alcanada, Mallorca has a number of very fine courses, and Son Gual is up there with the very best. It was designed by Thomas Himmel, one of Germany’s leading amateur golfers, and it involved a great deal of land movement to create dramatic mounding, ponds and lakes. This is a very visual course with acres of sand to admire and hopefully avoid, and is also a serious test of golf that should appeal to all. Water comes into play on many holes, especially on the dramatic par-5 closing hole. Here, a stream to the left of the fairway early on opens up into a substantial hazard around the halfway point, before continuing on the right all the way up to another pond and waterfall that protects the green. Even if your game is off, this is a thrilling course packed with memorable holes.

As mentioned, Spain has pretty much everything that any holidaymaker could be looking for; accommodation, dining and endless activities to suit all tastes and pockets. For those looking to play its best golf courses, this introduction will hopefully point you in the right direction, and then perhaps lead you to discover some of the nation’s own, and perhaps in cases more affordable, hidden gems. As with the best golf courses in the UK&I, there is more than enough quality and quantity to last keen golfers a lifetime.

How many golf courses are there in Spain?

There are around 500 golf courses in Spain, with the R&A's Golf Around The World publication in 2019 quoting that the country was home to 497 courses at the time. Spain has the sixth-most golf courses in Europe, behind Scotland, Sweden, France, Germany and England.

What is the best golf course in Spain?

The best golf course in Spain is Real Valderrama in Andalucia. The stunning treelined venue has hosted numerous DP World Tour events through the years and was also venue for the 1997 Ryder Cup, where Seve Ballesteros captained Europe to a 14.5-13.5 victory. Valderrama is regarded both as one of the best and most difficult golf courses in Europe.