La Reserva - Southern Spain - Spain

La Reserva Club de Golf,
Avda. de la Reserva s/n,
Sotogrande 11310,
Spain


  • +34 956 785 252

La Reserva Club de Golf is the latest prestigious golf course to be constructed in this corner of the Costa del Sol, joining near neighbours Valderrama, Sotogrande and San Roque in a formidable quartet of quality golfing destinations.

Yet another design of the prolific American architect Cabell B. Robinson, the course only opened for play in 2004 but many already consider it capable of hosting a national or international competition.

It is located within two valleys which join in the form of the letter "Y" and when the site was first cleared of scrub, all trees and plants with ecological and aesthetic interest were moved to a nursery then replanted in their original place.

La Reserva is long – more than 6,700 metres from the back tees – but fairways are wide so you can afford to open your shoulders on the tees to aim at relatively generous fairways. Greens are on the large size but it is one thing to be on the putting surface in regulation and another to avoid three putting when a long way from the pin position! Water features at half a dozen holes, but apart from one hole, it does not present itself as a frontal hazard.

Both the outward and inward holes have par threes separated by long par fives. On the front nine, the green on the 164-metre 5th is guarded by a lone bunker while the 145-metre 7th is played from an elevated tee to a shallow putting surface. On the back nine, water to the left of the green on the 222-metre 15th pressurises the tee shot and the 187-metre 17th also features water to the left of the putting surface, with bunkers further protecting the right and rear of the green.

The European Tour returned to Sotogrande in 2014 for a new tournament that was hosted by La Reserva Golf Club. Some may think a waste management company sponsored the NH Collection Open, but NH Collection is, in fact, a hotel chain with around 400 properties in their global portfolio. Marco Crespi won the inaugural NH event, claiming his maiden European Tour title after eventually progressing through Qualifying School in 2013 at the Italian’s eleventh attempt.

In May 2019 the club staged the inaugural La Reserva de Sotogrande Invitational (hosted by World Golf Hall-of-Famer Annika Sorenstam), which resulted in Céline Herbin claiming her second Ladies European Tour title.

In 2021, La Reserva hosted the second of four stages of the Aramco Team Series – the first team event of its kind on any professional golf tour – when three female professionals team up with an amateur. In Sotogrande's team event Ashleigh Buhai led her team to victory while Alison Lee won the individual title. The unique series spans three continents with tournaments in London (Centurion Club), Sotogrande (La Reserva), New York (Glen Oaks) and Jeddah (Royal Greens).

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Reviews for La Reserva

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Description: Cabell Robinson designed La Reserva and it’s a brutal 6,700 metres from the tips but with wide fairways and a hot driver it can be tamed. Rating: 7.6 out of 10 Reviews: 22
TaylorMade
Fergal O'Leary

The opulence of La Reserva is primarily financed by an American hedge fund that recently bought the Sotogrande label, which includes a significant part of the region and a number of golf courses, including La Reserva. Just before Christmas, the club put the finishing touches to a clubhouse fit for the royal family. The membership now enjoy the finest facilities and a golf course that frequently offers oceanic views across the Costa Del Sol. Specific to the course, the opening stretch of three par 4s is most challenging for a variety of reasons.

The first has a crowned fairway, the second is long and tough and third has a very shallow green surrounded by deep bunkers. Fortunately the 4th hole finally offers a change in direction and is a reachable par 5. The 5th turns around and runs back parallel to the 4th, but has a large hill on the left side which helps bounce the ball back down to the fairway.

If you pay attention to the routing of La Reserva, you’ll observe that many holes run parallel back & forth (eg: 4, 5, 6 then 12 and 13). A common theme with the La Reserva routing is how the rise and fall of the land makes many fairways feel like a funnel working towards the green-sites. While the par 5s are reachable, the par 4s are where this course breaks the golfer’s hearts separating the boys from the men.

