THE gently sloping foothills of the Serrania de Ronda, blue skies and glistening sea views make Benahavis the ideal location for a round of golf – as 14 stunning courses can testify.
With more than 320 sunny days per year, golf is played in all seasons, and more often than not in polo shirt and shorts.
Clubs such as Los Flamingos, El Paraiso and La Quinta boast more than 18 holes. While the village itself is now home to its own driving range and hosts regular tournaments on its courses.
The spectacular courses were designed by renowned golf architects such as Robert Trent Jones and golfing legends including Seve Ballesteros and Jack Nicklaus.
In 1991, the Benahavis Golf Club was founded, aiming to get residents playing at their local course for a reasonable price, even though it has no course of its own.
Atalaya Golf & Country Club was first on the scene, opening in 1968. Located between Marbella and Estepona,it has remained very popular over the years, being one of the more forgiving courses on The Costa del Sol. Most of the other local courses are hillier and a buggy is advised.
They offer visitors magnificent facilities and immaculate fairways and greens but perhaps the best club is out of bounds to all except members and their guests
The two courses at La Zagaleta, designed by the American Bradford Benz, offer golfers splendid views over the Mediterranean and Gibraltar. It could be described as Europe’s answer to Augusta, as play is limited to members and their guests.
Located in a fabulous resort of almost 900 hectares, at the start of the road from Marbella to Ronda, La Zagaleta Country Club is one of the most exclusive in Europe. The surroundings of the golf course are second-to-none, as the fairways are set in a nature reserve.
The Club is strictly private, for the use of members and their guests. It also includes, three fishing lakes, hiking trails, stables and a magnificent clubhouse for those who can afford the €100,000 joining fee and annual €11,000 fee.