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 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!