Located close to the well-established Villamartin course (which hosted the 1994 Mediterranean Open, won by Jose Maria Olazabal), Las Colinas is a modern Cabell Robinson design that’s set within an upmarket 815-acre residential development on the Costa Blanca.
Fairways are generally wide and forgiving and they’ve been laid out in two returning nines that twist out and back along the floor of a valley with the back nine somewhat unusually configured with three par threes, three par fours and three par fives.
The forested hills that overlook the course offer a feeling of seclusion with holes routed around a handful of lakes which help to stiffen the challenge, particularly on the closing six holes where only the par three 17th is free of any water hazard.
It’s too early to designate a signature hole for a layout that only opened in 2010, but the 544-yard 18th is a real contender with a fairway that snakes past a small lake short and right of the home green.
Played it end November 2021. My second showing at Las Colinas.
Course condition was immaculate, absolutely flawless (just like my first visit).
Course opens with two difficult long uphill par 4s, getting past those, the place is pretty getable. It's a wide track protected by very little rough, beautiful trees, hilly terrain and with plenty water in play. The 18 holes are stunning, the construction side surrounding it? No so much.
The greens were in 10/10 condition (as in perfect!), which always lifts the experience. For the second time running, I found them rather grainy, in a way which I couldn't solve. My playing partner made everything he looked at, so it is doable.
After playing the course two times, I feel the course has a slight tendency to punish good shots and a strong tendency to reward poor shots. All of the small quirky hills and hazards can make for some interesting bounces.
Note: Almost every hole on the course is certain death one one side and open for a "bail-out" on the other.
Beautiful practice facilities.
A very fun course and it has been in great condition when we have played it. The only negative for me it’s quite far between some of the holes. I recommend taking a buggy.
Looking back at recent editions of the Spanish Top 100, Las Colinas made a big leap up the chart into the national Top 20 in 2018, which was quite an achievement for a layout that had previously occupied positions in the low 40s. It’s also now a ranked course in the Continental Europe Top 100 listings so much was expected on my visit here last week – I’m glad to say it delivered on all counts.
It’s a modern Cabell Robinson design, which in itself is as good as guaranteeing it’ll be a top track as I’ve yet to come across a mediocre course amongst a dozen of the architect’s productions I’ve played in Europe and Morocco. Cabell has probably used a number of different construction companies to build these layouts but there’s a definite consistency across every single project, especially in relation to the array of impressive fairway and greenside bunkering.
There’s ample width on all the fairways, which always helps on any resort course frequented by players with a wide range of golfing abilities, and there’s a choice of five tees on every hole to allow golfers to play a length of course measuring anything between 4,600 metres and 6,300 metres. Unfortunately, there are one or two long walks from the green just played to the next tee so bear that in mind if you decide to carry your bag round here.
Construction work on peripheral housing developments might be a distraction for some but I’m afraid (as with my recent visit to PGA Catalunya) there will always be an element of residential work going on to a greater or lesser degree at some part(s) of the property so it’s just something you have to get used to at many high-end resorts.
It’s a relatively tough start to a round at Las Colinas with the opening two par four holes rated stroke index 7 and 1 on the scorecard (or, rather confusingly, S.I. 2 and 8 on the course guide booklet) so don’t expect to ease into things – you’ll have to be on your game right from the off, otherwise you might end up standing on the tee of the downhill par five 3rd hole feeling a wee bit punch-drunk.
Both the 3rd and 5th play to water-protected greens but you’ll not see another water hazard until you stand on the tee at the 13th. At each of the intervening holes, you’ll come across plenty of sand, especially at the uphill par four 6th, the right doglegged 9th, and the long par five 11th; with all of these holes featuring wonderfully elevated greens.
My only gripe was with the very short par three 7th, where the front to back tilt of the green offers little chance of staying on the putting surface when the pin is positioned at the back, with balls rolling further downhill beyond the green into scrub. A nice little coffin bunker at the rear would give players a decent chance of a recovery shot, instead of extricating their ball from bushes, as I did.
