San Roque (Old) - Southern Spain - Spain

The San Roque Club,
11360 San Roque (Cadiz),
Spain


  • +34 956 613 030

  • Guillermo Navarro

  • Dave Thomas, Tony Jacklin and Seve Ballesteros

  • Thomas Johansson

In 1704 the British invaded Gibraltar, a rocky isthmus at the very tip of Southern Spain. The locals declined the invaders' offer to stay in the colony and fled a short distance up the coastline to a small hill where a chapel stood, dedicated to Saint Roque. Here they settled. The town has now grown into a beautiful Andalucian centre for the region of Saint Roque. 

Close by, are three of Europe's finest courses - Valderrama, Sotogrande and San Roque. The San Roque Club lies nestled at the foothills of the Sierra Bermeja Mountains, which eventually peter out into the Mediterranean. The Old course is set in a 340-acre estate where there's a luxury hotel and spa, which was once the summer residence of the Domecq sherry dynasty. 

Dave Thomas and Tony Jacklin designed the Old course and it opened for play in 1990 at an alleged cost of $1million per hole.  It remained pretty much unchanged until Seve Ballesteros made changes to the bunkering.

From day one, San Roque was heralded as a great test of golf, even for the best players. Measuring 6,494 metres, this par 72 layout has been used on many occasions for professional tournaments and it's now the winter home of the European PGA Tour School. 

Situated in the foothills of the Sierra Bermeja, the course is undulating rather than outright hilly - but don't let that fool you – there are a number of elevation changes which mean you have to make careful club selection.  The front nine holes wind their way through mature forests of cork oak, making the fairways feel narrower and adding greater weight to accurate driving. The new bunkers and carefully sited water hazards add to the need for strong, accurate, positive ball striking. Additionally, the wonderful views of the mountains further inland must not distract the golfer. In mild contrast, the back nine is less undulating and does not have the forests of cork oak, but deep ravines and carefully placed hazards keep the golfer thinking. 

The player's work is not over once the greens are reached as they are true, superbly contoured, always fast, and on a few holes, generous in size, making for a potentially long and testing first putt. The most memorable hole on the course must be the 5th. Not a tough hole in itself but the drive is to a narrow fairway with out of bounds all down the right hand side. The 6th (SI 1) is a long par four played towards a large lake and then up a steep slope to a difficult green, and the 9th is a cracking par five. We also like the 11th, 12th and 18th, which are superbly designed and tough too, where water plays a major part at some point. 

To support the superb nature of this wonderful course, San Roque has excellent practice facilities, a Seve Ballesteros golf academy, a four star hotel and the 2003 Perry Dye-designed New Course… what a facility.

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Reviews for San Roque (Old)

Av. Reviewers Score:
Description: Dave Thomas and Tony Jacklin designed the Old golf course at the San Roque Club and it opened for play in 1990 at an alleged cost of $1million per hole. Rating: 4.3333333333333 out of 6

The course maintenance was average but could be excused due to heavy rains in the preceding week. The accommodation at The Suites might have been 5-star in 1997 but now could be given 2 stars at most. Our room smelled of stale tobacco, the plaster was peeling off in places and the entire resort was in need of urgent repairs. I can recommend the nearby restaurant Bucintoro located in the San Roque Club Commercial Center.
March 27, 2015


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Response
guillermo navarro
October 27, 2015
Dear Sir. I am the General Manager at San Roque club. I only want inform you that the hotel is another company , The San Roque Club is only the golf courses. I am so sorry about your bad experience at the hotel but, please, don´t mix the report between the hotel and the golf course. This web page is about golf courses not about accommodation and can create some confusion to the players. Thank you for your comprehension. I hope see you soon again and perhaps you can enjoy the golf course without the rain! Best regards.
Nice course but definitely one or two notch down vs. Finca Cortesin and Sotogrande. Expected a better maintenance given the premium price. A course to try if you are in the area but does not worth a trip.
December 29, 2014


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had a terrible experience here. really enjoyed it quite a few years back and couldn't wait to try it again. they crammed far to many on the course and as a resut there were often three groups on each hole. par 3s had 2-3 groups waiting on the tee. at 140 euro ph + buggy this is outrageous and would never have happened at the other greats on the costa - Finca Cortesin (12 mins between groups) Sotogrande or La Reserva. we walked off after 90 mins having played three holes. won't be back any time soon.
October 11, 2010