There aren’t many better uphill par 4s in Continental Europe than the 9th at La Reserva. The hazard placements are wonderful regardless of which tees you play from and put a premium on club selection for the tantalizing approach. It really should be the 18th hole as it’s an epic climax. When you stand on the 10th tee, you wonder why it isn’t the 1st hole as its fabulous downhill dog-leg left more in tune with the rest La Reserva Golf Course - Photo by reviewerof the course. That’s the million-dollar question as a few years ago the two nines were actually switched! While the front nine was more in tune with a “golfer’s intuition” from a design and visual perspective, the back nine too often falls victim to the need for real golfers at the club to apply some golfing intelligence to a number of features. My humble observations include:

A) The 10th hole would be a thrilling opener. Amen.

B) The 11th hole is a par 5, which by itself is a brilliant hole, but when you put it under the magnifying glass, you’ll notice a questionable cluster of trees to the left of the green that blocks the sunlight and airflow resulting in unhealthy areas of scrubby land where the grass simply can’t grow. The green-site feels claustrophobic with excessive vegetation surrounding it too. Add in the overly undulating diagonal green, it’s far too penal for 99% of golfers and is not fun to play. A consideration is to thin out the trees around the green and improve the sunlight exposure.

C) The 14th is a downhill par 3 with two sets of tees in what feels like a Spanish Secret Garden. The issue I found with the primary set of tees is that there is a very large overgrown tree in front of the green which completely blocks your view of the flag if the pin is on the left side of the green. It just feels wrong. A consideration is to remove this non-value add feature.

D) If you look at early pictures of La Reserva, the view from the elevated 15th hole is often considered the signature hole. It sweeps downhill moving left to right and whets the appetite. When this hole was built, you could see the right side of the fairway and had an epic view of the putting surface. The problem today is that the club has let a large cluster of trees grow far too big which now completely block your view of the right side of the fairway, the lake and the green [see photograph]. This detrimental overgrowth is a terrible shame as the current visual of the hole suffers greatly from the original concept. A consideration is to get rid of all these trees completely and open up a fabulous view of the par 5 green restoring its days of glory and intrigue.

E) Similar to the 15th, the par 4 17th is a dog-leg right but unfortunately there’s a large cluster of unnecessary vegetation blocking the view of the strategic landing area, the lake and the green. The player has no idea that there’s water on this hole due to the visual obstruction, which is an awful shame as it would easily add tremendous value to the strategy from the tee. Too many balls get lost and this slows down play. A consideration is to get rid of all this vegetation to open up the clear vista towards the green.

F) The current 18th hole is an uninspiring short par 4 somewhat below and away from the clubhouse which offers no excitement. I played a long iron and a sand wedge into this highly anti-climactic finisher. It’s a perfect 9th hole to bring you back to the house. The two nines need to be switched.

When you consider my humble observations, it’s clear that massive improvements can be made to La Reserva without much investment. It’s the simple changes to the back nine that could yield such progress and turn this solid course into a great course. The club executives need to adopt the mindset of a golfer and quickly realise the swift enhancements that are sitting in front of their eyes. I look forward to returning to La Reserva as it is quickly establishing itself as a “must play” venue while in the same neighbourhood of nearby Spanish giants.

January 11, 2016
8 / 10
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Maciej Nachtlicht
I expected more from this course judging by its ranking. The design is great, but there were some problems with the fairways due to heavy rains over a 10-day period. It's worth a visit, but I preferred the quality of service at Finca Cortesin and Alcaidesa.
March 27, 2015
8 / 10
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Javier Pintos
I have to say we had the highest expectations on this course: the area, the architect, the reviews of our customers, etc made us think we were in front of something like Valderrama or Real Sotogrande, which is totally unfair. I was leading a group of 32La Reserva Golf Course - Photo by reviewer argentine golfers and La Reserva was the first stage of the trip. We were received by the staff in the magnificent club house and were led to practice facility, which is very good. Putting green is inmense and in great condition, even fun to bet some pennies before the start of the rounds. Attention to detail fro m the staff is really high. But the course in my opinion cannot be put together with the other big 3 (together with San Roque) and not even close to Finca Cortesin, Mr Robinson's last design in the Stogrande area. Some great golf holes (5,6,8,10,18) but also a couple which I found not good (par 5 15th). Course was in good shape, although not as close as Valderrama or Sotogrande, so the experience overall was pretty good. If I travel again, there are at least 5 courses I would choose before La Reserva, although for first timers it is a course to be played.
June 10, 2013
6 / 10
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Javier Pintos
August 04, 2021

