5 of the Most Charming Golf Courses in Marbella

by Oliver Stallwood  |  Published February 6, 2024

Marbella is one of the jewels of southern Spain, with amazing food, weather and beaches. But the region also has some beautiful gold courses – here are five of the best.

Finca Cortesin (Photo:

Marbella has long shed off its reputation for neon cocktails, cheap rental cabrios and lobster-red holidaymakers. The city in southern Spain is extremely swish these days, with Michelin Star restaurants, megayachts and, of course, golf courses. With plenty of affluent visitors and expats who like to chat about business deals, past and present, while basking in 320 days a sunshine a year, Marbella’s courses have quickly become some of the best in the world, with tricky and challenging layouts and incredible backdrops. Here are five of the best golf courses Marbella has to offer.

Finca Cortesin

Finca Cortesin is all about attention to detail. This incredible course – home of the VOLVO World Match Play, one of the most historic and important golf tournaments in the world – is constantly being improved to make sure it is in harmony with the local environment. There are 300 varieties of flora mingling with Mediterranean forest, and in 2017 the greens had a comprehensive upgrade to introduce a new, environmentally-friendly type of Bermuda grass on all its putting surfaces. Par 72 and almost 7,655 yards length mean that is this is a championship level course, with over 100 bunkers, although it is well suited to all levels, with five tee positions to make the course more manageable. The only problem is that once you play Finca Cortesin you may not want to go anywhere else. 

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Real Club Valderrama

Golfers looking for a cheap day out may want to look elsewhere. The iconic Real Club Valderrama’s par 71 championship course has been ranked in the world’s top 100 (and best in Continental Europe) for over two decades and has eye-watering prices to match. That said, for any keen golfer it’s worth every penny. Designed by arguably the greatest golf course architect in the world, Robert Trent Jones Sr, it is immaculate, with slender, world-class fairways flanked by cork trees, as well as bubbling waterfalls running into a huge lake. This is a course that rewards absolute precision and focus. 

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Marbella Club Golf Resort

Marbella Club Golf Resort (Photo:

Created by renowned designer Dave Thomas, the Marbella Club  course is as good to play on as it is to look at. With an abundance of lush greenery and flora throughout, the impeccable fairways run through undulating, mountainous scenery with a dramatic view on the seventh (the highest point on the course) of the coastline, Gibraltar and across the Africa. The 18 holes measure in excess of 6,000 meters and are regularly challenging, with water features and tricky bunkers – a solid approach shot is essential here. Bermuda 419 grass has been used on the fairways and tees, as well as a blend of three grasses on the ante greens and a relatively new strain of American grass on the greens. A computer-controlled irrigation system keeps everything in perfect shape.

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San Roque Club

Situated in the pretty region between Jerez and Marbella, in the foothills of the picturesque Sierra Bermeja mountains, San Roque Club is a golfing heaven for amateurs and pros alike. It features two courses – the logically named New Course and Old Course, both Par 72 – that are very different but equally as challenging. The 340 acres of grounds are serene and elegant, with ancient Cork Oaks dominating the landscape. There’s also a nice touch of history if you are staying here. In 1997, during the Ryder Cup held in nearby Valderrama, the European and American teams stayed at San Roque and plaques of the players’ names remain by the door to the suites they occupied. 

Atalaya Golf and Country Club (New Course)

Atalya New Course (Photo:

Atalya New Course (Photo:

Designed by the German master golf course architect Dr. Bernhard von Limburger, Atalaya’s Old Course opened in 1968, followed by the New Course in 1990, the work of Paul Krings. The newer course has a beautiful, tranquil setting away from busy roads, with a natural wood in the centre of the course filled with cork oaks, olive and carob trees. The course is naturally challenging, with gently undulating fairways and large, fast greens. It’s kept in perfect condition year-round and, essential in summer, make sure to stop off at the Old Course cafe where there are a number of water fountains to keep players cool and hydrated.

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