Both the North and South layouts at this resort are the design of Robert Putman, a Californian professional who was asked by developer Gregory Peters to build two contrasting courses on the 1,400-acre property during 1971-2.
The West course followed in 1996 when Dave Thomas extended the former 9-hole La Princesa (first opened in 1986), meaning the resort can now tempt golfers with a choice of three tremendous courses.
Upgraded by Arnold Palmer in 1993 then refurbished in-house during 2004, the South course has changed considerably since the early days when it held the Spanish Open between 1973 and 1977, thanks mainly to renewed investment by different owners over the years.
The course feels fairly spacious (despite the many palm trees that line the fairways) but aquaphobic golfers might think twice about striding the fairways on the South course as only a handful of holes are without some form of water hazard to tease and torment!
La Manga Club (South course) was originally nominated as a Gem by Colin and added to the site on 28th March 2007. Colin's nomination article follows:
A couple of years ago the South course was really run down, but La Manga Club resort has put in a bit of restorative work in recent years, and it is now comparing favourably with its colleagues the West and the North.
The South is the Championship layout and that is evident by its length and the bunkering. When the wind gets up it can be a real test, and whilst in the past it was a little flat and un-inspiring, the holes have been re-designed in some areas to be a little more pleasing to the eye. This is the course you will see most often on TV featuring all those Celebrity Charity events.
The opening holes are a not spectacular but the 4th, which used to be a real testy par four, has been extended to a par five with the addition of an attractive pond in front of the green, which gives the course a little of the charm it lacked in its previous incarnation.
The 6th, which was once the 9th hole, (I think they saved some labour by just turning the flag number upside down), is a terrific par five with a lot of wet and sandy hazards as you near the green, but that is only after a tough blind tee shot onto a wide and downhill fairway.
The 10th is a little ordinary but the 11th has benefited from the extension of the greenside lake, making a second shot a real tester. The 12th, a short par three, is the hole that witnessed the oldest man ever to achieve a hole in one. Beyond that, the 14th, a par four, presents one of the largest sand traps in Spain, running almost the whole length of the right hand side fairway. The 17th is a testing par three, almost all of the par threes on the South course need a good biff, but the 18th is the signature hole, with its tough tee shot (water and bunkers everywhere) and then a really well-protected green. So many bunkers surround it you’ll think the tide has gone out.
Despite its championship status, the South is the least charming of the three courses. However, it does give the most honest test of golf. It’s long, there’s plenty of bunkering and the course demands some solid hitting. You can let the driver out of the bag far more than you can on either of the other two tracks, but somehow it does lack character and it is certainly nowhere near as pleasing on the eye.
La Manga Club is one of our Top 100 Golf Resorts of the World
This championship style golf course was played 3 times at early December of 2019 before and during very good organized tournament 19th OPEN LA MANGA CLUB GOLF! Tournament was pretty good at all stages and golf course prepared well. The South course has not very spectacular views as The North or The West, but the best prepared for tournaments. Well maintained fairways, greens and tee offs. Also surroundings are maintained and was well prepared.
The South course is not very complicated, but few holes are really challenging for experienced players. Accuracy and distance are keys as you navigate the fairways. The biggest challange is not distance in several par 5 holes like signature 18th where you have good chance to reach green in two shots depend on wind. Smart game is the key of success becouse second shot could leave you in one of around green bunker with tricky situation regarding pure soft sand.
Interesting and challenging 6th hole with blind shot from the tee. Also I like not easiest par3 4th hole with big front green bunker and water hazard in right side and 11th par 4 with huge water hazard in front of green where ball can easy go to water after biger backspin from green. Actually course has a lot of water hazards, bunkers and other hazards where lose the ball is not a big deal.
Nice and comfortable to play, look like everything is clear. Concerning prices it is not cheapest golf courses in Mursia region, but worth all paid moneys! Agreed that is one of the best golf resort in Europe. Service is good, clubhouse nice and well equipment. Restaurant wide with very comfortable sitting places and tasty beer as well.
