Situated in the mountains between Mijas and Coín, the spectacular 18 holes at Alhaurin offer some of the most challenging golf to be found anywhere on the Costa del Sol. Opened for play in 1994, this Seve Ballesteros-designed course is laid out on seriously hilly terrain, providing a stiff test for golfers.
With fairways climbing up, plunging down and hanging onto the side of the Mijas mountains, a round at Alhaurin requires a strategic approach so accuracy is essential in every department of the golf game – otherwise a moderate green fee here will seem small change compared to the cost of lost golf balls!
Some commentators feel this course is a touch too eccentric to be termed enjoyable yet many golfers return for the challenge (and the wonderful views) year after year.
I am a new player. 28 Handicap. I think the description offered by the course is very fair. For me playing this course, it was very tight and if you went off the fairway, you almost certainly lost your ball in water or down one of a steep hills into scrub. I probably lost 10 balls that day. It’s a tough, challenging course with spectacular views. For me it was hard work and a disappointing day. I think if your a really good golfer this maybe a really good course, but for me and my partner who plays of 17, it was too challenging for us to relax and enjoy. I have two fixable criticisms. The holes are complicated and on some holes, even thou there is a painted plan provided, its not good enough, it should be to scale. The only way we could workout which way to drive, was to watch where the players we were following went. Also I never been on a Spanish course where drinks and snacks were not offered from a buggy. So no cold beer around the 9th! Your on your own!
It is now many moons ago that Luis - then the head-pro at Alhaurin - tried to teach us how to play proper golf. Thank you Luis, for all your patience! Having played the par3 course many times with Luis and my wife during our first visit, it was only during our second visit to Alhaurin, Luis - reluctantly - allowed us on his big course (under his supervision!). Of course we were both very exited playing the 18 holes course for the first time. We enjoyed every minute of it then and have been coming back on a regular basis. Now we have played more golf, I realise there is more on offer under the golf sun.
But Alhaurin is still a decent track, and well worth a visit.
First of all, most holes have a pretty decent design and nice green complexes with great roll. The course has been designed quite spacious and hilly, with the only downside that using a buggy in summer is recommended. One can have a lot of fun playing the course playing matchplay. And second: it has a real Spanish flavour to it. Being located a few miles inland, it is not your typical Spanish resort-course. Back in the days everybody was extremely friendly and nobody spoke English, serving real good home-cooked Spanish food at the restaurant. I hope I will find that still going when I return.
There are still many courses yet to play around La Costa del Sol and in order to have a complete idea of what the destination offers it is important and necessary to play and experience as many courses as possible. It is the only way to have tools to compare what we have and what can be offered to our visiting golfers. There is a wide range of budget with the green fee prices so it is necessary to be able to give them the wider offer possible.
This one is located up in the hills but not far away from the ocean in a straight line and the views it offers are in some way different with most of the other courses at La Costa. It is set in between valleys and mountains, with quite a number of dramatic level changes in both ways and it is one of those courses where the challenge of design and construction must have been huge.
It has 2 very different loops, where the front 9 are narrower, tighter, with the most dramatic slopes and with the tougher holes while the back 9 open a little bit, birdie chances appear and there is only one really tough tee shot (13th, downhill). The course requires precision off the tee, creativity and planning for the approach shots and some magic if you miss the greens on the wrong side and it was here where designer Seve was a master!
There are many good holes, there is a lot of fun and challenge on playing the course and what is good is that visually it looks tighter than it really is: in your first round here you might lose a couple of shots due to not knowing the course and where to address your shots but a second round here will for sure be a good chance for scoring.
On the front 9 I would like to point out:
- 2nd has the tighter tee shot on the course, if you hit fairway the job is done.
- 6th gives the best view on the course and the chance if you are brave enough to hit a dramatic long driver.
- 7/8/9 offer three very good par 4s where 9th might me the toughest hole on the course with a dramatic back to front breaking green.
The back 9 where slightly changed when 10 was made a par 3 to avoid errant shots away from homes and the resulting par 3 Is quite nice and tough to judge distance. Add three very good par 5s, two more good par 3s (I would clean some trees on the right side of 14th) and three very different par 4s from each other and you have a great back 9 for match play.
Greens were rolling true but not lightning fast and that is due to some slopes and breaks that could turn this greens a nightmare. Seve was quite creative on the alternative for pin positions.
After the game you will enjoy a nice terrace with stunning views and food is quite good to complete a nice afternoon of golf. Different from many, but well kept and managed by very friendly staff make this one worth a visit.