25 Dec, 2014 @ 16:00
1 min read

Monte Mayor golf club bought by Russian millionaires

EXCLUSIVE by Rob Horgan and Tom Powell

AN abandoned golf course in Marbella is set to be born again thanks to millionaire Russian investors.

The Olive Press can reveal that Monte Mayor golf club, in Benahavis, has new owners who plan to reopen its doors as early as 2016.

Monte Mayor representative, Roger Morback, told the Olive Press that the purchase was completed at an auction for an undisclosed fee.

He said: “The club is now in new hands and work will start immediately on restoring the course.

“The aim is to open it again as soon as possible, but the likelihood is that it will be opened in 2016 at the earliest.”

The resort – which first opened in 1989 – was shut in 2011 due to ‘disappointing operational results’. It has been left uncared for ever since.

A source close to the club’s previous Dutch owners, Phil Bass,  told the Olive Press that the grounds are in need of ‘major work’.

He said: “Owners at the nearby Flamingo Golf Club maintained the course for a while, but it has remained untouched for the past two years.

“The course is currently in a very sorry state, but with the right workforce anything is possible.”

More information regarding the new owners is due to be released in January.

The plummeting rate of the Russian rouble is also believed to be affecting the investors’ plans.

Rob Horgan

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. To contact the newsdesk out of regular office hours please call +34 665 798 618.


  1. Very good news for all golf fans and Monte Mayor residents that Monte Mayor golf course (a.k.a. the ‘hidden gem of the Costa del Sol’) is set to re-open; let’s hope it happens and some of the old staff get their jobs back. For the uninitiated let’s just say the reason for the closure was down to more than ‘disappointing financial results’ – if only it had been that simple!

  2. Can’t wait to see Tiger Putin on the course and having chat about how he evades taxes in Russia and gets his money out before the Russian economy totally collapses. Do Russians know much about golf or will this be a new suburb of Moscow?

  3. Roger is a good, experienced RE pro in this area. But the reason the last Dutch/Spanish Owners failed at Monte Major Golf & Villas was simply 3 things: Location.. Location and … Location! For daily golfers, it is too far away from most residences/golf courses in the Golf Valley and for prestige Villa Owners it is far, far to drive to restaurants, shops, food stores, etc. Far better at La Z or Los Mondronal if not closer to Marbella’s conveniences.

  4. This is great news. Monte Mayor has been the most well known and challenging golf course of the Costa del Sol at least in the Netherlands.
    Together with top golf courses Los Flamingos, Marbella Club and Monte Mayor this will “The Golf Valley” Just 10 minutes down to the coast on the new roads.

  5. Massive job for the groundsmen, a friend took over a course in the UK that had been untended for a couple of years. It is surprising how fast nature reclaims it’s land :).
    Hope everything goes well.

  6. Fantastic news! We have played golf on the Costa del Golf for many years as a group of 8 or 12 and Monte Mayor was always our favourite course. I will definitely be planning to include it in our golf tour next year if it is ready. Isn’t it funny how people have different perceptions? None of J Molitor’s reasons for not playing the course are of the slightest consideration to us. We always stay in Puerto del La Duquesa and don’t find any problem travelling to Monte Mayor. It was always well worth the trip. Lets hope the new owners run it with pride and affection as well as professionalism which the last owners certainly did not. Good Luck Monte!

  7. To Terry: As the marketing statement goes, “You have to have Balls to play Monte Major”. Located far from the densely populated Costa, located far from many restaurants to enjoy, located far from any other amenities to enjoy… and declining value of Russian Ruble & trouble to get them out of Russia – good luck. But then again, some folks have more golf balls .. than brains.

  8. I fully agree with Terry. On behalf of my Dutch golfteam (8 members) I can state Monte Mayor was a must to play and we did not care to drive up ” The Monte” . We are impatiently waiting for the reopening !

  9. I played Monte at least once everytime I visited Spain (approx 6 times a year). Who cares about the drive to get there. It’s one of the most exciting golf courses in Spain, it does take balls to play it, and the challenge is to go round there and to tee off with the same ball that you putt out with on the 18th (I think I managed that twice). The sooner it reopens the happier I’ll be. Good luck to the new owners.

  10. Visited monty mayor today Nov 17th nothing happening course all overgrown but golf course next door informed me that plans to reopen are on going so my view is 2017 at the earliest happy golfing month mayors

  11. I am with Dan. I often play the course in my mind when nodding off to sleep. I even use the memories of the great days we had on the course as a relaxing therapy when I just want to sit and chill out. It works for me and gives me a positive charge. Just picture the short Par 3 ninth, I have a picture of that as my screensaver. Fabulous!

  12. Awesome course, most courses have 1 feature hole, this has 18 holes. Monte Mayor is my favourite course of any country and I have played a lot.
    I will definitely be playing it again, I just hope they restore it to its former glory.

  13. Our favourite course on the Costa del Sol a true challenge that your have to take on and play it from the plates for the ultimate test. Cannot wait for it to return to its former glory

  14. Played the course within the first few weeks of it opening! Alex Cejka shot a course record the same week.

    Played it every year thereafter for a decade! The most beautiful, tranquil, peaceful golf course on the Costa…… I absolutely loved it.

    If it reopens I will be there to play it!

  15. Sadly no news yet – one hears that the new Russian owner is keen to restore the course but is being frustrated at every turn as he tries to make it a commercial proposition (rumours are the old owner is not being very co-operative in this regard). As a result there has been a stand off and no action. The wild boar meanwhile are enjoying the back to nature fairways and greens… but let’s all keep the faith!

  16. Visited monty mayor last week no change from my previous visit 12 months all overgrown and run down i spoke to a local estate agent who said plans to reopen it was still on going so let’s hope it happens

  17. The prime mover for any golf development on the `Costas` is ultimately to sell Real Estate! Monte Mayor is no exception. The golf course, magnificent as it is or should I say was, was never positioned for the holiday golf market, when will they ever learn to design courses that are both challenging yet enjoyable for the typical holiday golfer. I`m sure that the purists will be up in arms but Monte Mayor just never made any commercial sense. I trust that the new owners have a sound financial model regarding the future development of the course and real estate programme and I wish them every success for the future.

Leave a Reply

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

Previous Story

The Ghosts of Christmas

Next Story

Andalucia stocks up on Cruzcampo beer for Christmas season

Latest from Lead

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press