Real La Manga Club (West) - Southern Spain - Spain

La Manga Club Resort,
30389 La Manga Club,
Cartagena (Murcia),
Spain


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  • Eduardo Ruiz

  • Dave Thomas

  • Thomas Johansson


La Manga Club is one of our Top 100 Golf Resorts of the World

The West course at La Manga Club was nominated by Colin on the 28th March 2007 for inclusion in the “Your Gems” section of the website. Since then the West course has moved from Your Gems and become a ranked Spanish course but we’ve left Colin’s original nomination article intact, as we liked it so much:

The West course is without doubt the jewel in the crown of La Manga Club. It is a beautiful course, well manicured and with marvellous scenery all around. It has an amazing variety of holes, each one presenting a different challenge; only the 11th and the 14th are what one might call ‘samey’.

However, as my playing partners and I have come to realise, ‘the West course giveth, and the West course taketh away’. Whilst being an angel on the eye, it is a brute on the score. You really have to be on top of your game, manage the course well and have a bit of luck on the way as well, any bad shot is punished severely. Buy a Stroke Saver and five extra golf balls before you start.

I could describe every hole to you, they all offer something very different, but I’ll just pick out a few real gems. By the way, each par three bar one has a Stroke Index of less than 10! I’ve not known that at many courses.

The 3rd (par five) deserves a mention for its challenging tee shot, horrendous ravine and tucked away green. The 5th is a brute of a tee shot considering its SI, it really is quite a narrow target. The 6th is the first hole where you can get the driver out. The pearl of the front nine however, is the 9th, with an uphill tee shot (and I mean uphill) the hole then bends at right angles down hill to a huge green protected by a ravine to the front and lake at the back. It’s a real devil of a hole to ‘manage’. But it does present an eagle opportunity.

If you feel a little punch drunk by the turn and deflated by something like just 12 points, beware the back nine, the holes just get better and better… and to some degree tougher. The 10th is a complete horror off the back tees, and then it’s up and down the mountains taking on the tough 12th and a horrid par three 13th that is as pleasing on the eye as it is punishing on the score card. The course concludes with probably the loveliest four consecutive holes I know. The 15th is a gorgeous par five with some well-placed trees along the centre of the fairway making shot selection an interesting task. The 16th is a brute of a par three with absolutely no room for error at all. There is only one place to put the ball, on the green, anywhere else is just a war zone.

The 17th must have been a hole designed by five different people and then glued together. If ever there was a reason for buying a stroke saver then this is it. But nevertheless it’s lovely, and a joy to par. It is merely a prelude however, to everybody’s favourite La Manga Club moment. The 18th tee is a bit of a trek up a hill, and after a slog round the West course one could do without that, but the reward at the end is worth it. You are greeted with a tee at the top of a small mountain overlooking the 18th fairway and the landscape spreads out in front of you beyond the course and out across the La Manga Club complex, the countryside and then to the sea a few miles distant. It is a lovely view and an intimidating tee shot. It’s a place to get the big shiny driver out, tee it high and let rip. A 200-yard carry to a wide, wide fairway beckons. It is a great finishing hole to a great course.

The West course is about a half mile from the main complex and it has its own clubhouse and bar. Without doubt the best of the three courses, but also without doubt the hardest. If you are an 18 plus handicapper don’t go near it unless you can happily exchange a low stableford points score for the sake of some lovely scenery.

Colin’s general view of La Manga Club:

The La Manga Club complex presents three lovely courses which all have their own character and each offer a different challenge to suit all handicaps. The resort benefits from a well-run shuttle bus service and an attention to course care that always ensures the holes are in good condition.

I would recommend La Manga Club to anybody who wanted an easy weekend of golf ‘on the doorstep’. It’s probably not the cheapest place to play, then again it’s not the dearest either, but the accommodation is reasonably priced and of high quality.

The resort has a nice driving range and good putting and short game practice areas. The shop is well stocked, and a very pleasant man on a buggy is always whizzing around selling drinks and cheese and ham rolls to a lot of very thirsty golfers. I think it’s a great place.

La Manga Club is one of our Top 100 Golf Resorts of the World

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Reviews for Real La Manga Club (West)

Av. Reviewers Score:
Description: The West course at La Manga Club is totally different to the other two layouts. Gone are the palms and in come the pines, doglegs and tight, tricky holes. Rating: 4.9 out of 6 Reviews: 17

Many things might have happened since Colins review in 2007. I cant agree in most of his points.

Played all three courses in the complex (Nov 2018) and the West is, by far, the least playable of them all.

The West course to be ranked the highest simply doesnt make sense...blind and unfair holes all the way, hard to walk....

It is not a bad course, but it should be ranked waaay further doen the list than the South course.

This kind of inconsistencies make rankings worthless. Anyone who has visited La Manga recently could tell...

3 / 6
Real La Manga Club (West)
November 12, 2018


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Niall
November 12, 2018

I disagree completely with this review. For me the West course is head and shoulders above the South, actually I'd take the North course over the South any day. Rankings are about opinions of course and yours is out on a limb.

