12 Dec, 2011 @ 10:57
1 min read

Monte Mayor golf club in Spain closes its doors

By Eloise Horsfield

MONTE Mayor golf club has sadly had to close – with no fixed plan to reopen.

The Marbella club, which opened in 1989, blames ‘disappointing operational results’ for the closure and said it will now concentrate on restructuring.

“Various alternatives will be reviewed during the coming weeks in order to come up with a viable way to continue operating the course and ensure investment value,” said club administrator Peter Geerlings.

“It will, of course, be re-opened as soon as practically possible,” he added.

“Awful news. It is one of the best courses in Spain,” commented Miranda Remie on the club’s Facebook page.

“We can only hope for a swift resolution and a new owner to restore this beautiful course to its rightful place amongst the top golf courses of the Costa del Golf,” said local man Reginald Hoare.

Eloise Horsfield

DO YOU HAVE NEWS FOR US at Spain’s most popular English newspaper - the Olive Press? Contact us now via email: [email protected] or call 951 273 575


  1. Not a mention of the awful waste of water in an area of Spain suffering from desertification – are golfers the most self centred and uncaring bipeds on this planet – probably.

    Best use of this golfcourse – turn it into a wildlife refuge – ah I forgot, no profit in that.

  2. Guess you live here on the Costa del Sol Stuart. How do you think the place will run without tourism. So you would like to close all courses put load of people out of work and drive tourism away from the Costa. Get back to the UK. It because of people like you that recession take place and the world is run by dogooders and health and safety nuts….

  3. Unless the Spanish get their heads out from under the sand they will never make a go of anything, they need to drop the cost of golf on the costas to a reasonable level not put prices up to take account of fewer punters.

  4. BJ,Stuart, I bet you’re good old fashioned socalists, getting rid of golf on the costas would be death to tourism get a life!! better still if you are in Spain GO back to the UK.

  5. Ian,
    how do you live without water. A golf course uses enough watwer to supply a town of 10,000.

    You don’t say if you are a golfer – it is very underhand not to declare a vested interest and if you are, you are deliberately not telling the truth.

    Once a golf course is built it actually employs very few people. Watering is automatic and two groundsmen are enough to mow greens.

    Also you seem ignorant of the fact that this proposed g/course is no where near the coast, so it can’t even use desalinated water, which is very expensive to produce.

    When the true cost of desalinated water is known it becomes apparent that this is not the answer to desertification, an issue which you are silent on.

    You come across as a very selfish person (most golfers are) – it’s alright for you to enjoy golf and screw tomorrow. I actually heard a golfer say he “did’nt give a damn about the future because he would be dead” – says it all really.

    Desertification is an issue which is never discussed on this forum (I wonder why) – there will be no tourism once all the aquifiers have been emptied, indeed there will be millions attempting to move north.

    Andalucia is actually kept going with money transfers from Cataluyna and Pais Vasco and tourism depends on mass tourism NOT golf – get real.

  6. THe coast cannot survive on golf alone. Maybe getting back some of the younger holiday makers would be a good idea. they have allways been the most spendthrift. Allways a big mistake to close down all the bars, FYI most of the people with disposable income these days are between 25 and 35 and they want to have fun, not go to place where everybar closes early so as not to disturb the older toursist who is suposed to have all the money, its a mith, they have savings yes but the youth are making money and spend it as fast as they make it these days. You may well be led to believe by the lack of them these days that its because they dont have any money to travel, but its because they are all elsewhere somewhere fun as the costa del sol has become beige at best.

  7. Stuart .

    You best get back to the UK, you are more needed there. At the moment there are water cuts and droughts in Southern England, here on the Coast where I have lived for 21 years at the moment there are no drought, all the farmers wells are full, fields are green and Monte Major has a plentiful supple of water from the mountain rivers.

    Two green keepers to run a golf courses??? Most courses have a minimum of 10 green keepers, caddie shop staff, commercial staff, reservation staff, waiters in the restaurants, cooks in the kitchen, cleaners and the list goes on.

