Seasons greetings from all of us at Golf Experience. Well the rain has drawn to a humid end after what was one of the driest periods in a generation with no significant rain in almost 18 months. In fact we hardly lost a single green-fee to rain during the last year and a half, And with our reservoirs at a quarter of their capacity and some golf courses suffering the effects of the drought. All of that has been put well and truly behind us and in a very short period.

Mijas – Los Lagos – the appropriately named course got a serious drenching and like many other courses will be closed for some time to allow for a full recovery. We are fortunate here in that when the sun comes out we get instant growth and things get back to normal fast.

The good news is that we expect out reservoirs to be back to normal levels when they have collected what they can of what fell from the skies – About half our annual rainfall in 5 days. You might say it’s great to have it so compact – well it would, had it not been for the accompanying damage and destruction to property and tragically life

2016 >>> 2017

Well the year of Popularism has come to an end and the less we say about that the better. A golf course developer will shortly be the most powerful person in the free world – we hope it stays so. Our British clients may have to take extra measures such as travel insurance and live with greater currency instability etc, but life goes on and people’s desire to travel to enjoy golf will not wane in the slightest.

In fact if we have a message to convey at this point it is that Spain and Portugal are experiencing a tourism boom, largely due to geo-political events and as a result it is best to book early to avoid disappointment. Our hotels are experiencing very high occupancy levels and are feeling very buoyant and whereas in the past we were accustomed to special offers etc it’s now a case of the later you leave it the more expensive the rooms are, that is if they are available at all.

Golf Course News.

Real Club Valderrama

Valderrama is closed now for a major revamp, mostly irrigation work and will reopen in early March. In 2016 it held the very successful Spanish Open but as yet we have no idea where the 2017 event will be held. This will probably be announced a few weeks beforehand! However we can tell you that Real Club Valderrama will host the Andalucia Valderrama Masters between the 19th and 22nd of October 2017.

Sergio (Host) & Andrew (Beef) Johnson (Winner) at Valderrama

Real Club de Golf Sotogrande:

After being closed for extensive work over the last couple of years Real Club de Golf Sotogrande has fully re-opened. The course was first built in 1964, and designed by Robert Trent Jones. The improvements have been very well received by our clients and we would rank it in the top two or three courses on in Andalucia.

Sotogrande is deceptively tricky with some of the best greens in the area. It is a fascinating course for players of any level which retains all the natural beauty of the land on which it was built only 150 metres from the Mediterranean.

Real Club de Golf Sotogrande

5Sotogrande first hosted the Spanish Open in 1966

Valle Romano G.C.

In an effort to speed up play buggies will now be obligatory during high seasons. Most people took them anyway but given the terrain walkers tended to slow up play causing the usual delays.

El Paraiso G.C.

Those of you who are familiar with El Paraiso will appreciate the new 2nd Green which has just reopened. The undulating surface is protected by bunkers right and left and a front apron which if your approach is anyway short can mean your ball coming back to meet you!

6El Paraiso’s new 2nd green.

Calanova G.C.

Calanova GC has opened its new club-house and is proving very popular. The restaurant has commanding views of the course and indeed the coast and surrounding mountains. The new Michael Campbell Academy is now fully operational.

Calanova’s new Clubhouse terrace.                                    Michael Campbell – US Open winner 2005

Westin La Quinta Golf Resort

The La Quinta Resort is now in the capable hands of the Westin group again after a spell with Melia.

Westin La Quinta Resort Marbella

Millions have been spent on a make-over and increasing service levels. This was accompanied with a jolt in prices which the new owners have eased back from since the market balked at the increases. So 2017 rates are more reasonable than those of 2016 and the golfing experience will be a far superior one.

Rio Real Golf Club revamp.

Rio Real has done a general upgrade of clubhouse facilities and after a problem with the greens post summer is back to 100%.

Rio Real Golf Club

Los Naranjos Golf.

The recent storms have hit some courses, generally those with rivers flowing through them more than others, below is a statement from Los Naranjos outlining their damage and saying that they will be closed until further notice – which is probably a matter of weeks.

Repair work to Los Naranjos GC which will remain closed until further notice.

10 days have passed since the recent storm on the 3rd and 4th of December and we can now review the situation and give a clearer vision of the state of our golf course. During two days, the province suffered the worst rain fall recorded since 2012, with more than 250 litres on Los Naranjos golf course.