Five of the final six holes have ponds in play, though the one to the left of the 13th tee shouldn’t really cause any bother unless you execute a big hook instead of a controlled fade towards the flag. An attractive little stream fronts the green at the par three 14th; the par five 15th features an intimidating peninsula green; the par four 16th is a cape hole, requiring a daring tee shot over water to the left of the fairway; and the 18th has water lurking to the front right of the putting surface, offering a final opportunity to trip up before departing the home green for the clubhouse terrace just yards away.
I was lucky enough to get a chance to have a few words with head greenkeeper Roque Perez and Simon Doyle, Director of Agronomy for Troon Europe, who just happened to be on one of his frequent visits to advise the club on all things grass-related – if golfers only knew a fraction of what it takes to keep places like Las Colinas in tip-top shape they’d be much more appreciative of course conditioning.
This course is great and deserve a better ranking. It is an amazing course for good players as it can be challenging from the back tees (not the whites, the blacks) and also offers an enjoyable challenge from the front for less experienced players. I went on multiple occasions and I have nothing to complain. The course is great and kept in superb condition, the staff are super nice and do their job to perfection. The restaurant is good and affordable for a place like that. I haven't tried the "good" italian restaurant yet but it looks good. The practice area are also very pleasant, there is a new chipping green which is much better than the "old" one to practice. The range is of grass when it is possible.
If I have to point out a negative, it would be that there is multiple building sites near the course, but it does not ruin the view in my opinion. The course will be even greater once everything is finished.
Las Colinas golf course extends across the valley between the hills, blends naturally into the landscape. The width of its fairways, the design of its extensive undulating greens, and the numerous tees at each hole give it great versatility and could be suitable for professional competitions, also offering for any player enjoyable and challenging game. It‘s very new course, opened in just 2011 (mention in table on club house), and looks very good maintained. My opinion it is clear resort style championship golf course with wide fairways, big greens and nice surroundings. I was played in early December of 2019 from white tee. 18 holes, PAR 71 course is not very complicated, but challenging for experienced players. Accuracy and distance are keys as you navigate the fairways. The biggest challange is distance in several holes like 1st par 4, 2nd par 4 (with a narrow exit from the white tee in additional), 11th par 5 (lined by bunkers in additional) & 17th par 3 (was more than 200 meters from white tees). Actually also was windy day and was bit difficult to predict ball landing place right as was played first time. Condition and maintence was in very high level. Nice and comfortable to play. One important thing is huge distance between several holes. We was with buggie and it let to survive us. One of my friend decided take a trolley… it was even fun watching him stand up barely breathing on the tee off after long way to uphill So my big recomendation for first time take a buggie.
Concerning prices it is not cheapest golf courses in Mursia region (you can use twilight offer to save money), but worth all paid moneys! Agreed that is one of the best courses in region and TOP10 in Spain. Service is good, clubhouse nice and new, 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. Las Colinas gets:
1. Challenging - 3*+
2. Condition - 5*+
3. Service - 5*
4. Surroundings - 4*+
5. Value for the price - 5*
Definitelly will be back next year.
Being from Denmark, Spain is the no. 1 country to visit for playing golf during the off season. Having played loads of courses near Malaga and Alicante, I must say that the design of Las Colinas is by far the best.
First of all, there are absolutely no boring holes on the course and you never feel walking around the same area, as the layout is around a big hilltop. The length is not overwhelming, and you can actually play the whole course without using your driver, but don’t let this trick you. Your short game must be A+ to go low on Las Colinas. Playing without course management, a single digit handicapper won’t even break 90. You will almost always find your ball from tee, but again this doesn’t mean you are secured a low round. I have played Las Colinas 6 years in a row, 4 rounds each time and only conquered it once with a 40 point round!
Absolutley world class design, and I am looking forward to come back once more in 2020.
Having played all the courses in the Murcia region this is by far the best. It does take a pounding and is full most of the time, hence the greens can suffer a little with unprepared pitch marks and some scarring but this really is a minor niggle for such a great layout. Clubhouse is great and staff very attentive. All in definitely worth a visit and it being anywhere other than top 3 in spain is a mystery to me, especially when seeing it lower than the likes of La manga west course!
