Marbella Golf and Country Club have endured some torrid times since Robert Trent Jones first designed the course in 1989 – the original club went bust and then a motorway was built through part of the property so it’s pleasing to see the course come through such trauma largely unscathed.
Laid out on a difficult, hilly site just outside the fashionable resort of Marbella, the course routing makes the very best use of the available landscape, setting up many spectacular uphill and downhill shots across a number of ravines.
Throw into the mix some excellent bunkering, fabulous green complexes, well placed water hazards and – along with many marvelous scenic views – you have a heady golfing cocktail that almost overpowers with its intoxication.
Apart from the 8th, a lengthy short hole set in an olive grove, the par threes are something of a let down in comparison to the others. To balance against this disappointment, the 2nd is an excellent, double doglegged par five and the nine holes from 7 to 15 (par three 10th excepted) are great examples of the old master architect at his best.
Played at beginning of March 2021 and was really satisfied. First of all very acceptable price for green fee with buggy (it is advisable to take). Also all in one – small but pretty driving range, practice green, clubhouse and first tee at the few steps. Concerning architecture and picturesque this golf course is pretty nice and not boring with some of attractive views. In general condition of fields and surroundings were average, but fairways playable, greens was very fast (what was surprised) and unpredictable. Golf course is not very challenging, but concerning unpredictable greens you must be very careful to atack pin from every distance. I was played from yellow tees and most of par4 was easy. All you need is some accuracy and bit distance from tee. For long hitters mostly par 5 greens are reachable by two and some par 4 – by one! (1st, 4th & 8th with favorable wind are reachable with first drive). There are water hazards on the 3th, 6th, 12th, 13th, 15th and 16th holes. So you can find hazards and hilly landscape here for challenge, but if play safe it is not big deal to putt nice digits on scorecard. Concerning picturable views is very pleasant to play here. Game success depends on wind also. Cozy clubhouse. As was mentioned buggy is recommended. I‘m not old man and can walk a lot, but quality of game will be very average I guess. Value for price I found very high. Staff is other part of this golf club and definitely not the bright side. I am well aware that times are not favorable now, quarantine and so on. But elementary customer focus and courtesy should not be forgotten, especially since there aren’t really many customers at the moment.
No doubt every golf course rating is always a subject with a lot of subjectivity, depending on various criteria. I always rating by the 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. Concerning Marbella Golf Country Club my personal opinion is follow:
1. Challenging - 4*
2. Condition – 3,5* (could be better)
3. Service - 3*
4. Surroundings - 4*
5. Value for the price - 5*
I‘ll back here to play again next time.
Played this one back in 2013 and it failed to be memorable although it was a fun experience with 36 argentine friends. In between the mountains like many of the courses of the area, with the classic touch of RTJ this is one of those with decent value for money although not a great one.
Some great views, a number of dramatic carries and good greens make it an enjoyable holiday course.
I played it again on Friday after 7 years and I have the same sensation but with some regrets on a couple of holes: 4th is too dramatic for the average golfer, it is an all or nothing carry. Then 5th and 8th are what the piece of land allows, but there is very little room for lateral misses and that for average golfers is a drama with lost balls and penalty shots.
Then 6th in my opinion needs to be worked out: after a good driver my mandatory shot was a lay up before the stream (with the PW) or an alternative 7-8 iron before the pond. I don't like it, I know it is a par 5 but I feel the alternative to go for it has to be there.
9th is a very good par 3, we played in strong wind and that huge green was a real challenge. The other 2 par 3s (11 & 16) are very good ones in the direction of the ocean. 12th demands a good tee shot to get up the hill and roll to a short approach, if not it is a very difficult hole.
I usually have regrets with par 5s in these "technical" courses and it also happens with 13th where they lay up second shot is tough for mid handicappers and the pond should be cleaned of bushes to have a nice view of the green.
14th and 15th are 2 good 4s, especially second shot up the hill on 15th. And the final hole demands a good tee shot and if you putt from over the hole ... lightning fast!
As said before, a good course and experience, there will be always room for improvement and playing it in this wind was really fun!
Played this course for the third time this year and think it gets better each time I play it. The course is in good condition throughout, and although the greens aren't the quickest around, they still roll fair and true.
The lead up to the club is impressive, as is the clubhouse itself with a very grandiose feel to it.
The front nine is fairly tight, and I don't think I used my driver until the 8th hole - the 4th in particular is quirky and can lead to some backlogs with people hunting for balls and not using the call through system.
Won't be the easiest course for the higher handicappers, but I would say it's one of the more pleasurable courses to play in the area.
In bad shape for a private club... if it would be more take care of, because the design of the course is interesting!