Golf in Spain Autumn 2011
news date: Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bumper year for Spanish Tourism

Despite all the economic doom and gloom regarding the European economy and in particular that of Spain, the Andalucian Tourism sector is having a bumper year. Arrivals at Malaga Airport which has just opened its second runway and a new terminal are up 12% year on year to July.

As the saying goes “it’s an ill wind that blows no good”. The Arab Spring has given a great boost to tourist arrivals in Spain. The tourism sector in Egypt and Tunisia, two competitor destinations, have been all but wiped out for this year resulting in substantial gains for Spanish tourism.

This has resulted in a firming of prices for hotel rooms and other components of a golf holiday. It can come as something of a surprise to clients from the UK and Ireland who increasingly expect Spain to be slashing prices in the same way it is happening locally due to the recession.

There may well be a recession in Spain but Tourism is experiencing something of a micro boom.


Malaga Airport opens Second Runway

The second runway will effectively double the capacity of the airport and ensure future growth. €550 million has been spent on the project, part of a ten year €1.6 billion investment in the airport as a whole.

The new runway is 2,750m long and has an additional 340m which can be used to help in take offs. It means it can be used by all the latest generation planes which are heavier and larger. The runway is 45 m wide with an extra 7 metre margin on each side.

The runway asphalt is 32 cms deep so it can support the weight of the planes. (Just as well!)

A new 4.1 km tunnel had to be built for the local train line to go under the new runway.
An additional capacity for 27 stationary planes is also part of the project.

The new runway completes the latest phase of development at Malaga Airport following on from the opening of the new Terminal building in 2011.

Malaga Airport’s new terminal building.


Derek Bids farewell to Valderrama

During the summer the affable Scot, Derek Brown has retired from his position as Director of Golf at Valderrama. Anyone who has ever played Valderrama will know Derek. He had an amazing ability to make visitors from around the globe feel welcome.

No matter where your home club was Derek knew someone from it. He would always put visitors at ease in what can be a daunting environment. Derek has been replaced by Javier Reviriego who previously held the same position at Finca Cortesin.

Derek Brown Javier Reviriego

We wish them both well and are delighted to be able to say that Derek will be staying on the Costa and his days in “golf” are long from over.

Watch this space.

Contry to recent rumor Valderama Golf Club has not been purchased by a company associated with Greg Norman.

Mijas Golf Club Closes Los Lagos for all of 2012


Built in 1976 by Robert Trent Jones the very popular Mijas Los Lagos will  close for the entire 2012 Season. During the 12 months, Los Lagos will be  completely rebuilt with all new greens and fairways and will have a new  irrigation system installed.

However there are no plans to redesign the course.  So if you are planning to include Mijas in your 2012 trip it will have to be  Los Olivos which will remain open throughout the year.


Espacar car rental return instructions

In order to  clarify the procedure for returning cars rented through us with Espacar we  would ask you to note the following instructions.

  1. Passing the Sam Miguel       brewery on the left you arrive at the main roundabout before the airport.
  2. You will see the terminal       building in front of you.
  3. Follow sign for airport       and “Salida” (salida / exit)
  4. Stay on the right hand       lane anddo notfollowCar-Rental returns signs.
  5. This will take you to the       new Terminal 3 and its drop off zone. It’s preferable to drop any passengers       here along with all luggage.
  6. Continue to follow       “Salida” signs in the left hand lane which will take you away from the       terminal.
  7. With the old main Terminal       on your right hand side the short-term car park (called Parking Express)       entrance will be on your left at 50m from the Terminal 3.DO NOT       ENTER HERE.
  8. Continue to exit away from       the airport and the mainPublic Parking (P-1)entrance is on       the left hand side.
  9. Enter here please and you       will be on the 2nd floor. Inside 40m on the right is the ramp       to level 3.
  10. Drive up to the 3rd       floor and park here.
  11. Please double check that       you have taken all personal belongings (apartment keys on key-ring,       passport, mobiles, CD’s in player, sunglasses etc).
  12. Leave the window open       enough to throw in the key having locked the car beforehand.
  13. Leave the parking ticket       visible so that the Espacar representative can find it.Bon Voyage and safe onward       journey and we hope you will use Espacar services again in the near future.

Espacar  offer GPS Rental

For an  additional 5€ a day you can have a sweet Spanish voice (in English) guide you  through the intricacies of the Andalucian motorway system. In fact the Costa  del Sol is a relatively easy place to navigate however some of the urban areas  can be a labyrinth.


Staying with Motoring

The powers to be have had great fun  changing speed limits on the Costa recently.

First they reduced the toll road limit from 120 to 110KM and 4  months later reversed the decision back to 120KM. Each change cost 250,000€  which the region can ill afford.

Then, and more importantly they reduced the limit on the coast road  (N340 / A7) from 100 to 80km. The cynical would say the thinking was to create  a wider gap with the toll road hence making it more beneficial to use the  toll and more revenue for the authorities.

