Pepe Gancedo was the architect behind the Golf del Sur complex when it first opened in 1987, around the same time that the Amarilla golf course was built, and both golf facilities now sit close to each other, near the busy Reina Sofia airport on the south coast of Teneife.
The original 18-hole North and South nines – constructed with distinctive black volcanic sand bunkers – proved to be so popular that an additional 9-hole Links nine was subsequently added (sadly featuring conventional sand hazards) to cope with the demand. At the start of 2021, the 27-hole facility reverted to eighteen holes when the South nine was sold for property development.
Surrounded by holiday apartments and located close to the coast, the del Sur golf complex has moved with the times to retain its share of golfing trade in a very competitive market – Manuel Pinero was involved in some new millennium remodeling work, updating holes 3, 4 and 5 on the Links in 2005 and landscaping the 3rd on the North the following year.
The book 500 world’s greatest golf holes by author George Peper and the editors of GOLF magazine features the 457-yard par four 3rd on the North nine at Golf del Sur: “The barren ravine and lava wasteland to the right contrast starkly with this lush and long hole, which is a golf ball graveyard for slicers. It’s a very thin line between safety and danger, especially when the wind blows across the open hillside. Palm trees dot the left boundary of the hole, but it’s the surface beneath them that offers the true intimidation. Mean-looking, black sand bunkers surround the bases of the trees and extend up the entire left side of the deep, narrow green.”
In its formative years, the club hosted four editions of the Tenerife Open on the European Tour between 1989 and 1994, with victories for José Maria Olazábal in the first two editions, then David Gilford and Mark James, in 1993 and 1994. The following year, an episode of Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf was held here, with Ernie Els matched against Phil Mickelson.
The first Tenerife Ladies Open event on the Ladies European Tour was staged at Golf del Sur in 1989, with Raquel Carriedo recording a 1-shot victory over her nearest rival. The tournament returned to the club in 2007, when Australian Nikki Garrett finished two shots ahead of Trish Johnson and Tania Elósegui to win the 6th edition of the competition.
Las Americas and Adeje courses opened in 1998, doubling the number of courses in the southern tourist trap of Tenerife in one fell swoop. Together with the up-market Abama resort which opened in 2005, the five courses in this part of the island offer resident and visiting golfers a fantastic choice.
I have played Golf Del Sur a few times before Covid times and it was a good challenge and a nice 27 hole layout. But now after they closed the South 9 holes and are only left with the North and Links it isn't as attractive like before.
There are many things I could point out during my visit to the course in September. First of all the staff in the pro shop was surprisingly bad, my better half wore a shirt without a collar and she ended up needing to buy a collar shirt for 60 euros just to play on the premises. The rental clubs were not good given the price we paid for them (you paid for each extra club you needed in the bag, what's that about?). We played the Links and North in that order, I kind of like the Links routing even though the North is supposed to be better. But as always the wind is howling on this part of the island, even though we started around 9.30 am. Don't get me wrong I like a challenge but this was a little bit too much for my taste, and it has been like this the other times I played here as well. Also the nonstop flights going over the course spoils the fun a little bit. The course itself has a few fun holes to play (I like holes 3, 5 and 6 on the Links and holes 3, 4 and 6 on the North) but the condition on the course was nothing to cheer about in my opinion. The greens looked kind of bad and blemished but they rolled okay and the fairways were dry and burned on certain spots on the course, and somewhere they were too wet. The clubhouse and all facilities look like they need facelifting and also everything from tee to green needs a little bit of TLC if I'm being honest.
In summary Golf Del Sur has seen better times and the course needs a huge facelifting if they wanna keep up with the other courses on the island like Adeje and Buenavista (I have played all the courses on the island except Abama). In total honesty it's not worth the money as it stands now at least, but I hope when the Covid wave smooths out times will change and it will return to it's former glory. Being ranked inside the top 50 in Spain atm is at least a false statement for now.
Summary: Great course (especially the 9 holes called "Sur) but facilities have gotten old/have more potential:
+ Well maintained fairways and greens. The original nine holes (called Sur) have a great layout with nice views on the sea. Traditional lava stone walls around the tee boxes and hole descriptions from especially elaborately made tiles
+ Black volcano bunkers make the course special and easy to remember
+ Location is windy which is a further challenge when playing
+ Not a lot of people playing, I did not see a single other flight on the front nine
- Facilities are old and not well maintained (old balls on the driving range, the restaurant seems to have closed, restrooms/showers very old, the nine holes on the North course seem to be abandoned, no place to clean clubs, push trolleys are rusty)
- The nine holes called Links are between simple houses and hotel buildings which do not have a lot of charm, fenced in with barbed wire
- Next to the airport which is not great but also not dramatic
The course is nice but quite uninspiring. Worth playing however just to see the black bunkers, created by the volcano at the islands centre
A few months ago, when it was still permitted by the government to play a round of golf, I hit the links at Golf del Sur. After paying 35 euros for 11 rental Titleist clubs without wedges (cause who needs wedges on a soft soil golf course that is not overly long right?) I got out before a group of pensionados as one will encounter when on the Canary Islands.
