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• Holes - 18
Santa Maria Golf Course
Santa Maria Golf & Country Club, as the name suggests, is far more than a golf club. Based around an 18th century “cortijo” which is currently the clubhouse, the grounds boast stunning gardens and fine leisure facilities including tennis and lawn bowling.
Santa Maria prides itself on being one of the friendliest international clubs on the Coast and the existing membership, which is currently held to about 430 members, is made up of 14 different nationalities.
The golf course traces the contours of two valleys, in which streams and lakes form natural hazards, and starts with a fairly straightforward par-4 requiring little more than a 3-wood and short iron. Then comes a par-5, something over 450 metres, which doglegs slightly to the right. The fairway runs parallel to the first with the third hole sandwiched in between.
The sixth tee is located on top of the new motorway, yet it is so well done the majority of golfers will be blissfully unaware of the cars whizzing along underneath their feet. This is a very good section of the course as the par-4 sixth hole, played to an elevated green, is followed by three excellent holes. The seventh is a terrific par-3 played from an elevated tee and this is followed by a par-5 which sweeps around to the right and requires two well placed shots to give a reasonable wedge to the green. The front nine closes with a par-4 where a tee shot will have to be hit well enough to enable it to carry a fair distance over water while the second will need more club than the yardage suggests due to the elevated green.
MORE FINESSE THAN BRUTE FORCE
Mainly due to a number of short par-4s, the front nine at Santa Maria require more finesse than brute force and the player who likes to “thunder” the ball will have to wait until the back nine before an opportunity to open the shoulders arrives. The 11th is quite a spectacular hole and, although it may be for all the wrong reasons, the lake and waterfall beside the green are sure to create many memories. The fairway of the par-5 13th doglegs at ninety degrees to the left but the second shot may be hit over the angle, as the landing area is quite generous.
The finishing stretch of three holes at Santa Maria is quite strong and the obvious attention to detail taken by the green-keeping staff lifts the golf course above many others in the area.
THE 19TH HOLE
The restaurant has a large patio area with very comfortable seating. The varied menu is attractively priced and the service is attentive and courteous. Although Santa Maria has many members, the golf club management recognise the great necessity of income from green fees and take pride in the courtesy extended to them. Long may that attitude to visitors continue.
Santa María Golf & Country Club
Elviria, Marbella (Málaga), Spain
Tel: (+34) 95 283 10 36
Fax: (+34) 95 283 47 97