Top 100 Golf Courses of Spain 2016

28 December 2015 Respond to this article

Top 100 Golf Courses of Spain 2016

We present the 5th edition of our Spanish Top 100 rankings

Once again, it’s time to present the biennial revision of our Top 100 rankings for mainland Spain, the Balearic and Canary Islands, but before we reveal the new chart, we’ll take a quick look at some the highlights. Some may feel that there aren’t too many exciting manoeuvres within the revised standings, though it could be argued that’s a good thing because it might just mean that we’re now aligning Spanish courses correctly.

First and foremost, the Stadium layout at PGA Catalunya remains in the top spot. The course ousted Real Valderrama from the number 1 slot four years ago and it’ll retain pole position in our Iberian chart for at least another two years. Owner Denis O’Brien might not be best pleased that his resort didn’t succeed in its recent bid to host the 2022 Ryder Cup but life goes on regardless and it was possibly the correct decision to award the matches to a European country that had yet to hold the event.

Real Sotogrande Golf ClubInching up a single place to number 2, Real Sotogrande returns to the runner-up spot in our new table, a position that it last held in 2008 when we first established our Spanish Top 100. The course also climbs eight places to number 7 in our Continental Europe chart so a “profound restoration” of the layout by former RTJ associate Roger Rulewich to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the club in 2014 has not gone unnoticed.

A couple of courses reclaim Top 10 positions, with both rising seven places to do so. The first layout is Robert Trent Jones Snr’s Real Las Brisas in Marbella, which now occupies the number 6 position. The course began its stint in the inaugural Spanish chart at number 5 eight years ago so it has now regained ground that had been lost, largely due to its recent Kyle Phillips renovation.

One spot behind, at number 7, comes Real Sevilla, which started out at number 8 in 2008 so this José María Olazábal design has more than made up for a short term dip in its ranking performance. Coincidentally, both of these tracks have previously hosted the once-prestigious World Cup of Golf in years gone by so perhaps they now have visions of recapturing some of their former glory.

Neguri Golf ClubNeguri climbs five places to number 13 and it also re-enters our Continental Europe Top 100 after a six-year absence. Located close to the Cantabrian coastline, just 20 kilometres north of Bilbao city centre, the Javier Arana-designer masterpiece at Campo La Galea is a fitting testament to the skills of a much underrated architect who set out the course for the club’s members when it moved to its present location in 1961.

The Top 100 Team visited La Manga a while back and we were very impressed by what we experienced. We’ve since listened to a number of well-travelled golfers who all told us we had the resort’s three courses ranked too low in the listings so we’ve taken corrective action, resulting in each of the three courses improving their position on the chart. The newest course, the West, leaps nineteen places to number 17 whilst the South, which hosted the Spanish Open five times during the 1970s, climbs ten places to number 27. The shortest layout on the property, the North, soars an incredible twenty-four places to number 39.

Alhama Golf MurciaThat’s a sensational jump but it’s not the biggest upward movement on the new chart as that’s reserved for Alhama, which was a new entry last time around at number 78. This Jack Nicklaus Signature course is one of half a dozen belonging to the “IRM Golf Experience” (formerly titled “The Nicklaus Golf Trail”) which offers golfers the opportunity to play at any of the six Nicklaus courses in its Murcia consortium for a discounted green fee rate. It rockets thirty-five places up the new Top 100 to number 43.

A total of 13 new entries are incorporated into our latest Spanish listings, two of which appear in the top half of the chart. La Moraleja (3) and La Moraleja (4) are exciting new additions to the Golf Moraleja brand in Madrid, with both tracks laid out in the municipality of Algete, some 20 kilometres northwest of the two old established courses close to the international airport. Number 3 course, a Jack Nicklaus Signature layout, debuts at number 19 whilst the number 4 track, by Nicklaus Design, enters at number 44.

In the bottom half of the table, the 18-hole Azul course at Escorpion Golf Club, near Valencia, comes in at number 58 and the resort course at Oliva Nova on the Costa Blanca muscles in at number 61. The spectacular New (North) course at Salobre in Gran Canaria tucks in just behind this Seve Ballesteros design at number 63 and it’s followed by another debutant at 79, Mar Menor in Murcia, which is a rather unique hybrid layout from Dave Thomas and Nicklaus Design, where two nines were fashioned independently.

Llavaneras Golf ClubOne of the oldest clubs in Catalonia, Llavaneras, was established in 1945, when Fred Hawtree laid out the original 9-hole course for the founding members. Subsequently extended to an 18-hole layout, the course has served golfers to the north of Barcelona for over seventy years now and it breaks into our new chart at number 82. Three places further on, at number 85, we have another new entry and this time it’s an unheralded Mallorcan tracked called Maioris, which has only been in play for around ten years. Such was the impression it made on a recent Top 100 visit to the Balearic Islands, it now finds itself quoted within the Spanish national listings.