The opener is a gentle par 4 with a wide, slightly mounded fairway and ends with a steep downhill approach that can play blind depending on the yardage. The green is well guarded by two sidebunkers and the prevailing wind. You immediately see a buena vista over the dry plains and ravines all the way to the lone rock near the airport accompanied by the scorching sun. The start is quite good actually, leading the player to the very edges of the property and exploring all the nice corners of it. This is also the most undulated part of it and it is quite interesting. The second is a par 3 with a shallow green guarded by bunkers and the 3rd a par 5 with a ravine along the entire right side of the hole. There is more than enough room on the left but also a chance to get home in two for those who want to play the hero. I also liked the par 4 4th, which with the right wind is reachable. There is a fairway left for the conservative, and the more agressive the line of the tee, the deeper the drop for the balls that won’t make it. Those will be treated a blind second from deep rough or a bunker. The green has a semi-punchbowl on the left side and drops down on ts front right, giving a great sight over the island. After the fourth, we proceed to the inner part of the property. There are some nice parkland holes but nothing too spectacular. Just solid. The back nine starts off with a nice awkward short par 4 with a dogleg right to a higher green running off tot he left. The wind will try to blow it there. The 2nd is the most famous hole on the course and maybe the island, a par 3 with many tee options played to an island green surrounded by the volcanic black sand that the bunkers at Golf del Sur consist of. The green appears to be lying on the side of a subtle hill and it makes for a beautiful natural green site with a deceiving perspective as seen from the teebox. The remaining holes are all quite nice, without any obvious standout holes. I liked the par 5 14th and the short par 4 16th which has a cross ravine which makes you think from the tee that you can easily carry it while it actually isnt. Because it runs cross the fairway diagonally, much depends on the line you take from the tee. And you’ll have guessed that this goes hand in hand with the risk you are willing to take. Writing this, it occurs to me that you shouldn’t probably go for it at all as a lay up leaves a pretty straight forward pitch to a flat green. This hole certainly got me, that’s for sure… holes like these make Golf del Sur a nice place to play with some really good strategic golf holes. I’m still mad I did not get any wedges but I might consider returning anyway, when I’d travel to Tenerife again.
Better than expected. Golf del Sur is located next to the airport on the southern tip of Tenerife... this means it is windy and you have plans coming into land above your head.
Course was in really good condition... lush fairways, receptive greens and relatively quick. Lots of interesting holes... fairways are pretty generous, big greens with a good variety of risk and reward holes.
The two 9's we played (north and south) are located on the side of a hill which means you are usually walking uphill or downhill. Course was very walkable, even in warm conditions.
I played Golf Del Sur a couple of times recently on a Tenerife golf trip, managed to play all 3 loops during a couple of rounds. It is an attractive looking course with the lush green frequently framed by black sand (although often more like gravel!) and the conditioning of both fairways and greens was good. Personally I feel the North and South are the best of the 27 holes, the links feels compromised by the land they had to squeeze the holes into and with hazards rather clumsily added giving it an unnatural feel. It is generous from the tee and a solid challenge even from the yellows, the key defence the course has is the wind which seems to always blow hard from the airport and it sure makes the course a great deal tougher. On one of the days we played it was blowing 15 mph+, will little natural cover it made the round something of a grind. One really disappointing element was the pace of play, 5 hour+ rounds seem the norm and the club doesn't seem to do much to control the standard of golfers or have marshals out to speed up play, given it was low season I can't imagine how long a round takes during the peak months. Personally I rate Adeje and Las Americas higher than Gold Del Sur.
Having played all 3 nines of this course recently I have to say I am surprised at its ranking. For me having played over 50 courses in spain I am surprised that this is ranked as highly as it is. We enjoyed the course and found it good fun, but we were slightly underwhelmed. If I compare this to Montecastillo that we played a few years ago, and at the time of writing this is ranked one place below Golf Del Sur I would say they are poles apart in quality in favour of Montecastillo.
I would say that this was okay to play the greens were good and true and there are nice holes. I would also thank the course for keeping us as a two ball not always the case in Spain. For me this is an average course and a 3 ranking for average.
I have been playing Golf del Sur on average twice a year for the last 5 years and I find the course and the staff to be excellent. Its not a Major venue by any stretch of the imagination but its great holiday golf.
That's not to say its not a test, as its usually breezy and therefore a challenge.
Split in to 3 nines, Links, North and South, the main view is that the South is the sterner test with the Links being the easier of the 3 courses. There are some great holes and some real risk and reward holes, with the 4th on the North a hit the fairway or reload kind of hole!
I have always found the courses to be in great condition, especially the greens but again if you are seeking tour standard conditioning you will need to look elsewhere, but that is by no means a criticism of the course as this is an extremely busy venue over the winter months. The black sand in the bunkering is a pleasant change and enhances the signature hole, the 2nd on the South a lovely par 3 with large green surrounded by black sand
After playing the bar and restaurant provide good food and drink and is an ideal spot to end the round. Paco in the pro shop is excellent and regripped my full set of clubs for a really competitive price too!