This heavy rain caused several problems on the course, reason why the club decided to close the facilities. The first evaluation verified damage in most of the bunkersand greens and fallen trees due to the water pressure and overflow of the lake of hole 15 and river.

Due to the humidity of the terrain, the access of the machinery to the golf course was almost impossible, as working under this condition would have caused more damage. In addition, three of the bridges were lost, which made the restoration work more difficult.

Throughout last week, the maintenance team has worked on clearing the paths, removing branches and roots from trees, leaves of palm trees, mud and stones brought from the river. Greens and fairways have also been cut on the second nine holes except on the 14th fairway, which is still too wet to be accessed with the machinery.

Once the clearance work is finished, bridges will be repaired to provide access to holes 3, 4, 5 and 6. Affected bunkers will be reviewed and restored too. Our effort and daily dedication are fully focused on the re-opening of the course, so that everyone can return to enjoy our usual majestic golf course.

News from the Skies

When Malaga’s second runway was completed in 2014 and it was felt that the timing was all wrong and that the forward planners got it wrong as tourism had stagnated. Then the Arab Spring kicked in and since then each months traffic has grown with the 2nd runway being used now during the peak summer months and most weekends.

 Malaga Airport Arrivals Malaga Airport increased capacity with 2nd runway

Among the new air routes of interest for 2017 are.

From the end of March 2017 Jet 2 starts flights from London Stansted to Malaga, 3 times a week increasing to every day during high season.
For more information go direct to Jet 2

From the end of March 2017 Jet 2 will start flying from Birmingham to Malaga.
For more information go direct to Jet2

From February 2017, Ryanair will fly twice a week from Aberdeen to Malaga on Wednesdays & Saturdays.
For more information go direct to Ryanair

Ryanair are extending their flights from Cork to Malaga throughout the winter.  Flights will be twice a week on a Wednesday & Sunday.

Ryanair will be starting flights from Glasgow to Malaga November 2017 on Saturdays, Sundays and Tuesday.
For more information go direct to Ryanair

News just in!!! Vueling Airlines have announced new direct flights from Birmingham to Malaga starting 1st November 2016 and will fly twice a week on Tuesdays & Saturdays.
For more information go direct to Vueling


12Easyjet – Manchester to Gibraltar Airport

Gibraltar’s spectacular Airport

Toronto to Malaga (non-stop) Air Transat twice weekly.

New Golf Experience Costa del Sol Map.
Our just published Costa del Sol Map is the only pocket sized map of all the courses on the Costa del Sol. Available free to all our clients and at most courses on the Costa.

Golf Experience 2017 Map Mobile friendly www.

Kid Friendly golf !

We get lots of families looking for kid friendly golf and there are plenty of suitable courses for parents wanting to take novice kids for an inexpensive round of golf, so they don’t expect that much of time playing video games with the best league of legends mouse or services like competitive OW boost you can get online. These range from “executive” courses such as the par 65 Tramores at Flamingos golf to the 9 hole Dama de Noche in Puerto Banus and many par 3 courses such as:

  • La Resina (Estepona)
  • Magna Marbella
  • La Noria (Mijas)
  • Greenlife (Marbella)
  • La Siesta (Calahonda)
  • El Campanario (Estepona)
  • Monte Paraiso (Marbella)

La Resina Par 3 course and clubhouse near Selwo Estepona. Greenlife Golf and Academy

Sporting News – The year in Review.

What a wonderful year in Sport which saw Golf returning to the Olympics and Justin Rose winning gold and the noticeable absence of some more illustrious players for far from convincing reasons, enough said.

16There was also the Ryder Cup with a resurgent American team breathing life back into the duel. On a more positive note Danny Willett was a popular winner of the Agusta Masters.

Tipperary won the All-Ireland Hurling final and Wicklow are now ranked 31 in football. However our prediction for the year is that Wicklowman Paul Dunne will win his first tour event and go on to great things.

But the highlight of the year was surely Tracey Allies (hcp 11), Reservation Manager at Golf Experience, who seems to have an exorbitant amount of time for playing golf having her first hole on one at El Paraiso GC at the Ladies Invitational in November, well done Tracey!

Finally we would like to wish all our customers, suppliers & partners a happy and peaceful Christmas and to thank you for your business and support in 2016. We look forward to seeing you in the coming year.