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• Holes - 18
Alferini Golf - Villa Padierna Golf Club
Opened in 2007, this course is part of the luxury development surrounding the Villa Padierna Hotel. It is the second (of three) courses at Villa Padierna Golf Club. Designed by their Green Keeper Cristóbal Guerrer.
With a length of 6,641 metres, it is one of the few par-73 courses on the Costa del Sol.
The golf course is fully integrated into the landscape. Water is a dominating feature here, with four large lakes forming part of this long course, two of them completely surrounding the green of the par-3 14th hole. The greens are wide, compensating for the fairways which require precision shots.
Alferini Golf is a tough course, that will even stretch the low handicappers. You will definately need a buggy for the hills. It is an ideal course to hold large competitions.
Address: Ctra. de Cádiz km. 166. 29679 Benahavís, Málaga.
Directions: turn right off the N-340 highway at km. 166 after El Paraíso and before Cancelada. The course is located some 500 metres inland. Map
A grand Italianate palace decorated in classical style, with an elegant and exclusive air which attracts many other celebrities including Michelle Obama who stayed in 2010. Located in the heart of Villa Padierna Golf Club.
ENDLESS GOLFING THRILLS AMIDST STUNNING COUNTRYSIDE
By Eamonn Power
Although not for the faint-hearted, Alferini offers a thrilling test of golf during which all aspects of a player's game, and nerve, will be challenged. Uphill and down dale, this startling design wends its way through stunning countryside which, before the arrival of the golf course, had not seen human activity for centuries.
Having said all that Alferini is not a course for the high handicapper; even from the yellow tees it demands a degree of skill which will be beyond the capabilities of many. Long carries, narrow fairways and disaster beckoning at every hand's turn, a high handicapper would require a barrow full of golf balls to get around. On the other hand those with a reasonable ability to control a golf ball will relish the challenge presented, yet few will defeat it.
Although only 300-metres long the opening hole provides an immediate picture of the dangers in store; an ever-present ravine, fairway bunkers and narrow landing areas; accuracy is the only key and will remain so for the entire round. The fourth is a par-5 where the drive is required to carry a wide chasm before it reaches the safety of a fairway. It then swings around to the right and travels upwards to an elevated green which has a bunker built into its face. The final hole on the outward journey is a par-4 and what a panorama unfolds as the gaze centres on a mountain towering overhead. with a single white house standing forlornly in its midst. The fairway is bordered on one side by sand, and the other with palms, and as it approaches the green a lake on the right narrows the landing area considerably.
The par-5 16th is a real frightener and one which will leave many players standing with mouths agape at its severity. From the yellow tees, the carry across a ravine must be fully 200-metres and will surely be beyond the capabilities of many. As the eye takes in the golfing horrors which lie in wait, the strip of landing area appears to grow smaller. The ravine, which yawns out in front, then continues up the left-hand side, making it a totally no-go area, while the opposite side is no great bargain either. Standing on the tee of the par-3 16th the only thing to focus on is the green which lies 175-metres in the distance. The solitary part of the target not surrounded by the ravine is the right - and that is sheer rock-face. The course comes to a conclusion with yet another stunner where, from the tee, the views out over Gibraltar are quite dramatic while four paces in front of the tee marker there is a drop down into a rocky canyon. This time the carry is a mere 140-metres! The landing area is flat and, at the half-way mark, it starts a downwards journey in a series of humps and hollows before dropping sharply down into a hollow before a green adorned with a necklace of bunkers.
The finishing three holes are certain to remain vivid in the memory; the fact that those same holes may have totally destroyed a good card in the making will be quickly forgotten.
Golf Pro Shop - Restaurant Hole 55
The ultra-smart professional's shop at Villa Padierna Golf Club displays its own distinctive collection of clothes, while the service in the Hole 55 Restaurant is attentive without being intrusive. The visitor's locker room, although not very spacious, is kept immaculately and the walls are adorned with some marvellous black and white photographs of golf in a bygone era. A selection of delicacies available for lunch included swordfish and chicken in almonds and all could be enjoyed on a patio overlooking the first fairway of the old course.
Reasonably proficient golfers will relish the challenge presented by Villa Padierna Golf Club and, although many will have to hoist the white flag in surrender, all are sure to thoroughly enjoy the experience whilst wallowing in the extravagant beauty of their surroundings.