    At the moment Andalucia is keep going by the input from Europe and the little bit of Tourism.

    Without Tourism this whole country would still be third world and struggling like Africa.

    So the UK needs you or there is a boat to Africa leaves each day from Algeciras. Take your tent and protest banners and go preach somewhere else.

    Totally agree Breal, we need to work on all sectors of Tourism. The young and also the older guest that used to flock down in the winter and fill our Hotels that are now forced to close in the winter and put more people out of work and on the social.

  8. So if someone has a different opinion they should move back to the UK!! Grow up. Take the rose tinted glasses off. It will be worse in 2012 as more cut backs in many countries mean fewer tourists, golfers or not.

  9. Yes they should REAP if they think we should shut down all the golf courses and turn them into Wildlife parks. To many bored busy bodies on this coast already with nothing better to do than moan.

  10. I like the statement:

    The Marbella club, which opened in 1989, blames ‘disappointing operational results’ for the closure ……

    Have these imbecile feudal MamaMachoBoys ever heard of mismanagement ?

    Other golf courses haven not closed, why ? Because they had not so ‘disappointing operational results’ ?

    Its the closed Spanish vicious circle of the Tonto Tio’s doing jobs they aren’t qualified for …..

    Ian, only cowardly idiots don’t speak out and criticise obvious symptoms of public abuse, no matter where in the world you are, change for the better only comes from concerned citizens speaking out for want to better things in their society !

    Without saying that other places are perfect, far from it, in my opinion Spain needs a lot of unhappy folks speaking out !

    The foreign Residents can help a lot to better things, especially in regards to civil rights, around here, without trying to be righteous mind.

  11. All foreign residents seem to do is try to turn this great country into the same as there own countries, the countries they left because they did not like them anymore after they had buggered them all up. So please don’t come here and try to ruin this one with your health and safety and all that crap.

    If you want to talk more face to face Dr doolittle please let me know. I would hate to be a coward.

  12. This ‘great country’ has built rubbish houses and apartment blocks that would never get planning consents anywhere in northern Europe or Scandinavia – in fact it has over 1.2 million empty properties that no one in their right mind would entertain buying.

    This ‘great country’ has totally mismanaged it water supplies and that is across the whole of Spain.

    The only companies that are doing well in this ‘great country’ are subsideries of foreign companies.

    Where do you think the money came from to modernise Spain, not from the Spanish who have personal debts ITRO €2.5T -it came from the EU.

    Well that’s all finished now – let’s just see how it all pans out in the next few years. The Spanish did create a very good system of health care but it is collapsing due to lack of ongoing finance.

    Towns and villages unable to pay wages (you saw it all in the Olive Press) and of course it’s all the fault of those nasty foreigners – personally I’d love to watch a meet-up between you and the good Doctor – it should be hilarious.

  13. Getting away from the TANGENTIAL comments, the topic was: Monte Mayor Golf is Closing. Why? – a very poor business decision in the first place! Pretty, but a distant location from 6-7 nearest competitive Courses near Marbella (where the high avg $$ is, fewer facilities to warrant the posh cost (which is only average at best), and it’s less of a known “name” than Las Brisas, etc. It ONLY got built as a golf course (as many recent ones) because the land price/m2 was cheap, and Developers could later develope the houses with “front line golf views” to greatly enhance sale price!
    WOW!!!! mucho dinero por initial Developer, but not later.
    Looking at economic/marketing FACTS: number of Golfers has been DECREASING over the years, costs of Golf Club costs/ maintenance has been INCREASING, golf fees HAD to be RISING… while number of golf tourists has DECREASED with SPENDING LESS per golf tourist…. wunnerful
    Anyone who thinks this is a GOOD investment, I’ve got this Gold brick from the Brooklyn Bridge to sell CHEAP!

