Golf Del Sur Golf Feature Review
Golf Del Sur is a stunning 27-hole venue situated on the southern shore of Tenerife. The Club shares a border with a nature reserve to the East, the Atlantic Ocean to the South and has spectacular views up to the active volcano at Mount Teide in the North. The three loops of nine offer six different ways to play 18 holes.
The club celebrated its 30th birthday in 2017 and having attained Highly Recommended status from independent Golfshake reviewers, Ambassador Rob Treanor was despatched to report on playing the course as part of a trip to Tenerife.
A Quick Guide To Tenerife
The beautiful island of Tenerife delivers on year round sunshine and has an ideal climate for golf. The island’s volcanic heritage provides spectacular scenery to enjoy, interesting terrain to navigate and with temperatures in the mid twenties in December, it is one of the best destinations for a short haul winter sunshine break.
Though closer to Africa than mainland Europe, peak temperatures in the summer months are perhaps surprisingly capped at around 29°C; meaning golf can be enjoyed in warm but not stifling conditions throughout the year. The island boasts plenty of other activities including world-class water parks, zoos, trekking and canoeing. This means that golf at one of the island’s seven clubs can either take centre stage, or be one of a range of activities for visitors.
Intro To Golf Del Sur
Playing golf abroad should be fun, interesting and rewarding in equal measure. A combination of good course design, spectacular ocean and mountain views and an extremely friendly onsite team makes Golf Del Sur a truly memorable experience.
Wide, lush fairways on two of the courses contrast with a tougher (though equally lush) third nine, providing options to reward and challenge golfers at all levels. The scenery is literally breath-taking and the wind strength and direction can change rapidly, meaning no two rounds here are the same. An eye-catching feature protecting the course is the black sand, which is made of crushed lava granules and forms the bunkers. This dark matter plays as formidable as it looks and provides a unique and interesting test. If Hell has a golf course, you can bet it will have black lava bunkers!
The Links Course is closest to the Ocean and offers generous fairways, large greens with multiple layers and several water features to cross. The rippling fairways almost emulate waves on the ocean and whilst it is mid length, it often plays longer if the wind from the Atlantic is gusting in.
The opening hole on the Links Course has a wide, split fairway, though the extra elevation afforded by the left hand side, offers a line of sight to the green down below. The hole narrows as the undulating fairway progresses towards the green, which is protected front and back by bunkers. This hole provides a nice loosener to ease you in after a few cervezas the evening before.
The spectacular and challenging fourth hole features water protecting the approach to the green which golfers are forced to carry. This attractive feature has been remodelled to include a fountain and wildlife (but not golf ball) friendly waterfall. This good length par five tests distance control and trust, as the second shot needs to be played semi blind to the fairway just short of the water. This is a leap of faith in distance control to find safety on a stretch of fairway that thins as it approaches the wet stuff. The third shot is then played uphill to a thin, deep green on the side of a mound. A very good and testing hole, par is a great score here!
The short par 4 eighth hole offers a risk/reward decision from the tee. The green is reachable in a single shot, though the thin and wide shape is best accessed from either side of the fairway, depending on the pin position. Playing abroad with a group of friends, it is conversations about strategy on thought provoking holes like this, which add to the sense of fun and excitement on the round. Those who take on and successfully carry the black lava bunkers to reach the green, will no doubt be insufferable in the bar afterwards!
The North course offers beautiful views up to Mount Teide and the surrounding mountain range, before sweeping back towards the Atlantic Ocean. The fairways are typically generous, though some holes border the nature reserve which is out of bounds, so use your judgement to assess when to play safe from the tee. The fairways are lined with lush green palm trees that can block approaches from some angles, meaning planning your route is strongly advised.
The exceptional par 5 third hole plays away from the ocean and offers perhaps the most commanding views up to the top of the mountain range. Select one of the peaks as an aiming point for a controlled tee shot because anything which drifts to the right will be lost to the all consuming “barranca” (Spanish for canyon). The nature reserve accompanies the hole for its full length; a beautiful but unrelenting hazard. It is easy to see why this hole made it into a recent list of top 500 holes in the world!
The approach to the par 4 seventh hole is guarded by a lake spanning the width of the fairway. Whilst not a particularly long nor difficult hole in principle; being confronted with the threat of a wet ball adds an element of danger to the hole which is designed to be intimidating. A decent drive and a short iron should be enough to safely reach the short stuff, but it’s remarkable what a difference an expanse of water can make! This well designed hole will reward good play and lays in wait to punish sub optimal swings!
The South Course is a much more technical and challenging layout in comparison to its two siblings. The fairways are noticeably tighter with trickier obstacles to negotiate, the greens are more undulating and it is the strongest yardage of the three layouts. Having said this, it is tremendous fun to navigate around and if you don’t mind a challenge then this will suit you perfectly.
The second hole is world class. Nicknamed the “Fried Egg”, the green on this long par 3 is completely surrounded by the course’s trademark black lava, giving an island green feel. It is spectacular both to look at and play, and has recently featured in a list of the top 100 European golf holes; demonstrating the quality of the design.
The fourth hole is also exquisite. A short par 4, it offers a risk reward approach to a raised green either from the tee in one, or from the good-sized fairway in two. The safest ploy is to take enough club to clear the barranca and carry to the right hand side of the fairway; from where the depth of the green is greatest for your approach. Once safely on the green there are two tiers and some pretty savage undulations to impeding your chances of getting the ball in the hole. This is an extremely fun and stunning hole!
Golf Del Sur is immensely pleasurable to play. The views are outrageous, the course conditioning is excellent and there are some truly world class holes amongst this very strong collection of courses.
The club’s position on the South of the island makes the most of the sunshine and ocean views, allowing spectacular scenery, particularly at sunrise and sunset. Being sited next to a nature reserve, there is plenty of unique and interesting wildlife to experience on the way round. The club has also notably achieved ISO standards for sustainability using techniques such as recycling water for irrigation, demonstrating its commitment to the environment for years to come.
There is a full suite of practice facilities including a large driving range, chipping and putting greens. Whilst we found the course walkable, there are also plenty of buggies if you prefer this mode of transport.
Tenerife is a golfer’s paradise and Golf Del Sur offers a feast of golfing delights. Great holes, great weather and great views. If you haven’t been then you are missing out!
- Most holes are pretty generous off the tee, but a handful require precision so be aware of when to attack and when to defend.
- The black lava is fairly penal, so play to avoid where possible.
- The South Course features a couple of world class holes, though the challenging setup lends itself to match-play rather than chasing a low score.
- Sunrise and sunset are both stunning times to play given the positioning on the Southern tip of the island.
- Just book it - golf in Tenerife is an experience not to be missed!
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