Situated between Marbella and Estepona, the 36-hole Atalaya golf complex is also home to the headquarters of the European PGA. “In-the-know” golfers regard both Atalaya courses as two of the most understated, esteemed tracks on the Costa del Sol.
Bernhard von Limburger designed the classic Old course and it opened in 1968, fifteen years before a ball was first struck on the Paul Krings-designed New course. Both layouts play to a par of 72 but the New is an easier test than its older sibling, even though its fairways are often tighter and more undulating than the Old.
The New is configured with five par threes, five par fives and eight par fours (five of which are under 300 yards) so it is considerably shorter than the Old. Two of the par three holes on the scorecard (4 and 12) are highly rated. The 161-yard 4th plays across a pond to a little, raised green and the 183-yard 12th is the first of two consecutive short holes that cleverly route the course onto lower terrain.
If you're after a 'proper golf course', Atalaya New isn't for you. It is very short and quirky. However, it is extremely fun. Perfect place to play if you've just come off the plane, or for a money game with friends. Lots of birdies to be made. I would rather play the new than the old.