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Bonalba Golf Course Review
GF Round: €55
Par 72, 5,968 yards
GM Verdict – An enjoyable, affordable and undulating course that offers plenty of variety and is presented in good condition. High handicappers may not appreciate the abundance of water - it will test every facet of your game.
Favourite Hole - The fifth is an enjoyable risk and reward par five that will yield a birdie chance if shots are executed properly but has danger lurking if not.
The Costa Blanca is a popular destination for golfers seeking rounds in the warm sunshine and one golf course you should certainly consider visiting is Bonalba Golf (opens in new tab). Situated just 15 kilometres north of Alicante, it provides a fair and enjoyable test of your skills without breaking the bank.
The first hole is a tricky opener - a sharp dogleg to the the right and up the hill. The bold play is driver over the corner, but this brings the surrounding property into play which, as you can imagine, is to be avoided. Despite being located within a relatively built up area, there are only a small number of holes surrounded by houses. Generally, the course meanders its way through trees and lakes providing pleasing views of the Mediterranean from its highest spots. The conditioning could be better in places, but for €55 provides excellent value for money.
The second and third hole represent good birdie chances while the narrow entrance to the green on the par three fourth will catch many golfers that don’t execute a pinpoint approach shot. From the fifth hole onwards is where the front nine has a sting in its tail. It starts with a par five to a green perched over water ready to gobble up over-aggressive shots going for the green that either come up short or miss left.
The sixth and seventh are both par fours with a large lake in play down the left from the tee that was being completely refurbished during the time of our visit. The seventh in particular is a brute of a tee shot with no bail out and a very narrow fairway at the driving area. Lay up to the widest part of the fairway, which still measures no more than 30 yards, and you’re left with a long iron approach - par here is an excellent score. The watery theme continues on the next three holes, culminating in the par four 10th (main image) which is a beautiful driving hole with flowers in bloom on a steep slope beyond the fairway.
The back nine at Bonalba Golf is considerably more hilly than the front, none more so that the par four 12th, which turns sharply up hill to the right leaving walkers of the course wishing they had hired a buggy. Holes 13 to 15 weave between rows of property but it really doesn’t detract from the experience, instead placing a premium on accurate shots.
Hole 16 is an excellent risk and reward par four where bigger hitters can take on the carry over the cliff edge while the shorter hitters lay up with an iron to the fat of the fairway. The 17th plays sharply downhill to another lake that lurks beyond the fairway and with out of bounds all down the right hand side will test your nerve if you have a good score going (top tip - don’t hit driver). Get through that and you’re rewarded with a gentle finisher on 18, a short par four, although the large green means a three putt could be on the cards.
After your round, Bonalba Golf affords its players with the opportunity of having lunch on the terrace or even a quick dip in the newly refurbished tropical pool. The club is also refurbishing one of its practice areas located alongside the 9th fairway, although its length means golfers can only practice their iron and wedge play.
Golfers looking to enjoy the golf course at Bonalba should certainly consider staying at the nearby Hotel Bonalba, which has 250 spacious rooms, many of which boasting impressive views of the landscape. The hotel also has links with six courses within a 25km radius, so you’ll have lots of variety when planning a trip to the area. The hotel boasts a large outdoor pool, gym, spa, games room (pictured above) and is situated a well-struck drive away from the entrance to Bonalba Golf.
Joel has worked in the golf industry for over 12 years covering both instruction and more recently equipment. He now oversees all product content here at Golf Monthly, managing a team of talented and passionate writers and presenters in delivering the most thorough and accurate reviews, buying advice, comparisons and deals to help the reader find exactly what they are looking for. So whether it's the latest driver, irons, putter or laser rangefinder, Joel has his finger on the pulse keeping up to date with the latest releases in golf. He is also responsible for all content on irons and golf tech, including distance measuring devices and launch monitors.
During these enjoyable years he has had some money-can't-buy experiences, like interviewing Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy one-on-one and covering the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor.
One of his career highlights came when covering the 2012 Masters he got to play the sacred Augusta National course on the Monday after the tournament concluded, shooting a respectable 87 with just one par and four birdies. To date, his best ever round of golf is a 5-under 67 back in 2011. He currently plays his golf at Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford, Lincs, with a handicap index of 4.7.
Joel's current What's In The Bag?
Driver: TaylorMade SIM2, 9°
Fairway wood: Titleist TSi3, 15°
Hybrid: Titleist TSi2, 18°
Irons: TaylorMade P770, 4-PW
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM8, 50°, 54° and 58°
Putter: Evnroll ER2V
Ball: 2021 Titleist Pro V1x
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