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Guadalmina (Sur)

San Pedro Alcántara, Andalucía
ArchitectBadgeJavier Arana
San Pedro Alcántara, Andalucía
Rankings
  • AddressUrbanizacion Guadalmina Alta Club de Golf Guadalmina s/n, 29670 San Pedro Alcántara, Málaga, Spain

Designed by Javier Arana, the Guadalmina South course was constructed in two phases. The first nine (now holes 6 to 14) were ready for play in 1959 and the second nine (now holes 1-5 and 15-18) followed four years later, making it the second oldest layout on the south coast of Spain.

Blake Stirling and Marco Martin from Global Golf remodelled the course in 2002, when they added some internal contours to the original Arana greens and installed a significant number of new bunkers around the course, most notably on the fairways.

Laid out on much flatter terrain than the North, the wide fairways on the South course wind through stands of pine and jacaranda trees with water coming into play only now and then – though the pond at the short, par four 13th does leave a lot to be desired in terms of its fairness when catching perfectly well played tee shots.

The outward half is definitely the weaker of the two nines and back-to-back par fives on holes 6 and 7 do nothing to avoid the feeling that the front nine are a bit of a slog – Henry Cotton is reputed to have named the long 7th hole, “Tipperary” as it's a long way to go!

The much stronger back nine begins with a real rarity on the Costa – a couple of holes that actually play right beside the Mediterranean – and some hotel guests actually start at the par four 10th which is a great way to get the round underway.

The 36-hole golf facility at Guadalmina was completed in 1973 with the arrival of the shorter and hillier North course, a Folco Nardi design.

The following edited extract is from “The golf courses of Javier Arana” by Alfonso Erhardt Ybarra and is reproduced here with kind permission from the author:

Arana first visited the property in February 1958, when he staked out the holes and gave instructions for ground to be cleared for subsequent sowing. Next he sent detailed plans, a proposal for planting trees, and the specification of topsoil, sand and manure needed to prepare the ground for sowing. To minimize the influence of the waters of the River Guadalmina, it was diverted by building a containing wall, the former riverbed being filled in with earth.

Just two years after the inauguration of the first nine holes, the Goizueta family [who owned the property] realized that the golf course was a powerful magnet for tourists and would-be holiday-home buyers, so they again had recourse to Javier to build an additional nine.

For this new project, Fernando Goizueta sent Javier a plan of how he wanted the holes to be arranged. The new holes were to form a circle, allowing space for housing both within and outside the circumference. The job was trickier this time around, because the terrain was rougher and the intended circular sequence of holes severely constrained Javier’s choice of the most suitable routing.

In February 1962, he laid out the nine new holes. Javier visited the course twice to put finishing touches on mounds, level out greens and place sand traps; by March 1963, the course was complete and ready for sowing, despite the delay caused by rainfall.

Goizueta’s requirement for a circular configuration entailed having steep gradients across the course, which Javier integrated intelligently into the layout. Whereas in the original routing each hole abutted the ones before and after it, now they were islands of greenery in the midst of crop fields, with fairways waiting to be enveloped by residential developments.

If you would like to find out more or purchase “The golf courses of Javier Arana” then click the link.

Designed by Javier Arana, the Guadalmina South course was constructed in two phases. The first nine (now holes 6 to 14) were ready for play in 1959 and the second nine (now holes 1-5 and 15-18) followed four years later, making it the second oldest layout on the south coast of Spain.

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Javier Arana

Javier Arana, nicknamed ‘Cisco’, began playing the game at the age of ten, practicing on the old 11-hole Neguri course which had been laid out close to the family home on the banks of the Gobelas River.

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