The Best Golf Courses to Play in The Costa Brava
The Costa Brava is a coastal region of Catalonia in the north-east of Spain and is renowned as a holiday destination for many people, including golfers. We take a closer look at some of the best courses in the area that you can play, which can be accessed through our travel partners Golfbreaks.
The Stadium Course is not just the best golf course within the Costa Brava district, but it is highly regarded as the best in Spain as a whole. This wonderful layout has been continuously ranked among the top ten throughout Europe since it was opened in 1999 - it was voted #4 in Europe and #1 in Spain during 2019. Moreover, it is highly revered by the professionals who experience this sensational track. However, this is not a course for the newcomer to golf; it is challenging and requires your utmost attention if you are to escape unscathed.
There are trees pressing into fairways, strategically positioned bunkers and lakes ready to gobble up any balls that deviate from their line. The maintenance of the playing surface is seriously impressive and the warm climate ensures that golf can be played all-year round. The stunning dogleg on hole 6 will require a committed driver from the tee and the imposing beauty that the course sits upon will leave you in awe. There’s a reason why the Spanish Open frequently leans on this venue to host the oldest European Tour event.
Reason to Play: consistently ranked the #1 course in Spain.
The Tour Course is the sibling of The Stadium, but it offers increased forgiveness and a more relaxing round of golf than its older brother. Having noted this, is still provides a tricky challenge and will demand excellent ball-striking and intelligent thinking if you are to best its unique layout. Dominated by pine tress and extensive water hazards, this course may be slightly easier to navigate but the Angel Gallardo and Neil Coles design has ensured it remains a difficult test. It hosted the 2008 European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage which is a testament to its design and playability.
The majority of the holes contain fairway bunkers so precision will be mandatory if you hope to score well in the Spanish sun. However, the main difference between the two is that minor mistakes are not often punished as much as the premium 18. For risk takers and longer hitters, the par-5s will provide plentiful opportunity to get on the green in two and this stunning layout encourages players to use all of their skills and to utilise their entire toolkit. If the Stadium intimidates you, then the Tour Course will provide an excellent alternative.
Reason to Play: stunning views with reduced difficulty.
Golf de Pals is the oldest golf club on the Costa Brava, with initial course sketches being published as early as 1961 in Destino. However, the work did not take place until 1964 but upon completion, the venue opened its doors in the summer of 1966 - originally as a 9-hole course. Two years later and the track completed its 18-hole vision and the Spanish Open was held here during 1972. While it is yet to receive further hosting rights on the European Tour, it regularly acts as a Final Qualifying venue for those who are seeking Tour status.
Fred W. Hawtree is responsible for creating the first golf course on the Costa Brava and the track itself is situated on flat land which results in tremendous drainage all-year round. The tree-lined fairways will warrant your attention from the off, as anything either side of the targeted landing zones will result in strokes being lost. There are five par-5s present throughout the course, which has pushed its par to 73. While it opens welcomingly - with three forgiving par-4s - the final stretch will demand excellence as two long par-5s sit between the par-4 17th that doglegs to the right. Patience will be the theme of your round, as you’ll need to choose your moments carefully to attack.
Reason to Play: oldest course on the Costa Brava.
When it comes to beauty and scenery, you’ll struggle to find a more attractive landscape than the one that sits on the site of Club Golf D’Aro - simply magnificent. The layout was designed by Ramon Espinosa in 1990 and it would later be recognised as ‘Best European Golf Course’ by the European Society of Golf Courses Architects - a serious credential. The track itself is located more than 300 metres above sea level which results in its centrepiece: the mesmerising, panoramic views over the Mediterranean and the mountains of the Gavarres massif.
The course is difficult, too. Really difficult. There’s a local rule that allows certain hazards to be considered as lateral water, which will help higher handicapped players as they will inevitably lose a ball (or ten). The deep ravines are also waiting to gobble up any balls that betray their envisioned line so be wary as you traverse the course and it is mandatory that each shot is struck well and has the full commitment of the golfer. Its par is 72 and ranges a whopping 6,800 yards from the back tees. While distance may be helpful, accuracy will be needed if you are to conquer the course. It is vital you plot your way around the track if you are hoping to have any remaining balls after the 18th.
Reason to Play: best views on the Costa Brava.
Club Golf Costa Brava is another on this list that has a rich history. It is one of the first to be built on the Costa Brava and the club prides itself on its social aspect. Whether you are a full-time member or an occasional guest, no visitor is treated any differently and you will experience fantastic and friendly service while you visit the venue. Nestled in the heart of Emporda - which is known for its historical connotations with painters, writers and chefs - lies this natural beauty that boasts a fascinating personality.
There are 27 holes in total and the layout can be played in two different scenarios: the Green and Red round. The former is the original layout, dating from when the club first opened its doors. The first nine are present on a gentle slope and the second half is based on flatter terrain - which runs towards the Vall D’Aro. The red round includes the second part of the green circuit plus newly developed holes that were designed by Jorge Soler Peix in 2014. With plentiful water surrounding the course and undulating, lightning-quick greens, your short game will be tested to the maximum as you hope to carve a good score around a notoriously tricky course.
Reason to Play: great course and unrivalled social aspect.
For more information and packages for the Costa Brava, visit Golfbreaks!
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