La Manga’s West Course is totally different to most Spanish resort courses, offering a natural, rural layout. The conditioning is superb - a unique style of coarse sand in the bunkers and Spanish Pine trees throughout really give this place its own character. The course immediately intimidates the golfer, with tight fairways and small greens from the very first hole, where precision off the tee and in the approach are crucial to avoid an early mishap in the round. Make your par on the first, take a deep breath and move to the par 3 second, where you’ll be faced with a 200 yard tee shot over a barranca to another small putting surface, surrounded by danger, often into a prevailing wind. The intensity continues, as the par 5 third hole demands a precise tee shot, short of another barranca, leaving a reachable green for those who can hit a fairway wood accurately over 220 yards. The front 9 continues with a varied and enjoyable mix of holes, all of which require thoughts and strategy to play well. The 8th is a real gem of a hole, any mistakes here and par is out of the question! Hole #9, par 5, makes incredible use of the natural topography, leading you uphill right-to-left on the drive to an elevated fairway with a reachable green down below, if you position your ball perfectly.

One fine attribute of this track is how it plays as difficult for the low-handicap golfer as for the mid-handicapper, heavily punishing any miss-stuck or badly directed shot, yet allowing a score to be made for the cautious player who plots their way around the holes, using their shots wisely. It’s sure to offer loads of surprises in competitive golf for groups of 8 or more visiting here, as the ups-and-downs in your round continue till the 19th, with no end of surprises and opportunities for error. The two par 5’s towards the end of the back 9 (15 & 17) are real teasers, both are birdie opportunities if played conservatively, yet card wreckers if greedy or inaccurate... the kind of holes you want to go back and play again once you know them!

In summary, this is a course I could happily play again and again and each time have a totally different experience. Unlike many courses, where regulation pars reoccur in similar circumstances, each time you play here you experience success and failure on different holes, as each hole is simple when played well, but can be devastating when played badly.

I really love coming here to play and will always look forward to my next visit, as each time the course condition is exceptional and the friendly welcoming staff offer service and excellence above the price tag.

S.Bale

5 / 6
Real La Manga Club (West)
November 12, 2018


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A fantastic little course that gives you a new challenge on every shot! We all agreed it was one of the most interesting courses we’ve come across. Control of your ball is paramount and it is rounded off with a terrific view on the 18th, over the resort to the water. A course guide or gps is essential for choosing your shots on this tight course with trouble everywhere. Well worth visiting!

5 / 6
Real La Manga Club (West)
October 09, 2018


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Of the three La Manga Courses the West course was the biggest surprise. It’s a smallish course full of relatively short but interesting holes that run through a very hilly property. It’s a tricky course and care needs to be taken to plot your way around it. In some places it’s a bit narrower than I’d like to see it. It’s also the kind of course you really need to see once to find out what shots are safe, what kind of distances you should be trying to hit off the tee and also to have an idea what’s happening with some of the quirky holes.

La Manga (West) Golf Course - Photo by reviewer

There are a couple severe dogleg holes, one being the short par 5, 9th which is actually more in a boomerang shape with the tee shot going uphill and the approach being down hill. A somewhat risky drive or 3 wood over the trees in the corner can catch the down slope and leave a short iron to the green. The stretch of the next four holes was my favorite on the course.

The course in terms of conditioning was playing extremely firm and fast, much firmer than the other La Manga courses which were also firm but clearly seemed to receive more attention and water or have easier access to it.

Finally the West course ends with a real cracker of a hole with a beautiful view out over La Manga and all the way to the Mediterranean. From a very high perched tee this par 4 played straight into the wind from a fairly wide landing area to a green protected with bunkers and framed with trees. A nice finish to a fun resort course.

4 / 6
Real La Manga Club (West)
October 22, 2016


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We've been to La Manga a few times and played this course which does make it easier as on my first attempt could gauge how far you could hit the ball, but with a few rounds under my belt the 3 wood has been replaced with as little as a 7 iron on some holes.

So if you don't mind positional play being the optimum then this is the course for you, I only use the driver on the 18th.

Greens are generally less abused on the west course so are normally in good condition. The fees change quite a bit over the months of the year, but from memory we had a good deal with a two course lunch thrown in.

The course does close down from a tee time point of view between 13:00 and 14:00 so I normally normally book the two time and fly around. You don't really need a buggy, there are a couple of tiring walks especially up to 18 which is set high on the hill for a big drive down, but don't get carried away it's still fairly narrow and if you topped it down the hill, say good bye to it

