IT would not be unfair to call Sotogrande the home of Spanish golf.
After all, it has some of the oldest courses in the country and has even hosted the Ryder Cup.
Indeed, anyone with half an interest in sport will remember the fantastic last few holes of the 1997 Ryder Cup, when Colin Montgomery played the best round of his life.
That was at Valderrama, now viewed as one of the must-play golf courses in Europe, beautifully maintained, pricey and, some say, a touch too challenging.
Golfers up for a change should try Alcaidesa, claimed to be the only Links golf course in southern Europe.
Seaside courses require a different style of play from your standard 18 and if the ball lands in the water, forget it!
As an added touch, Alcaidesa may be the most scenic of all the Sotogrande courses, with breathtaking coastal views to Gibraltar and North Africa.
It might explain why the course entices a serious number of high-quality events to its doors each year, from parties to society weddings.
There are, of course, half a dozen more courses on the Sotogrande circuit.
Real Club de Golf de Sotogrande, a.k.a. the ‘Old Course’, was the first to be built in the area
and said to be a dream to play after tricky sister course, Valderrama. It was here that so-called Bermuda grass was first introduced into Spain.
Almenara Golf, designed by Ryder Cup champion turned respected course architect David Thomas, is up in the hills where celebrities Glenn Hoddle and Glen Johnson have homes.
La Canada, La Reserve and San Roque complete the ‘famous five’.
“There are few places with such a high concentration of great golf courses,” says Ian Bateman, of Holmes estate agents.
“When you add the fabulous tennis facilities and polo club, with its 11 full size courses, the facilities in Sotogrande are second to none.”
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