I played this course 3 weeks ago, 9 years after that round. There have been changes as switching 9s to make it finish facing Club House (which was brutaly improved) and believe it has a stronger and more fun finale now. Course was again in pristine shape and greens rolling very very fast. It is a course that is not short, it doesn't give away easy birdies except par 5 6th hole. It is demanding and it yes changed my opinion as I would put it in the same table with Real, Valderrama and Finca. A great progress and procession by the Management towards a great experience and very good course, this week hosting LET.

Jan Nordstrom
Finally it was time to play La Reserva after last years plan rained away. And, to be honest, I don’t quite get it. After all the hype, the newest super course in Sotogrande etc. La Reserva - Photo by JanIs it a really good course, yes. Is it a spectacular course, in my opinion, no. Probably the best word I can think of when it comes to the course is solid, Cabell Robinson is a top notch architect, and the craftsmanship that has been applied to La Reserva is solid. There are no weak holes on this course, but, there are no truly spectacular ones either. Fair enough, the clubhouse and practice facilities delivers a statement to the ambitions of this club, but to me the course lacks that extra spice to make it truly stand out. Compare La Reserva to another great Cabell Robinson course, nearby Finca Cortesin, and in terms of playability, both courses are equally good. Given the choice I would rather play Sotogrande or the San Roque's in this area. Notable holes 2,5,7,8,10,11,15 and the 17th. I really enjoyed the 11th, comfortable room to bring out the driver on tee, for those long drivers out there if you try to make in two, pay attention to those clever fairway bunkers covering the green at 60 meters, and for those shorter hitters like me, note how they are cleverly lined up to put even more pressure on a already difficult approach, the elevated green is narrow to the line of play and the two greenbunkers are well placed, the fairway bunkers aren't really in play, but they somehow seem to be, great craftsmanship! -Jan
January 03, 2011
8 / 10
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Nick Mullen
Only open 7 years and La Reserva can proudly hold its head high when ranked alongside its more illustrious and established neighbours. The place oozes class from the moment you set foot on the property and the service is of the highest order. Cabell Robinson was an associate of Trent Jones before he set out on his own and for my first time playing one of his courses I was delighted to see that he has incorporated some of Trent Jones best facets alongside his own ideals into his design Philosophy.

The course is long, I played it from the back markers and it is a stern 7000metres, I am not totally opposed to courses of this length as long as the design allows the player to open his shoulders and meet the challenge head on. This is what I enjoyed at La Reserva, the course tempts you into taking shots on and having a go, it is risk/reward not from the penal sense but from the more enjoyable school.

The opener entices you with its downhill drive and is relatively short which eases you into the round. The "easing" is short lived for quickly your A game is called into action with the front nine possessing some bear like holes, the par 4 second played to a green guarded by a lake and the the par 3 6th at 240 yards requiring all but the driver for many, being the standouts in my opinion. At the 9th you play back uphill toward the clubhouse,uphill second shots are a common feature here but Robinson has fashioned them in such a way as to be more inviting and appealing than the usual way they are done.

