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Valderrama is named after a very old Andalucian estate that became part of what is now the Sotogrande estate. Andalucia´s rugged beauty had a profound influence on two men, inspiring them in their work.
After World War II, Colonel Joe McMicking became a successful real estate developer, active in the Philippines as well as the United States. McMicking fell under the spell of the unspoiled Andalucian coastline the first time he saw it. He realized that, sooner or later, urban encroachment would change the coastline forever. After a long search, McMicking acquired three adjoining estates - Sotogrande, Paniagua and Valderrama. He disposed of individual plots for high-class residential development at a low density, calling the whole area Sotogrande. Here is the full history of Sotogrande
One of the first to build was Jamie Ortiz-Patiño, whose family had ancestral links to Spain. Ortiz-Patiño, who directed his family´s world-wide mining interests from Geneva, initially could visit his new home only three or four times a year to relax and play golf. Later he was able to spend more time there, and soon an idea began to take shape.
McMicking´s master plan provided for two golf courses. The first, which he laid out right at the start, was called Sotogrande. Ten years later, McMicking built Sotogrande New - but soon changed the name to Las Aves (The Birds). Both courses were designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr.
Ortiz-Patiño had built his home by the third green at Sotogrande, but he came to have a special regard for Las Aves. Ortiz-Patiño became convinced that if certain key parcels of land could be included and the golf course redesigned by its creator, it would become one of the world´s finest. Trent Jones had already stated that, of the hundreds of courses he had designed, Las Aves was one of his five favourites.
Sadly, Jamie Ortiz-Patiño died in a Malaga hospital on 3 January 2013, aged 82 a memorial service was held a the church in Sotogrande attended by family, press, groundsmen of Valderrama and golfer Miguel Angel Jimenez.
In December 2015, it was announced that the Valderrama Group had been bought by La Zagaleta Limited (owner of the ultra-exclusive La Zagaleta residential estate in Benahavís) for €40 million and that plans to develop a "Valderrama 2" golf, hotel and residential complex in the nearby Castellar municipality were now back on the front-burner.