More troubling is that more and more clients are beginning to  receive an unpleasant holiday snap shot of themselves behind the wheel of their  rented car with a demand for payment of a fine (Multa) from the Guardia Civil.  Whereas previously few if any fines were sent on to holiday makers they  certainly now are. Whether or not there is any follow up over and above  posting the fine we can’t actually say. We do know of a few clients who have  coughed up the money – mostly in fear of being pulled aside at the airport on a  future trip. While this is highly unlikely we have no inner knowledge of these  matters.

Our only advice is to slow down. In fact in Spain all fixed speed cameras are  signalled 500m in advance so really only the careless get caught!!


Joke Section!

Good story if true!!!!

Lee Trevino – a true  story. One day, shortly after joining the PGA tour in  1965, Lee Trevino, a professional golfer and married man, was at his home in Dallas, Texas mowing his front lawn, as  he always did.

A lady driving by in a big, shiny Cadillac stopped in  front of his house, lowered the window and asked, “Excuse me, do you speak  English?”

Lee responded, “Yes ma’am, I do”.

The lady then asked, “What do you charge to do yard work ?”

Lee said, “Well, the lady in this house lets me sleep with her”.

The lady hurriedly put the car into gear and sped off.


San Pedro Tunnel 2012


We have put our neck on the line once too often in relation  to predicting a date for the opening of this much awaited relief tunnel. The  word now is “sometime in 2012”. It would seem to be about 95% finished but nobody  (neither locally or the central Government in Madrid)   has the money to finance the remaining 5%. We can now say with certainty  that it will open when it opens and not a day before.

San Pedro Tunnel Works a basket “mañana” case!
San Roque Suites

San  Roque Suites have recently reopened their refurbished accommodation at the San  Roque Resort. The tastefully decorated Suites (one and 2 bedrooms) were  originally built to house the Ryder Cup Teams in 1997. Indeed today the suites  carry the names of the team members who occupied them during the Ryder Cup.

In  addition to a magnificent pool facility,  the resort boasts 3 restaurants – the Golf  Club Clubhouse, Tango’s (Spanish Cuisine) and the world class Japanese Kamakura  restaurant.

For  golfers looking for comfortable accommodation in the midst of what is probably  Europe’s finest cluster of quality golf courses (Valderrama, Sotogrande, San  Roque, La Reserva & Finca Cortesin are all only a short drive) this is the  place for you.

Please  consult us for excellent rates.


European Ladies Win Solheim Cup

Congratulations to the European Ladies Team who won the  Solheim Cup in Dramatic fashion and in dramatic weather at Kileen Castle in Co.  Meath, Ireland.


2018 Ryder Cup heading for France

Much to the disappointment of Spain,  France  has been chosen to host the 2018 Ryder Cup. A yet to be built course at The  French Federation’s Golf National at Les Yvlines on the outskirts of Paris will  be the venue.


H10 Andaucia Plaza Hotel and Casino.

Many of you will be familiar with one of our favourite  hotels the H10Andalucia Plaza Hotel and Casino in Puerto Banus. This year the  property has become an “Adult Only” hotel.

Foyer – H10 Andalucia Plaza Hotel


Cultural Golf – The Andalucian 7 night Tour

For golfers looking  for something more than Golf, Sun and Sangria we have designed a range of golf  packages based on the various Cultural Capitals of Andalucia.

Arriving and Departing from Malaga, Seville or Gibraltar  airports the standard itinerary is as follows.

Day 1
Arrive Malaga Airport and continue to Antequera.  Overnight at the 5 star Hotel Convent La Magdalena

Day 2
Play Antequera Golf and continue to Granada.

Day 3
Visit the Alhambra –  overnight at the Parador Hotel within the walls of the Alhambra.

Day 4
Play Granada Club de Golf and continue to Cordoba – overnight at the  Vincci Hotel Cordoba.

Cordoba’s Mosque

Day 5
Morning visit the magnificent Cordoba Mosque and  afternoon continue to Seville.  Overnight at Hotel Vincci (5 star)

Day 6
Play Real Club de Golf, Seville. Afternoon visit Seville’s Cathedral and  city centre. Overnight and Seville

Real Club de Golf,   Seville

Day 7
Drive to San Roque playing Montecastillo or Arcos Gardens  en route or San Roque on arrival. Overnight at San Roque Suites.

Day 8
Return to Malaga or Gibraltar Airport for return flight

For prices and availabilitycontact Golf Experience.


This Month we Congratulate;
  • Daren  Clarke for getting away with speeding in his Mercedes between Belfast and  Killarney to take part in the Irish Open. Luckily he had the Claret Jug on the  passenger seat and the “Garda” let him off with a caution and a  photo!
  • European  ladies for winning the Solheim Cup
  • Great  Britain & Ireland for winning the Seve Ballesteros Trophy in France
  • The  Dubs for getting the monkey off their back
  • Wicklow for winning the All-Ireland Football final. Gender &  category irrelevant. We won and that’s all the matters!
  • Northern  Irish golfers for winning everything worth winning
  • Welsh  rugby team for beating Ireland in the RWC
  • Ireland for beating Australia in the RWC
  • Malaga  FC for finding a wealthy buyer and soaring up La Liga – why not take in a match  when next on the Costa!