Twenty minutes driving time inland from the exclusive Marbella Club Hotel, the Golf Resort and Riding Stables are situated in the hills at Benahavís, where golfers and horse lovers alike can enjoy fantastic views of the Sierra, the Costa and the North African coastline as they indulge in their sporting pursuits.
Designed by Dave Thomas, the 18-hole Marbella Club measures just over 6,900 yards from the back markers and it has a hefty par of 73 to match the yardage. Green sites and bunker complexes have been constructed to a very high standard and water, in the shape of lakes and waterfalls, has to be negotiated several times around the course.
Two loops of nine holes are routed over hilly terrain, returning to the clubhouse at almost the lowest point on the course so golfers can sometimes feel it’s a case of “up hill and down dale” here. With limited numbers of hotel guests playing, average times between tee-times are around half an hour so there’s absolutely no need for golfers to worry about course rangers moving them along here.
You won't find many reviews of this course since it was private not so long ago. It is a real "gem" with fantastic views, superb fairways and excellent greens. It is better to be invited since that reduces the green fee substantially... Recommended for lower handicaps since it is rather technical if not really difficult.
You have to be joking surely? 6 balls for this course is an insult to the numerous other better courses in Marbella. The reviewer below summed it up perfectly. "Another Costa de Sol course built on a site not suitable for golf." Enough said.
Played this course every year for the last 7. In my opinion it is a cut above most of the those in Marbella. I think it is a fair test of golf with some challenging holes. Most (if not all) hole are interesting without being "Mickey Mouse". I did notice this year that was looking a bit frayed around the edges with not the usual attention to detail.
This course is inland from the resort area of Marbella and is hence located in the foothills of the mountains. As a result of this you find a course which is extremely varied and very challenging with many elevated tees, drives over valleys and ravines and extremely tight fairways and well-protected greens. Water comes in to play on a good number of the holes and the bunkering on the course is excellent.
Right from the first hole you know what you are getting with a precise tee shot, blind, to a narrow fairway, the second is then something of a signature hole – a short par 3 across a heavily wooded ravine. By the 6th we were in to a sequence of three par 5s and hesitated to use the driver on any of them given the tightness of the holes cut between the hills. The 6th is a lovely hole with the tee position so elevated you can see Gibraltar and Africa in the distance.
On the back nine there are so many great holes – the 10th again provides yet another extremely elevated tee shot to a tight fairway and green. The 13th is a great dogleg par 5 where you can cut the corner if you are long enough. Any great course needs to have a sequence of great finishing holes and this course certainly has that – a 200-yard par 3, two long par 4s and then a fantastic par 5 played again from an extremely elevated tee!
The course was in excellent condition with the greens nearly as fast as Valderrama. In terms of green fees it was not the cheapest (100+ Euro), but we did have the course to ourselves. I believe it is quite expensive to join so the membership is limited. Having played Valderrama the following day, which is undeniably a fantastic course, I felt (as did my friends) that this course was equally an enjoyable experience and offered an excellent test of golf. It is a hidden gem located away from the resort courses and one that I would recommend to anyone who is looking for a fun but challenging round of golf on a true championship course.