  14. Dr Girkhen, very funny.
    Ian, I think you were just as funny when you referred to Spain being a great country. That made me smile. I meet a lot of people who praise Spain but most come around to their senses in the end, just as I did. It took a while to find out what Spain was like and living there opens your eyes. If you have a good pension or income then it may make sense for some to live there. You can also buy a bigger house there and have more land compared for the same money in the UK. You have that advantage and the sun, but the corruption and mismanagement is letting the country and the workers down.
    You talk about one golf course, but how many bars and restaurants are closed or are empty when you go out of a night. I used to go out and not even consider the amount of money I spent at restaurants. What with the strength of the euro or the weakness of the pound I don’t bother any more. Most restaurants are not that good. A lump of meat and chips, no veg… People charge €5 for a short and mixer on the coast, no wonder people are going to other countries. I wish Spain well but they have to change course if they want to reduce unemployment. A great country, thans again!! I have owned properties in Spain for 13 years, I know what it is like.

  15. Gosh, what a lot of bitter prejudice and anger being displayed here…. not all of it informed, I think. According to what I’ve read, Monte Mayor is one of at least 22 golf courses in Andalucia that uses re-cycled (i.e: treated sewage) water – it is not drawing water from a well or the main supply network. I don’t know if that is true, but at least I tried to check the facts.
    I just feel sad for people with so much hate in them.

  16. How odd there seems to be an element of truth in everybody’s comments but I think the number of golf courses is unsustainable. They can’t keep building the things and expect that the newest course will be able to charge the same as everybody else. Where’s the competition? There just doesn’t seem to be any. It is expensive. There is certainly not a limitless pool of players with the disposable income, so where do they imagine the revenue will come from? Selling golf land for housing once the “golf” project fails? Except the housing market is saturated too.
    Regarding watering them, I’m with Stuart. A couple of wet winters doesn’t change the overall trend in any significant way. It is getting drier. The weather has been unusually dry this winter but that doesn’t mean it will never rain again. Expect more brief heavy rain, more run-off, less water in the aquifers, lower water table, lower quality more expensive water, less economic irrigation, less ground cover, more run-off and so on.

  17. the greatest golf course in spain is closing omg theres nothing down for the rest of them,maybe they should look at lowering their prices and get the airlines to drop theres,then maybe more people would play this magnificent course

  18. Played here three times now and is a must play for any golfer. As a professional, my dad still regards this as one of the best corses he ever played!! Very sad news, and I hope someone is able to perform a fantastic turn around on a magnificent spectacle!

  19. Don’t expect my best friend will be too sad to hear this news. She was driving a buggy whose brakes were not particularly well maintained, turned the vehicle over on the path leading down from the men to the ladies tess on the third hole and nearly lost her foot. The course is very pictureeque, greens excellent, but maintenance of vehicles and paths did make it dangerous. If it is re opened these short cuts need to be addressed.

  20. Haha, I have been absolutely blown away by some of the posts on here, that I felt compelled to write my own response. I have read with interest the on-going rants by “Ian”, “Stuart” and “Dr Girkhen” and their continued playground one-upmanship and almost felt as if I had tuned in to Kilroy or some similar day-time TV “talk show” where unagreeable people sit and shout at each other, without ever really getting the point. Let us not forget that this page is regarding the closure of a very good, but sadly under utilised or mismanaged golf course, it is not the place to rage war on solicalism, health and safety or any other such nonsense. Sadly, the point that you have all missed and yes, I am aware of the irony, is that there are far too many keyboard warriors, who think posting on little links like this gives them a voice and therefore, power. I do not care if this is read by no one, however should one of the aforementioned peruse my notes, surely you would do better to look in a mirror and tell yourself to act your age and stop picking fights on websites. The fact that one of you is a Doctor, seriously beggars belief.

  21. Darran, I concurr, however to someone who is contemplating moving to the area, all of the above does not bode well.
    A very good friend of mine was one of the first people to address the water table problem in Spain with “Desalination”
    and found then in the late sixties/early seventies, the main cause was lack of infrastructure in the water industry, which has now been greatly improved and climatic change is certainly more cyclical than otherwise, so supply should not be significantly affected in the next 40 years either, unless construction outstrips water regeneration.The same applies to “Golf Courses” as any other industry in recessionary times, the better/more popular/better managed ones will survive and the ones worth saving will be saved. The problem with abandoned courses is best left to return to natural habitat with the existing infrastructure around the courses maintained by localised housing associations.