Whatever you do, don’t take a look at the scorecard online and then take a look at a view of the course on Google maps and confidently predict that this will be a ‘walk in the park’. I can categorically state it most certainly will not! To score well at Las Colinas you must have a very good short game and be a good reader of greens. The complexes around many of the greens ensure your distance control with you wedges must be spot on. The greens are of a lovely pace, about 10.5 to 11 on the stimpmeter and very true. Put yourself in the wrong part of many greens and you can have a putt that can be treacherous; but they are a delight to putt on.
There is plenty of room off the tee but you must be careful not to get too greedy – reaching for the driver is not always the best option. There are multiple holes where there are an incredible number of bunkers (11th hole particularly, probably too many if you wanted to be picky, but staying out of them is crucial to scoring well. There are plenty of bunkers around the greens too but if you find them, the quality of the sand is fantastic to play out of.
There are many elevation changes throughout the course which have been cleverly used. Many of the shorter par 4 holes play slightly uphill and invariably into the prevailing wind too. So, if you lay up short of the traps you will find yourself hitting considerably more club than you thought you would be.
It’s hard to pick out favourite holes on a course of this quality. However, what I will say is that the start is undeniably tough. The first is not overly long but it is very narrow at the landing area if you want to leave a relatively short shot to the green. Lay up further back and you are then hitting over the corner of a bank covered with trees to a semi-blind raised green with bunkers and run offs all around; not exactly a gentle start to anybody’s round! The second is just over 400 yards long but rises steadily to the putting surface, The green is tricky and narrow with run offs especially tricky yo the left of the green. The third is simply a fantastic par 5. You really have to think your way down this hole with water very well placed as you near the green. As I say, you really have to come out of the traps quickly and holes 1 to 3 pose many, many questions.
What is noticeable with the design of the course is that many of the shorter holes play into the prevailing wind. This can get very strong on some day’s making reaching the 5th and 17th holes, both par 3’s very difficult. The remaining par 3’s on the 7th, 10th and 14th are lovely holes.
If the wind is blowing strongly, the finishing stretch from 15 to 18 can be tough too with water coming into play on 3 of those 4 holes. I particularly liked the par 4 16th which asks plenty of questions. The tee shot has to cross a lake; the more you bite off the shorter your second shot can be. Bail out right however and the opposite side of the fairway is protected by 3 well placed bunkers. The approach is none too easy either and has a fantastic three-tiered green: all in all a wonderfully challenging par 4.
I can't write this review without commenting on the 17th. What a tremendously challenging par 3 this is! It is quite long at 215 yards off the yellow tees, however, if the wind is blowing steadily then you have to hit a quality long iron/hybrid or fairway wood to get on the green here which is surrounded by a multitude of bunkers. Get a 3 here and you really do deserve a beer in the clubhouse!
I’ve always been a fan of par 5 finishing holes with water involved somewhere down the hole. The 18th at Las Colinas is, in my opinion, a tremendous hole. A generous fairway off the tee then narrows as it gets within 170 yards of the green with water on the right and a multitude of bunkers down the left. The green itself is fantastic with a huge ridge running through it’s spine:
a wonderful conclusion to a truly testing round of golf.
All in all, you won’t be disappointed if you play at Las Colinas. The course is excellent and with the recent addition of a Miguel Angel Jimenez designed short game area, the practice facilities have been further improved.
The course and facilities at Las Colinas are around seven years old and whilst there is still plenty to do off-course, the 18 holes are strong and very enjoyable to play but do choose the appropriate tees to get maximum enjoyment. I played twice in August and was +15 from the White tees (6049 metres) and +9 from the yellows (5550 metres) – so advice for mid handicappers would be the yellow tees.
