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  • Writer's pictureGolf on Costa del Sol

Alferini Golf Course Review and Playing Guide

Updated: Feb 25

The Antara Villa Padierna Palace resort is a delightful place. The Roman theme with over 1200 pieces of artwork set amongst 3 golf courses make this prestigious resort a sought after destination.

The star of the show is the fabulous Alferini Golf Course.

With no buildings around the fairways – you are totally ensconced in nature, the flora and fauna are beautiful. I spotted some Deer footprints in a bunker. What a lovely reminder of how natural this course is. It is such a delight to think that we are sharing this wonderful place with beautiful creatures!

The valley walls, some metallic flint, others iron red that rise on either side of many of the fairways frame these holes perfectly adding to the visual delight. The unspoiled nature of the landscape around the golf course is uncommon on the Costa del Sol. Enjoy it now! At some point luxury homes and grand designs will replace this raw nature with ordered symmetry.

Similar to the more benign Flamingos course the designers have presented the challenge of each hole as viewed from the tee boxes in such a way that I often felt a mixture of awe, fear and inspiration.

Every hole is different – good to be in the countryside, from the tee it looks tight when in fact there is plenty of room – clever design.

Generally huge greens all subtly shaped to command your full attention.

Each hole presented its trouble clearly from the tee boxes. A clear no-go area on one side of the fairway, the effect of which made me aim away. Being brave, trusting your swing and not allowing yourself to be frightened by the obvious bear traps added hugely to the satisfaction.

This golf course has a reputation of being tough. It’s an accurate reputation. However it is also very fair. It will test the cerebral elements of you more than your physical ability to play the game. I found it to be a unique experience.

Imagine crossing a river on a stout wide bridge with safe handrails. Easy, no fear in your mind, no thought given to how you will maintain your balance. Now imagine crossing that same river on a bridge no bigger than a balance beam. The task you face is the same, It’s only a matter of one foot in front of the other, but it is suddenly much harder. You become full of doubt, the simple act of walking becomes far more challenging.

This is what Alferini Golf Course can do to you. The view of the hole from each tee box can induce such tension and immediately without supreme mental control you find your swing tightening and confidence eroding.

In fact, this is a measure of how well the golf course is presented. The serious trouble only exists on one side of the fairway. A clear NO GO ZONE. A miss on the other side might result in a dropped shot rather than a ruined hole and of course the fairways are all much wider in reality then they appear on the tee boxes. Hitting good tee shoots here is immensely rewarding!

The fairways are generous, the first cut of rough is not fatal and the greens are huge! Vast targets await you at the end of each fairway. Dreadful outcomes are only meters away from the periphery of each green, large bunkers, first cut lead to a tree line beyond which is native bush and terminal loss of ball. The greens are so big that missing them left or right requires a stinker of shot and probably deserves a lost ball!

Villa Padierna Golf Club is a delightful place. The staff and management team have created a club full of positive energy and charm. The Anantara Villa Padierna Hotel is a beautiful building and offers a sublime experience for its guests. The golf courses offer different experiences aimed at different golfers. Flamingos is a cracker of a golf course and will delight and tease golfers of all standards. Alferini Golf Course is a tournament standard golf course and is nothing less than  a spectacular experience.

It is very unlikely that mere mortal golfers will dominate this amazon layout. But whilst humbled, we will all be in awe of this outstanding course. 


Park underneath the Hotel, for green fee guests the first 5 hours of parking are complimentary.

The pro Shop and Caddy Master are accessible from the car park. Check in is easy, a large service area sits centrally in the Pro Shop. Smiling helpful staff will greet you, give you buggy keys and make sure you have all that you need to get the best out of the day ahead.

The Roman Villa themed pro shop is a very attractive place to be and very well stocked with clothing.

Adjacent to the first tee of the Flamingos course is the clubhouse and a good chance to grab a coffee on this fresh February morning.