  22. Anyone who has a reasonable argument to make seldom starts with a sweeping generalisation. I welcome anyone’s point of view of anything providing it contains factual information.

    The statement “are golfers the most self centred and uncaring bipeds on this planet – probably.”

    Not only is the statement poorly punctuated, it immediately seeks to attack all golfers, wherever they play in the world regardless of their circumstances. Why say this?

    Surely this is not the way to instigate change if, indeed, this is the true objective?

    I’ve played the course about 12 times over the past 20 years. We were due to play on the very day we got the phone call to say it had closed.

  23. This course rates as the most savage I ever encountered – it was a nightmare to find never mind play and I lost count of the number of balls lost as we played a succession of the world’s craziest golf holes. Tourists are not all single figure players and don’t want to be beaten up by courses like this. In Spain and many other countries the money is made selling real estate on the back of golf. This place was always going to struggle once the housing boom collapsed. Good riddance I say!

  24. I play off 28….and so I always paid a visit to the local charity shop the week before….to get 30 balls !!! It was very ‘challenging’ but I still enjoyed it….but I played the course….I didnt let the course play me. Some of the holes were magnificent, some were really tough…..the 3rd Par 3 where the green is the other end of 175 yards of ravine…it’s a killer….I’ve seen my ball disappear down there on many an occasion…..I think I’ve made the green twice in about 12 times. Very serious golfers dont like the course….4 of us go out to Spain every year to play….we loved it with all its daftness….once I only lost 6 balls on the whole round…it was like winning a major for me.

  25. Sorry, but is it still closed ? I was planing to look (and maybe buy) at a villa nearby. The villa is posing pictures right next to the fairway, and it looks in great shape, but this could be old pictures !! Do not want to buy a miilion Euro Villa within a closed down golf club.

  26. Well I’m planning a trip towards the end of the year. I think i might have a drive up there to see if anything’s happening. If the course is left to overgrow then it will be a nightmare to get it back into shape. I started playing there before the villas were built. Some of them have stunning views over the course…..or did have stunning views. It’s been nearly a year since it shut. I played a similar-style course last year but forget the name of it. I’ll have to ask.

  27. This started off as a simple posting about a golf course, why has it turned into a battle of the self righteous?

    So much vitriol aired on one posting. Why are you all getting so wound up?

    We all have our own opinions and the right to express them, however that should be done in a calm and rational manner otherwise all you do is demean yourself.

  28. Fair point but it’s obvious from Stuart’s initial post that far from making a constructive informative comment stating facts, he chose simply to make a sweeping insulting generalisation about all golfers. He’s a guy who simply wants to ruffle a few feathers and sit back and watch the insults fly.

    So his post isnt about Monte, it’s about Stuarts dislike of golfers and probably anyone else who changes the natural landscape. It’s not really relevant….apart from the fact we’re wasting time talking about it.

  29. Paul I also loved the course and took it as a bit of fun, if you do pop up there to view let us know the state of the course and possibility of reopening, cheers Paul N

  30. Will do. We stay quite near to it anyway. When we first started playing there the road was 7km of rough dirt track. I remember talking to the owner about 15 years ago and he said that he wanted to put in a real road but the cost would be prohibitive. I guess when the plans went in for the villas then there was an opportunity to share costs.

    It is a bit of fun really. Some good golfers I know dislike it and call it a ‘mickey mouse’ course, or ‘crazy golf.’ And i cant disagree with them but….that’s the point. It’s unique. As a replacement last year we played another course which was about 20km away but i cant remember the name of it.

  31. Paul thanks for being so kind taking time to reply, I will await news and can only agree I’m no pro golfer I play off 9 but absolutely love monte mayor, have stayed at Byblos and played the mijas courses the rio real, I can play courses like those in uk. Don’t want to get dragged into politics at 53yrs I’m happy to enjoy a pretty golf corse

  32. The course is open and it looks amazing, it’s rained hard this past month.
    Just remember if you don’t support something it won’t be around for long.
    Monte mayor is a stunning area, lets talk it up.
    p.s there’s some very funny people on here talking alot of crap.
    If you want a quality way of life, los flamingos and monte mayor are hard to beat.
    que tenga un lindo dia.

