By Rob Smith
One of Southern Spain’s original big names, Aloha is again one of the region’s must-play courses - Rob Smith takes a look…
Aloha Golf Club Course Review
The area around Marbella is jam-packed with golf courses of all shapes and sizes, and something to suit all tastes and budgets. Aloha Golf Club is one of the older and more established names, dating back to the mid-70s when it was the final course designed by Javier Arana, and much work has been done in the last little while to place the course back in the premier league.
An elevated tee makes for a most inviting opening drive at the par-5 first which then sweeps round to the left to a well-protected green.
This is followed by another elevated tee at the second from which you play down to a hole so attractive that it could have been the work of a landscape designer.
Strong bunkering is a feature and the par-3 fourth hole calls for a very well struck shot that must not be short.
A par 5 and a par 4 come next, before an unusual 2-shotter where you will run out of space if you drive too long before a substantial drop down to the green.
The eighth is another gorgeous par 3, again from an elevated tee and played down to a dell that looks as though it was always designed to have a green.
The front nine closes with a drive and pitch par 4 back up to the clubhouse and the welcoming halfway house. Once again, the mountains provide a fabulous backdrop.
The tenth hole is named after its celebrated architect, and is a very attractive par 5.
Eleven plays up the hill and I really liked the twelfth that is played back down to a green beyond a pond, rightly named Cuidado… or Watch Out!
The next three work their way out to the furthest point from the clubhouse, a strong par 3 up the hill and two left-to-right par 4s.
A snaking par 5 and the final short hole lead you to the closing tee and another very photogenic view. Water awaits, as do trees, sand and elevation changes - something for everyone in just one hole and a very worthy end to an extremely enjoyable course.
Aloha is managed by Troon Golf and has hosted the Spanish Open a number of times as well as the Ladies Spanish Open more recently in 2016. So popular with its members is the lovely course, that visitor rounds are generally restricted to afternoon only. However, this thriving and very sociable club is more than worth a visit and a lunch on the terrace before your game is also to be recommended.
In an area packed with a great variety of golf, Aloha is more than worth a visit.
Rob Smith has been playing golf for over 40 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly since 2012 specialising in course reviews and travel. He has now played well over 1,100 courses in almost 50 countries. Since travel restarted in May 2021, he has played around 80 different courses, more than 40 for the first time. This includes 21 in 13 days on a trip to East Lothian in October. One of his main roles is helping to prepare the Top 100 and Next 100 Courses of the UK&I, of which he has played all but 10. Rob is a member of Tandridge Golf Club in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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