  1. Clubhouse

  2. Pro Shop

  3. Driving Range

  4. Buggies

  5. Changing Rooms

  6. Showers 

  7. Lockers

  8. Club Hire

  9. Halfway House

  10. On Course Refreshments

Alferini Golf Course

Designer: Antonio Garcia Garrido

Opened: 2007

Alferini Course Par 73 Gold Tees 6648m White Tees 6217m Blue Tees 5841m Red Tees 5239m

Alferini Golf Course Front 9 Holes

Alferini Course Hole 1

Par 4 Stroke Index 5 Gold Tees 332m White Tees 308m Blue Tees 288m Red Tees 274m

Alferini Golf Course Andaluisa Spain Costa del Sol Villa Padiernaa Pa

The back tees are marked with Golden Globes in this case indicating a tree lined avenue stretching 332m into the distance. The fairway is set on a step between the rising flank of a valley wall on the left and deep ravine on the right. The ravine encroaches into the fairway at about 230m from the tee meaning that 210m is the longest, safest tee shot option on this hole. A bunker is visible on the right half of the fairway from the tee and marks the point where the ravine consumes the fairway. Just left of that bunker is the perfect line. Two important things to remember with this opening tee shot, do not hit it right and do not hit it more than 230m. If you heed those two criteria then this hole will treat you well!

Rather like the tee shot, the shot into the green is also intimidating. The front of the green is a promontory that juts into the and above the ravine. Two small bunkers guard the leading edge making the target look hopelessly small. Take a moment to steel yourself, look beyond that impossible target and behold the salvation of a vast and perfectly cut green. Your shot into the green should present no issue, the hard bit is overcoming the visual cues which scream mayhem and disaster!

The first green, and in fact all of the greens, are large, wonderfully groomed, devoid of blemish and run true. They are also hewn into a complex of contours so smooth and pervasive that total attention is required with each brush of the putter.

Alferini Course Hole 2

Par4 Stroke Index 1 Gold Tees 375m White Tees 359m Blue Tees 349m Red Tees 329m

Alferini Golf Course Andaluisa Spain Costa del Sol Villa Padiernaa Pa

This is a tough hole that requires thought and good execution. This is a dog leg to the left with the elbow just 150m from the tee.

The ravine which dominates many of the holes runs across the fairway 150m from the tee and tracks ominously along the left edge of the fairway before crossing again just 100m from the steeply elevated green.

You are left with a small island of fairway to find with your tee shot. The right side of the fairway is significantly higher than the left. The further to the right that you go the longer your second shot to the green. From wherever you are your second shot will play at least 2 clubs more due to the elevation of the green high above you.

Taking a line too close to the left edge of the fairway and your ball may bounce down to the ravine or you may overrun the fairway and find the ravine as it crosses the fairway a second time. This tee shot is fraught with danger. The news does not become better as the second shot is even tougher!

The green perched high above you on the hill top has a large bunker set in the bank below and to the right. The terrain slopes steeply down the hill to the ravine below and also the right which is marked with red stakes. There is no room to the right of the green or over the green or indeed to the left of the green.

You will be firing a long club for your second shot into this green. The only good news is that it is a really big putting surface. The sad reality is that many players will never see it!

As I played it I felt that the best way into the green was over the greenside bunker high on the left flank. I hit a 2 iron second shot that did not get high enough to carry the crest of the green and was caught, mercifully, in the front bunker leaving a 40m uphill bunker shot. The green is mighty quick if you find yourself above the cup.

A double bogey here is not a bad result!!

Alferini Course Hole 3

Par 3 Stroke Index 17 Gold Tees 224m White Tees 183m Blue Tees 167m Red Tees 116m

Alferini Golf Course Andaluisa Spain Costa del Sol Villa Padiernaa Pa

A beautiful par three playing downhill from the golden globes. The ravine crosses in front of the green from right to left about 30m short of the putting surface. A big green with a bunker at the back means that a good strategy is to over club rather than leave it short.

Between the front of the green and the ravine below is a slope giving 20m of space for shots that don’t quite make the putting surface. A small bailout area is available on the right, but really there is not much room to miss anywhere, you need to find this putting surface. The visual effect from the tee is alarming. It’s so hard to imagine how you can possibly miss the ravine!

If you can get past the intimidating appearance of the hole and truly understand the shot you need to play, which is one club more than you think at the heart of the green, then suddenly it all feels better! It really is a big green. It just takes a moment to realize it, so powerful is the intimidation factor created in your mind by the golf course designer!

Alferini Course Hole 4

Par 5 Stroke Index 9 Gold Tees 486m White Tees 447m Blue Tees 418m Red Tees 358m

Alferini Golf Course Andaluisa Spain Costa del Sol Villa Padiernaa Pa

The view from the 4th tee captures golf on the Costa de Sol at its best. This rustic mountain hinterland is beyond beautiful. It offers serenity. This is a good place to be.

