Ctra. de Casares,
- +34 (0) 952 93 78 83
Off of A7 between Marbella and Sotogrande
Welcome, contact in advance
With more than 50 golf courses on the Spanish Costa del Sol any additional layouts need to be very special to succeed in this market. The course at Finca Cortesin Golf Club opened for play in early 2007 and has already received promising accolades attracting the serious golfing aficionado.
Finca Cortesin is set a short distance inland from the Mediterranean Sea and is routed through a dramatic valley. Cabell Robinson designed the course, which is one of Europe’s longest layouts measuring almost 7,000 metres from the tips. Robinson’s vision was to create a golf course where “no hole has less than championship quality”. This vision is rapidly turning into a reality.
The absence of property development around the course provides a welcome change and with so many great holes at Finca it’s really difficult to pick out the best. However, a few holes deserve special mention and the 3rd is a delightful par five with an approach over water. The 10th, a long down-hill par three, has far-reaching views of the Estepona Mountains and then straight after is the 11th, a long double doglegged par five which is a great test and thrilling to play. Probably the pick at Finca Cortesin is the par four 13th driving to wide fairway crossing a water hazard, the approach shot to the green then crosses water again which now runs diagonally across the front of the green. The pleasing greensite is also bunkered left and right and surrounded by trees.
Finca’s practice facilities are based around the ‘Jack Nicklaus Academy’ which include revolutionary methods based around swing characteristics of the student. Clearly Finca Cortesin is already an excellent facility, but couple this with a relaxed atmosphere and excellent customer service and you have a truly memorable experience. The new five star hotel and spa opened in 2008 placing Finca Cortesin firmly on the world’s golfing map.
Finca Cortesin Golf Club is now well and truly on the world stage. In June 2008, it was announced that the World Match Play, usually held on the West course at Wentworth in Surrey, was to move to Finca Cortesin as part of a raft of changes to the competition. Click here for more. England’s Ross Fisher claimed the 2009 World Match Play Championship title by defeating America’s Anthony Kim 4&3.
After a one-year break, the World Match Play Championship returned to Finca Cortesin in 2011. Ian Poulter claimed the title, beating fellow Englishman Luke Donald 2&1 in the final. The following year, Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts beat Graeme McDowell on the final hole to claim the World Match Play title.
I must admit straight away that this review might be biased by the horrendous winds on the day I played. But as I understand, these strong winds are quite frequent in the area, at least at this time of the year. Don't know how it is in summer time though. That actually raises a question. If the design looks great on paper (and it clearly does), some of it becomes silly in the wind. The par 3s except for one are 200 m or over. Couldn't reach them with a 5 wood! Do I want to play 3 wood on all par 3s? No, not really. Sure, I could have moved to a forward tee, but all courses are designed with back tees in mind, that's where you get the best views, etc.... Can you play low shots in the wind to the greens, links like shots? No, not really either. Most greens are elevated and have severe run offs and you're likely to find your ball rolling 20 m below. All in all, a very unfair course I thought, despite large fairways, unless you play match play golf. Service on the other hand was absolutely perfect. I came away disappointed, maybe largely because the wind was just ridiculous and unlike links courses, you can't really play chasing shots on that type of course.
Fun to play, excellent condition, championship course. no chance to walk this course. extremely friendly staff...
Finca Cortesin is one of the best resorts in Europe if not the best when you look at the entire package. It’s a spendy one but it’s offering the best service in a surreal setting like nothing else you will find on the continent.
The resort also has a solid although quite tough golf course. While it’s not advisable to attempt to walk it, the course itself will suit as an excellent challenge for the strong golfers. On most of the holes there is plenty of width off the tee and ample strategy to be taken into consideration when approaching the greens. There are two or three holes that I would classify as extremely tough and penal. The par 4, 7th hole playing at about 410 meters requires two daring shots that literally thread the needle. Something I myself couldn’t manage. The shots are both intimidating with little width and no margin for error as the native bush lines the fairways. A slight miss is a reload. In my opinion this is fine, especially since it’s not every hole. A smart player will hit the club they need to hit to play safe here. For me on this day it would of meant most likely hitting a 3 wood or iron from the tee and simply playing it as a par 5. By the time I hit the extremely tough par 5, 11th hole I was ready and played a far more conservative hole leading to a relatively easy par. I will admit it was interesting to experience how other players with a little higher hcps attempted to navigate these holes. Unsuccessfully I might add. In any case as mentioned already a couple very hard holes doesn’t detract from a course. Especially when playing matchplay as you really should do on vacation on courses you don’t know (in my opinion).
There is a really nice mix of long and short par 4’s. The short par 4’s, 13 and 14 are both excellent two shotters requiring intelligent strategy off the tee.
Finca has a nice set of par 3’s, two of which are long and challenging, two of which are solid mid irons. The 10th is a drop shot par 3 playing about 160 meters from the members tees. As there is a good 50’ drop and often a nice breeze to contend with this becomes quite a tough shot. Right is serious trouble.
In conclusion I’d suggest that Finca Cortesin is a challenging resort course adding an appropriate element to one of the best resorts in Europe. It would serve as a top high end home base for a wonderful golf vacation in the Marbella area.