We always welcome comments when we publish updated national rankings, so please feel free to let us know what you think of our new Top 100 for Spain. Have we left out a layout that really should be listed or have we included a course which doesn’t deserve recognition? Perhaps there’s a particular track sitting too high in the chart or there’s one lying too low? Please click the “Respond to this article” link at the top or at the bottom of the page if you’d like to give us your opinion.

Rank

Course

Move

1

PGA de Catalunya (Stadium)

No change

2

Sotogrande

Up 1

3

Valderrama

Down 1

4

El Saler

No change

5

Finca Cortesin

No change

6

Real Las Brisas

Up 7

7

Real Sevilla

Up 7

8

Puerta de Hierro (Abajo)

Up 1

9

Son Gual

Down 1

10

RSHE Club de Campo (North)

Down 3

11

Santander

Down 5

12

El Prat (Open)

Down 1

13

Neguri

Up 5

14

Puerta de Hierro (Arriba)

Down 4

15

La Reserva

Down 3

16

Club De Campo Villa de Madrid (Negro)

Down 1

17

La Manga (West)

Up 19

18

El Prat (Blue)

Up 1

19

La Moraleja (3)

New entry

20

San Roque (Old)

Down 4

21

Alcanada

Down 1

22

San Roque (New)

Down 5

23

PGA de Catalunya (Tour)

Up 2

24

RSHE Club de Campo (South)

Down 3

25

Pedrena

Down 1

26

Abama

Down 4

27

La Manga (South)

Up 10

28

Bonmont

Up 1

29

Golf del Sur

Down 2

30

Montecastillo

No change

31

El Bosque

Up 1

32

Anfi Tauro

Up 7

33

Emporda (Forest)

No change

34

Aloha

Up 7

35

Lumine (Hills)

Down 4

36

Ulzama

Down 8

37

Platja de Pals (Pals)

Down 11

38

El Rompido (North)

Down 15

39

La Manga (North)

Up 24

40

Santana

Down 5

41

Las Colinas

Down 1

42

Los Naranjos

Up 4

43

Alhama

Up 35

44

La Moraleja (4)

New entry

45

El Chaparral

Up 4

46

Mijas (Lagos)

Up 2

47

Emporda (Links)

Down 5

48

Arcos Gardens

Down 10

49

Tecina

Down 5

50

Guadalmina (Sur)

Up 10

51

La Moraleja (2)

Up 23

52

La Cala (America)

Down 18

53

Hacienda del Alamo

No change

54

El Cortijo

Down 11

55

Maspalomas

Down 8

56

Las Americas

Down 11

57

Fontanals

Down 6

58

Escorpion (Azul)

New entry

59

Desert Springs (Indiana)

Down 7

60

Malaga

Up 7

61

Oliva Nova

New entry

62

Torrequebrada

Down 8

63

Salobre (New)

New entry

64

Barcelona

Down 9

65

Son Muntaner

Down 1

66

Atalaya (Old)

Up 5

67

Rio Real

Down 11

68

Buenavista

Down 10

69

La Quinta (A & C)

Down 3

70

Lumine (Lakes)

Down 11

71

Alcaidesa (Links)

Up 6

72

Alhaurin

Up 1

73

Valle del Este

Down 12

74

Son Vida

Down 4

75

Sant Cugat

Down 7

76

Castillo de Gorraiz

Down 4

77

Mediterraneo

Down 2

78

Novo Sancti Petri (A)

Down 2

79

Mar Menor

New entry

80

Mijas (Olivos)

Up 10

81

Font del Llop

Up 6

82

Llavaneras

New entry

83

Los Flamingos

Down 26

84

La Cala (Asia)

Down 15

85

Maioris

New entry

86

Los Arqueros

Down 7

87

Lerma

Down 25

88

Islantilla (Verde & Azul)

Down 3

89

Montenmedio

Up 2

90

La Moraleja (1)

Down 7

91

Vall d'Or

Down 11

92

Rioja Alta

New entry

93

La Galiana

New entry

94

Puntiro

Down 13

95

Isla de Valdecanas

New entry

96

Marbella Club

Down 7

97

Costa Adeje

Down 1

98

Laukariz (1-18)

New entry

99

Marbella G&CC

Down 17

100

Palomarejos

New entry

To view the complete detailed list of the Top 100 Golf Courses in Spain click the link.

Jim McCann
Editor
Top 100 Golf Courses