As every golf course rating is always a subject with a lot of subjectivity, depending on various criteria and personal point of view to importance things, my personal opinion depends on following criteria: course complexity or challenging, fields condition (especially greens & fairways), service (only what you can get: buggie, club rent, condition of clubs, the amount of choice and etc. except staff and other subjective things that depends on your or staff mood), surrounding views or pleasure to the eyes and definitely value for the price. All criteries will be rating from 1 to 5 stars. My priority is challenging and value for price criterias. So The South course gets:
1. Challenging - 4*
2. Condition - 5*
3. Service - 4*
4. Surroundings - 3*+
5. Value for the price - 4*+
Definitelly will be back next year.
This is the most technical course at La Manga, and tests your ball striking as well as short game. Lots of water, lots of sand, and a number of barrancas - dry river beds - crossing the fairways. Although it's the strongest course on the resort, I find it a little bland and uninspiring. The North has much more character.
The South is more spread out than the other courses on the resort, there is more room between holes, although at the top end of the course it gets a bit cramped with nearby properties. 3,4 and 6 have OOB on both sides and the villas make it feel a little claustrophobic, like playing golf in an alleyway. The back nine has a more open feel with more water, and the final 3 holes represent a stern challenge with water everywhere.
Out of the 3 courses at La Manga I would say this is the only one that you could really class as a "good" golf course for the lower handicapper. It has some interesting holes and dependant on the wind 3 of the 5 par fives very reachable in 2. Condition is good considering it gets a pounding most of the year from the golfbreaks customers. However because of this the play is painfully slow most of the times and outside of summer (when its quiet because of the heat) even though I have property on the resort I have to avoid it due to 5 hour plus rounds. The old school golfers that like a decent pace of play will tear their hair out here! All in definitely worth a visit and a good decent length well thought out course, just brace yourself for a long game!
Great challenging course with different tees where all kind of players can enjoy. Up to even host professional events.
The South course is by far, in my opinion, the best course in the La Manga complex in every single aspect.
I played this course in March of 2016, and was rather underwhelmed by the experience after hearing some good things.
Although the facility at La Manga is vast with good facilities, I found the course rather bland and lacking in character. On the plus side the condition of the course was good.
The South course is of course their Championship routing, the longest course at La Manga and perhaps the course you might expect the most at this type of resort. It’s fairly open and generous off the tee but still requires solid shots. Since it’s so open wind has a huge impact on the game. The greens run fast and the course plays fairly firm and fast as well. Bermuda grasses add very much to the challenge if the fairways are missed. It’s a fun and relaxed golf course.
A small group of us found La Manga Club to be the perfect short break golf destination for mid November. The three courses on site offer a very different challenge, the much improved South being the championship option as it can be stretched out to 7150 yards from the back tees. The yellow tees are much more suitable for all but the very best players as you will still be left facing a stiff test at 6740 yards. Although the West Course is the tightest and most picturesque of the three courses, most of our group preferred the South as it offered a very fair test and so many memorable holes. All had very good greens but the South was in the best condition overall. There is certainly great variety in the design of the course making it very easy to remember the layout in the bar afterwards. Water on fourteen holes, numerous dog-legs and great bunkering throughout means there is no let up from start to finish. Add in the punishing ball swallowing barrancas on another six holes and you might think about throwing a few extra balls into your bag. Most of the greens are large and some are quite undulating so good approach play is necessary if you are to avoid the dreaded 3 putt. Although there are dangers on every hole this is still very much a course for pulling out the driver, holes 7,14 and 18 possibly being the exception, as the fairways are in the main very generous. The par 3’s all have water on them and are all strong holes, the 190 yard all carry 17th being my favourite. I enjoyed all five of the par 5’s but in particular the 18th, a short risk and reward hole with water to avoid from the tee, barranca to clear on the approach and a ring of bunkers protecting the green. With the 16th also having an exciting iron shot over water to the green it means the South Course has a classy finishing stretch of holes that will live long in the memory. While we were on site news broke of the new Leadbetter Golf Academy which will open early next year, becoming the only one of its kind on mainland Spain. The driving range will be modernised and extended and the short game area will be completely re-built as La Manga Club strives to maintain its position as the No.1 golf resort in Spain. Brian W
After the West course, I would rate this as the second best course at La Manga. It is also a course where you can get the driver out a lot as the fairways are quite wide. There are plenty of interesting and challenging holes here, such as the par four 11th, which has a lake on the right side which needs to be avioided, and 12, a nice little par three over water, which proved to be nasty playing in a 20mph wind! The 18th also deserves a mention, a long par five with loads of water and sand which must have ruined a lot of rounds!