  33. It’s Open!!! That’s a turn-up isnt it? I thought it was going to be closed for good. What’s happened?

    Sadly, it looks like my annual trip will be cancelled. Now I’m even more disappointed if Monte is back in play again.

    Another great course, similar to Monte is Alhaurin, which is midway between Marbella and Malaga…near Coin. Some very similar holes to Monte. Breathtaking views.

    But…standing on the 1st tee at Monte at about ten o clock on a warm sunny morning,breathing in the fresh mountain air, you’d be hard-pushed to find a better place to play.

    Of course, a few hours later, having lost about 15 balls, and having holed out on the 18th, there is another place where you can reflect on your game…..the bar !!

  34. Hello Everyone. I work with a company that I think can buy the golf course and do a complete renovation. Does anyone have a contact of the current owner or the bank that owns the property that I can contact to show our interest?

    thank you

  35. Mike

    If your company has the means to buy the place, do they have access to foreign company credit information? If you take a look, there is some basic information there that might take you to the right person. It’s worth a try.


  36. Sad really as it was the scene of my best ever round of level par where I bogeyed the last hole from the fringe in regulation. A tough course for sure, very picturesque and enjoyable though.

  37. Mike…any luck? Did you look them up? Are you taking it further?

    Nick K……the last hole is..sorry, was the par 3 downhill. You can finish in a lot of trouble if you’re not pretty accurate with your tee shot.

    How did you fair on Hole 3?….another par 3 but over that gaping ravine. I’ve played the course many times and waved a final farewell to my ball.

    Once, I hit the tee shot, landed on the green about 10ft from the hole,and finished with a 2 !!! I felt like going straight to the bar. I should have done because sadly, that was as good as it got on that day as my optimism turned to
    disappointment. But we loved the course.

  38. Just returned from a week’s golf. We decided to take a ride up to Monte Mayor to see what, if anything, is happening. What can I say? It’s now completely overgrown. The clubhouse was like a ghost town…just minus the tumbleweeds. Took some photos of the long 16th fairway and the view from the 18th tee. Anyone who’s played there wouldn’t recognise the place. It’s now 2 years since it closed and, frankly, I cant see it re-opening. It would now take major investment to bring it back to its former glory and I guess as every year passes, its more and more unlikely to happen. Of all the clubs to shut, why this one, many golfers’ favourite?

  39. This is a very sad state of affairs. This was my all time favourite Spanish course. When they started to build that enormous carbuncle by the 16th tee I did think that they were too ambitious given the economy at that time.

    It would be interesting to see the photograph’s that you took.
    Keith Cannin

  40. Not sure what a round of golf cost at Monte Mayor of late but expect it was very expensive. It does seem a Spanish thing though to increase cost of golf when trade is down.

  41. Actually Mike, it wasn’t too bad last time we did it which would have been 3 years ago. In November it was about 55 euros including buggy (you cant play the course without a buggy).

    It has been up to about 80 euros in the past.

    Karl….photos coming through in a while


  42. View from 18th tee

    View from 18th Tee

    I think most people who’ve played the course will remember this. It’s a Par 3, only about 120 yards
    but the tee is high up with a drop to the green. Bunker and water to avoid. Used to be a great finish
    if you got it right.

    View of 16th fairway

    View of 16th Fairway

    You have to climb up to the top, buggy path on the left, and fire the ball down the hill with a lake waiting for you by the green.
    Long par 5 I believe. Spectacular hole to play.

    View outside clubhouse

    View outside Clubhouse

    This is the entrance to the clubhouse as you drive up. The gates were locked but the doors on the right were open.

  43. Oh dear, oh dear this is very sad. Nature has really reclaimed the place. Surely someone could put up some money to save it. Perhaps a national campaign is in order.