4 / 6
Real La Manga Club (West)
September 19, 2016


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I think that there will always be differing opinions as to the 1,2,3 order of the courses at La Manga. Better players are likely to have the South as first choice and mid-handicappers normally choose the West or even the North, probably as these two offer more fun rather the championship standard of the South. Eight years since my last visit to the resort and it is still the West that does it for me. The opening three holes set the scene early; a short par-4 approaching over water, a 165 yard all carry par-3 and then a brilliant par-5 crossing water and La Manga (West) Golf Course - Photo by reviewerdog-legging right halfway. Those three holes are the West in a nutshell… variety, accuracy and positioning are all very key words. The par-5 6th is a strong hole, crossing water twice and the possibility of a blind approach if you don’t lay-up enough to the right side. Driving on the 8th is enjoyable; an elevated tee to a fairway with a small turn to the right – get it right and a short iron approach awaits. The 12th is another great pick, under 400 yards, a little uphill, turning left to a double tiered green – a very classy hole. The 15th could just be my favourite hole on the course; it is another par-5 and quite short at 480 yards but a split fairway and then trees at lay-up point offer the protection needed – a three tiered green can be added to the mix too. The final hole gives the best vista, here we are at the highest point on the course and the par-4 fairway is seems miles below – this is great for the ‘hang-time’ drive and also the mandatory photo shot – such a backdrop cannot be ignored. As mentioned before, the West course offers the fun factor to your round – not to be missed.
5 / 6
Real La Manga Club (West)
September 11, 2015


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I was most impressed with this course. It is a delight on the eye which is a marked change from the other two courses here. Its true that you dont need driver on any holes except the 18th (more of which later) but you end up enjoying the strategy so much that this is not a problem at all. You dont realise how weary you get of hitting driver - 9 iron to 14 holes a round until you play this beauty. It really tests you mid irons into greens and your short game as the greens are so small and well protected. There are not any holes which are not a visual delight although some of the doglegs are on the severe side (not unlike the Wentworth East). Like Wentworth East, some purists might think the doglegs verge on the ridiculous but it is holiday golf and very good holiday golf at that. The 18th tee shot is trully magnificent and it is a fantastic hole. It is similar to the 18th at Montecastillo (although much better) and the only 18th tee shot in the golfing world which is even remotely as good is at the fantastic Trump International Links in Aberdeen. For some reason this is considered the 'cheap' course at La Manga so it is fantastic value too.
5 / 6
Real La Manga Club (West)
November 28, 2014


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We have been visiting LaManga for the last 5 years or so and always play each of the courses on our 'trip'. The West is usually the course that makes or breaks you - hit it straight and you can score very heavilly as it is not long, but if you are wayward you will lose a hatful of balls and score very little. It's a very strategic course with very little need for a driver, but you will need to be a good ball striker and you will need a good short game as the greens here are typically very small. There are too many holes which are just too contrived - the 3rd,9th, 11th, 14th and 15th all come to my mind. You need either a Strokesaver or a GPS device and absolute faith in the yardages or you will be in barncas, water hazards or trees. The 2 par 3's on the back nine (13 and 16) are classic examples of the West test - find the green and you score, miss and you are dead. Overall its in good nick, the greens are good and the fairways firm and fast, with a decent bar/clubhouse at the end. As ever with LaManga check the green fees up front, as the prices seem to change daily depending who serves you and what mood they are in. It's good holiday fun, but it would drive you mad if you played it regualrly!
4 / 6
Real La Manga Club (West)
July 02, 2014


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The West is the prettiest and tightest of the three courses at La Manga Club and will certainly test your shot making skills to the full. Completely different in character to the North and South courses, you will need straight hitting and careful club selection to score well around here. The course is not overly long, measuring less than 6300 yards from the back tees and in reality you probably don’t need to hit driver on more than 3 or 4 holes. This course has it all with multiple dog-legs, interesting changes in elevation and trouble everywhere. When we visited the greens were perhaps not quite as quick as on the South but were still of a La Manga (West) Golf Course - Photo by reviewervery high standard, many of them tiered and some quite small. The collection of par 3’s is certainly impressive, particularly 2, 13 and my personal favourite the attractive but demanding uphill 16th. Of the longer holes there is great variety in the design, the front nine being very good but the back nine plays tougher and is even better. I have heard some describe the course as being a bit quirky in places and holes 3, 9, 15 and 17 could all possibly fall in to that category. The 15th in particular where you must first negotiate a downhill snaking fairway, then clear the barranca before firing over a clump of trees to reach the green. Having said that, I can honestly say that I enjoyed them all and can’t wait to have another go, it’s just that I would like to play most of them a bit better next time! One of the highlights of the round is walking on to the spectacular 18th tee where you are met with a magnificent panorama of the fairway down below and the resort and bay beyond. A memorable tee shot to finish the round as your ball seems to hang in the air for an eternity before eventually landing on the short stuff below. This is a course that you will definitely benefit from playing a few times so if it’s your first visit buy a course planner, take a few extra balls and play stableford not medal! Not to be missed. Brian W
5 / 6
Real La Manga Club (West)
January 07, 2014


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Played the 3 wonderfull courses at lamanga last week in october. Although all courses were very well kept and in great condition I found the West course to be a true delight to play, not that my scorecard said so but not only a very challenging and picturesque course but the type of course you could play everyday in the attempt to try and beat it ! Very tight with trouble everywhere but with some stunning views especially the tee box on the 18th hole which just took your breath away, if you ever get the chance to play the west course grab it with both hands and a bag full of balls !!
6 / 6
Real La Manga Club (West)
October 30, 2011


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