This course has one of the toughest opening holes that I have played in a while; a par-4 (SI-2), 352 metres (Y) with a fairway that ‘pinches’ in after 220 metres and then sweeps left and uphill, this is serious start to a course and maybe too difficult to the round, just make sure you have warmed up. Another strong hole is the 2nd, 378 metres and slowly uphill all of the way to a great protected green that has brilliant run-offs. The 3rd hole is similar to the 3rd hole at Finca Cortesin in the south of the country. This is not a great surprise with both courses having the same designer, Cabell B. Robinson – the hole is a strategic par-5 with bold bunkering at landing point and to the right-side. For most, the key shot is the 2nd, laying up to attack the semi-island green. After that big three hole start, there is a little break at the 280 metre 4th but do not leave the approach shot short – a false front will take no prisoners.
The 6th hole, another fairly short par-4 has a theme that you are reminded of so many times at Las Colinas; there are too many bunkers on lots of holes here with a good percentage of them only there for aesthetic reasons, which must be a maintenance nightmare. A lot of these could be removed or combined and the course would still be very strong. In saying that, the ultra-short par-3 7th (105 metres) has no bunkers at all and it is crying out for one!
The 9th is a hole that I like a lot (not unlike the 9th at Finca Cortesin); a slight left to right par-4 to another well protected green.
The back nine starts with a pretty par-3 to a long green and this hole has a similar look to that of the 10th hole at nearby Las Ramblas, so that means there is trouble left and right of the green. The longest hole on the course comes at the 11th, which can play up to 598 metres for the very good players; and like the 3rd , getting in the right position to approach the green is the key part of the hole. The 13th favours a left to right shot from the tee and I quite like the hole but again far too many sand hazards is the theme of the hole with the bunker on the left side of the green just massive for the sake of it.
The final five holes are good and very good in places – the pick of the par-3’s is at the 14th – a good length at 142 metres, a touch downhill, over a small stream and a lake to the left – a very good looking hole and fun to play. The 15th is a 500 metre par-5 that plays into the wind on most days, with water in play from the tee (short and left) and then again at the green – this approach is not un-like that of the 3rd. An elevated tee shot pleases everyone and there is one on the par-4 16th but you need to land between water on the left and three nicely positioned bunkers on the right – advise when playing to the green would be to avoid the short/left area – great pot bunker and a strong run-off here. The penultimate hole, a long par-3 is all about the length and the green. This green has three distinct sections, so make sure you get the correct number to the flag with that laser. The 18th hole delivers and is a delight to play – standing on the tee, there is another Finca Cortesin comparison, their last tee shot is very similar and also semi-blind. Las Colinas’ last hole is the shortest of the par-5’s so does give the longer hitters a chance to go for the green in two but the lake on the right from 140 metres out, asks plenty of questions.
In summary Las Colinas is a very good course for one so young, I would say that during the next few years it can become even stronger and the current Spanish ranking of #41 does not do it justice – on the flipside though, one award for Spain’s Best Course is equally wrong; somewhere in the middle would be accurate in my opinion.
Look forward to returning and with the promise of some extra off course facilities in the coming years, I would say that the future is bright here.
When 16 golfers completely agree on how wonderful this golf course is, this is a sign of something special. This is a modern classic that will thrill you beyond believe. We are a small golf society that has travelled Europe for the last 14 years looking for the perfect golfing weekend, and that’s what we got in here, and more.
Las Colinas has the right mix of demanding holes and strategically placed breathers. The rhythm of the layout and the beauty of the surroundings is incomparable. The transitions are long in certain holes, no doubt, but it doesn’t matter when the course is that good. Every hole has something different, something particular, something challenging. The opener par 4 is a beautiful hole that requires finesse. Position is more important than length in your tee shot. That principle applies to the majority of the holes. The par 5 third hole is a gem. This course constantly teases you to try glorious shots. Your course management will be tested in many occasions. Greens are challenging but fair. Not too fast, certainly not slow at all. I could spend the next page or two describing the course, but I won’t. My advice is simple, go and play the course and fall in love with it as all the 16 players of my society did.
Finally, the management of the course is impeccable, I must say. So are the facilities. The staff is friendly and polite. The beer in the club house is cold and the food delicious, both served with a smile. This course is my favourite golf course in Spain by far. We’ll be back, that’s for sure.