  44. Message received from Peter Schoenmakers

    I played the course just a few days before the course was closed.
    That day I talked to Derek Brown, former manager of Valderrama.
    He was talking to the Monte Mayor manager that day.
    I guess it was not a meeting with a nice ending for Monte Mayor.

    The former owner was a dutchman and he got financial problems.
    He owned courses worldwide but they all where financied by sale of the expensive villa’s.
    So the crises ended up his ownerships…

    Here some pictures I made on Nov. 18th 2011

    Monte Mayor Golf
    Monte Mayor Golf
    Monte Mayor Golf
    Monte Mayor Golf

  45. I believe the course has been put up for auction by the hacienda who now own it courtesy of unpaid mortgages. So far offers have not matched their expectations.

    I would imagine that it would be important for the property developers to have a golf course so once the market improves we might see some action. It would take approximately 12 months to get the course back in a playable condition.

    It is a shame to see the course in such a sorry state. I don’t recognise the bottom photo. Which holes does it depict?

  46. Almost 12 months since the last post on here.

    I was wondering whether anyone knew if the course had been bought and whether there are now plans to re-open it?

    I have the opportunity to purchase a plot of land on the course but am nervous given the uncertainty of it re-opening.

    Thanks in advance


  47. I’m going over on 15th Nov for a week. no doubt we’ll take a ride up there to see if anything’s happening. When you say ‘a plot of land on the course’ ??

    Do you mean on the outskirts of the course?

    What does the sales literature say about it?

    You’re nervous about them re-opening it? Or not re-opening it?


  48. Monte Mayor golf club has been bought recently. This will lead to a rise in the prices of the plots.

    The course will require a lot of work and I would be surprised if it opens for use in the next 12 months

  49. I would be more confident if the course was reopened.

    The opportunity is currently off-market, it isn’t front line golf but you can see the course from it.

    Who has bought the course?

    Bryan – out of interest, why wouldn’t you invest there?

    Thanks, Bernard

  50. Bernard I wouldn’t invest there because the course has never done very well or property, even during the boom years. Pretty area but too isolated, most Golfers don’t like it and many paths are dangerous. Too far from the Airport, shops etc.

  51. Whether it’s an investment opportunity or not depends entirely on what the development plans are. The course was busy but had mixed reviews. Yes, it’s isolated but that’s not necessarily an issue. The road is now fully made-up. I used to play the course when it was an unmade road…and there were plenty of golfers then. If the plan is to change the course then maybe that would help. Monte, love it or hate it, was unlike any other course on the Costa. That made it special.

  52. The purchase of Monte Mayor Golf Club is now confirmed and is complete.

    I understand the plan is to spend 2015 getting the course back to its previous condition and hopefully open for play in early 2016.

  53. We had a word with a local at Cancelada when we were there in November. He said that the Spanish Government had acquired it because there was back tax owing.

    Do you know who has bought it, Phil?

    We took a trip up to have a look at the course and it was in a very sorry state. If the plan is to get it back for 2016 then there’s a tremendous amount of work needed. I’m no expert so maybe it’s do-able.

  54. Paul

    The course has been bought by a Russian individual. It has been closed since 2011 although it was being maintained for quite a while by the owners of Flamingo Golf Club ( not exactly sure why they were doing this ).I would say that for just over 2 years it has laid untouched.

    I know the people that used to run the course on behalf of the previous ( Dutch ) owner and have been told that it would be possible to get it playable again by early 2016.

    I guess with the right amount of workforce anything is possible.

    I understand that more information will be released in January.

  55. Very interesting. Thanks for that, Phil. No doubt we’ll be back there next November so we’ll have a trek up the mountain to see how it’s coming along.

  56. Has anybody heard further news on when the course is planned to be reopened?

    Has an more direct access off the Motorway ever been explored?!



    • Having been quoted in the newspaper without any prior permission and been incorrectly described as “A source close to the club’s previous Dutch owners” I am reluctant to give any further information.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

I’ve got myself a timeshare in Almeria, Jon!

Next Story

Axarquia charity rugby match success

Latest from Malaga

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press