Golf in Marbella, Spain Day One: So that's why it's the 'Costa del Sol'
MARBELLA, SPAIN – About 16 hours into my journey in Andalucia on Spain’s southern coast, I’d see nothing but constant rain. And as we showed up to our first golf course of the trip, the Gran Flamingo Golf Club, there seemed to be no sign of a break.
I was minutes away from proclaiming the “Costa del Sol” false advertising.
But alas, the clouds finally moved away and by about noon the sun made it’s first appearance. I was at a proper vantage point when it happened: the Flamingo New Course’s 18th tee box, which overlooks the Mediterranean and you can see not only the Rock of Gibraltar but even a hazy Morocco in the distance. It’s a captivating, albeit intimidating elevated tee shot (see below).
So after a wet start, this trip seems to finally be in the right direction.
But the good news about a Spain golf holiday, is that even if you can’t tee it up, there are options: most notably stuffing your face with tapas and wine. The golf in Costa Del Sol is good, sure, but you travel across oceans to come here for the gastronomy, not to mention the sights and historic towns.
After golf I headed up into the mountains with Sergio Rifugio, General Manager of Cooking Holiday Spain to Ronda. He’s a passionate lover of food and wine, and he took me to his favorite joints in town, including a fantastic modern tapas restaurant, as well as Spain’s cured ham-cutting champion’s bodega. For drink, we visited Joaquin Fernandez’s winery, Sergio’s favorite of about a dozen wineries in the area that specialize in making local organic wines (stay tuned for a full feature on Ronda’s many highlights).
Suffice to say, after my first full day in the Costa Del Sol, I’m going to bed fat, drunk…and gastronomically enlightened.
Stay tuned to WorldGolf.com for plenty more on the week’s activities, including a round at legendary Valderrama Golf Club Friday…
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