The back nine starts with a great short par 4, a dogleg left played to a kidney shaped green guarded at the front by a swift flowing stream, anything short is dead and long leaves the player a very tough pitch. The back nine climbs onto higher ground and offers some tremendous views and cracking tee shots which really ask the golfer to "have a go". The finishing holes are top drawer. 16 is an excellent par 5, played from an elevated tee to a cascading fairway below, the green is long and narrow with a deep lake lying to the right, you could easily walk off this hole with a 4 or a 7 on your card without having played the hole too badly. 17 is stroke index 1 dogelgging to the right, the green is severly contoured and a four is an excellent score here. While 18 is a tremendous finishing holes with the approach played to an angled green set slightly above the level of the fairway.

I thoroughly enjoyed my day at La Reserva, everything about the place is top notch to the last detail. The conditioning of the course is up there with the best on the Costa del Sol and the greens were some of the slickest I have ever putted on. From the clubhouse to the range, the sky is the limit for La Reserva and for a place with lofty ambitions we could be looking at a future European Tour venue.
January 02, 2011
10 / 10
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BRIAN MOSS
Played La Reserva as part of a golf trip last week. great experience - beautiful course with great greens. and many interesting holes. they seemed to have a major problem with some of the fringes but otherwise a thoroughly enjoyable day - they certainly look after you here. for me not quite in league of Finca or Sotogrande but not far behind. don't miss it..
October 11, 2010
8 / 10
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Alex Westenfield
Played in Oct. 2009. Course was very nice with elevation changes, definitely need a buggy for this one. Nice trees and water features. Good lunch in the clubhouse afterwards as well.
June 21, 2010
6 / 10
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Anders Freund
Just arrived home from Marbella. We were guys down there and are alle ok players with hcp. between 0-6. The first day we played Las Brisas: Nice course in very good condition. Nice atmosphere. It is a fairly short course, but still very nice. Second day we played Valderrama... Wow !!!! what a course. It was the second time we played it, and you keep on beeing surprised. Absolutly the best course in Spain. The condition is like no other other course. If you get the chance.. go play it. Third day we played Finca Cortesin. Olso a brilliant course in exellent condition. The service in that club is the best I have ever experienced. All though you need to rent a buggy. If not you will be gone after front nine. Then the fourth and final day we should play La Reserva. it was the first time for all of us, so we where wery exited. We had heard and read a lot of good reviews, also from in here. But it was a disaster !!!!!!! The course was in such poor condition that we have never seen anything like it.. We tryed to get our money back before we entered the tee, but that was not possible. Yes we could see the poor condition from the terresse.. It is ok that the course is in poor condition becourse of the hard winter. But is not ok that they dont inform you about this when booking. (140 Euro in Greenfee) Las Brisas gave us a discount for 40 euro per player when we arrived becourse they said the course was not 100% up to standard. Honestly.. we could not in any way see that. But there was nothing to do at La Reserva. Yes they excused for the condition, but they would not refund our money so we could those a nother courser. Poor Poor Service. I will never come there again
May 03, 2010
2 / 10
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Andy Newmarch
Very impressed with the course at La Reserva; neighbouring the hallowed turf of Valderrama and the Sotogrande Old course, this young course can hold its own. I played the course starting at the 10th and this is a great hole, a par-4 with a downhill drive, turning left, then a huge green protected by a water hazard at the front. The first par-3 on the back 9 is at the 14th, and is a beauty; only one bunker protecting but a really enjoyable hole to play. The best par-5 for me comes at the 15th; there is a chance to have a crack at reaching in two shots but the green is narrow and guarded by a large lake on the right side. The pick of the holes on the front nine are probably the 7th and 8th; the 7th is a par-5 and although not easy hole, there is a decent chance of birdie with a good drive. The 8th is a pretty par-3 with a downhill feel to it and emphasises the point that par-3's do not have to be long to be tough. The greens were a joy to putt on and the clubhouse feel is one of quality - I am sure that La Reserva will be enjoyed by most.
December 03, 2009
8 / 10
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martin murphy
I have had the pleasure to play this truly wonderful course on many occasions.Every time i go back to visit the course that and the hospitality get better and better.By far the best setup around the region .
October 17, 2009
10 / 10
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