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The Costa del Sol has always had plenty of courses; over 50 currently but as well as numbers, the quality is notable too. San Roque is a big resort with two fine courses and I can understand that opinions will be divided over which course is the preference. The Old is my choice .. it has the obvious maturity (20 years old now) and if I am honest plays a little easier than the New course as the fairways and greens are more generous than on the New course. Reading the editorial above, there is a mention of the par-5 9th - got to say I have fond memories of the hole also - especially when my 109 yard third-shot came to rest in the hole for a timely eagle! Much of the front nine is bordered by cork trees and has the memorable back-drop of the Sierra Bermeja Mountains which enhances the experience. Favourite holes for me are the par-4 6th, with water at around 300 yards and then a tough uphill approach. I also like the 11th hole - more water to deal with and although a very man-made looking hole, I quite like it. Many of the great courses have a dramatic final hole, and the Old can certainly be included - a cracking par-4 with a stream running down the left that develops into a lake at the green, a little like the 11th hole to be honest. On a final note, if I ever get those six-lottery numbers up, I can see myself 'parked-up' in Andalucia for a while ... quality golf courses, an easy pace of life and those long Spanish afternoons do it for me.
August 11, 2010


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Played in Oct. 2009. Nice scenery and a low-stress round of golf, opens up a bit more on the second nine.
June 21, 2010


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The reviewer on his way to a creditable 76Played the Old Course in late November 2009. But first of all I wanted to say some words about the Club House: pure golf, uk styly, lots of pics and golf memories inside, just as it has to be. Proshop is ok, with a lot of nice souvenirs to buy. The Course is great, mantained in really good shape, maybe not as good shape as neighbour Valderrama but it was perfect. The design is nice, pure golf, really a course that it is worth to play. It is challenging, rewards the one that takes risks and has some very nice panoramic views (holes 14 &15 for example). Fortunatelly I played very decent golf (my putter was not good that day) and scored 4 over 76 with birdies on 9 and 17 (after a fantastic 3 wood to the green). It is one of those rounds to rememeber, for sure I will go and play there again!
December 21, 2009


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I played in November 2009 , course is superb !!!, condition is even better than Valderrama , Greens are bigger and faster and better rolled than Valderrama and You pay 1/3 price from Valderrama, Clubhouse is magnificient with great and unexpensive food. Only thing i can tell against it's really really difficult !!!. So expect to play about 10 shots more than Your handicap is. i played almost all courses in Costa del Sol and if You're there this is the one You have to play !!!
November 20, 2009


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At eighteen years of age, you’d hardly be considered an old age pensioner, and it’s fair to say that San Roque Old actually feels rather new. The modern feel to this resort course is not a problem in itself, but don’t come here expecting to find anything traditional. With wide fairways, big greens, multiple tees and shortish rough, this course is set up for a pleasant day’s golf in pretty surroundings. The condition was excellent when we played here last week and our round was entertaining and enjoyable, perhaps as a result of our scores being the best posted all week. This is not to say that this is an easy course as I’m sure it could be toughened up for tournament play, but it was flatteringly presented and provided some welcome respite from the extreme brutality of Monte Mayor and the serious challenge of Finca Cortesin. For my money, this is the second best course at San Roque and that’s simply because some of the par threes on the Old are relatively weak in comparison to those excellent one shotters on the New. Nevertheless, San Roque represents a must-play experience and it would seem churlish to come here and only play one course.
June 15, 2008


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Played Feb 08. Great overall setup with clubhouse and course all being very large and grandeur, but a friendly welcome awaits. Very enjoyable and well designed holes that require all kinds of shot making. Not a particularly long course, and is definitely setup more for members style play, with not overly penal style rough. In saying that a course you would enjoy playing week in and week out. Very fast and true greens mean that no respite is found until the ball is in the cup. Have now played all 3 of the areas great courses (Valderrama, Sotogrande, and San Roque Old) I would rate this third. But in saying that it is still a wonderful course, and just a case of the other two courses being golfing heaven.
February 05, 2008


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