This par five is another great hole. The suggestion of danger is enough to make this hole much tougher than it actually is! The ravine runs along the left of the tee box crossing the hole 170m from the tee forcing you to carry your tee shot 210m to reach the safe haven of fairway! The direct line to the green takes you perilously close to the left edge of the fairway when in fact there is abundant room on the right, another generous target.

A line comfortably right of the cart path as it disappears out of sight on the left is ideal. Anything longer than 240m from the tee is a good effort as the long gentle incline from the tee up the fairway makes the hole play longer than the numbers suggest. However a poke of 240m will give you a chance of reaching it in two strokes. The risk and reward balance makes it worth a go if you are long enough.

In this case the no go zone takes the form of the ever present ravine which runs along the right side of the fairway but will only come into play with a truly awful shot. The trouble on the left is not so onerous but nonetheless is best avoided. It is not fearfully close to the cart path and only the most clumsy of shots will find it!

Fairway bunkers 150m from the green on the right and 120m from the green on the left may catch errant second shots. There is nothing to fear here. The closer you can get with your second shot the more chances you have of making birdie! Two bunkers guard the frontal approach of this enormous green. Subtle contours over a large area make for big breaks on long putts making it more important that you are aggressive in your journey to the green so that you leave yourself the shortest possible birdie or par putt.

This really is the first scoring opportunity that Alferini has given its guests!

Alferini Course Hole 5

Par 4 Stroke Index 7 Gold Tees 361m White Tees 336m Blue Tees 318m Red Tees 298m

Alferini Golf Course Andaluisa Spain Costa del Sol Villa Padiernaa Pa

From an elevated tee the hole runs to the valley bottom before climbing 361 meters uphill towards the green. A wide fairway with the valley wall framing the left side. The ideal line for the tee shot is on the left half of the fairway which will open the angle of the slight dogleg right. The widest part of the fairway arrives beyond a bunker on the left edge of the fairway at 255m from the tee, a big hit when considering the elevation.

It requires considerable discipline and focus to control your tee shots well enough to find the favorable half of the fairway. This fairway is not narrow, but the mountain side on your left is so vast that it makes the fairway look impossible to hit. The use of topography to intimidate is a recurring theme and adds to the greatness of this golf course.

The trouble on the left can make the right side look very attractive, which whilst safe, will make your second shot far more difficult as you have to carry your ball over the rough and then over the crest of the elevated green to reach the target.

From the left side the opening to the green is flatter and although guarded by a large singular bunker is a much easier shot than that for the right side.

Whilst the tee box indicates a par 4 of medium length, the elevation makes it play 30m longer, consequently you will need much more club than you think to reach the green. More club means a flatter flight which multiplies the advantage of being in the right place with your tee shot. There is simply no way to hit a low running shot onto the green from the right side. If you allow the no go zone to bully you to the right then you will certainly drop a shot.

This is another huge green and makes a big target, which is fair as the shots required to find it are difficult. The surface itself is running fast with a complex set of contours which makes reading the breaks and the pace challenging.

Alferini Course Hole 6

Par 4 Stroke Index 15 Gold Tees 407m White Tees 365m Blue Tees 342m Red Tees 323m

Alferini Golf Course Andaluisa Spain Costa del Sol Villa Padiernaa Pa

The golden globes tell us this is stroke index 15 playing 407m down the hill. On the left of the fairway runs the cart path, just beyond that sweeps the valley wall and out of bounds. There is more room on the right as we have the previous fairway as a bailout area. In this case the no go area is to the left.

The green is visible from the tee, the best line for your tee shot is on the right side of the green.

Big hitters will be playing onto the narrowest part of the fairway. Anything up to 235m from the tee gives a generous landing area. From 235m to 260m the fairway is pinched by a pair of bunkers on either side. The truly mighty will be able to carry them all with no real danger to balance the risk reward equilibrium, (assuming that the monster hitter is not drawn to the out of bounds on the left!).

A large green welcomes you. The front center has a small bunker waiting for miss hit approach shots. More bunkers are sited on the front left and rear. There is 4m of apron around the green before the first cut of rough.

This hole is a welcome respite from the demands of the previous 5 holes and is another chance to back one back from the course!

Alferini Course Hole 7

Par 5 Stroke Index 11 Gold Tees 489m White Tees 477m Blue Tees 430m Red Tees 401m

Alferini Golf Course Andaluisa Spain Costa del Sol Villa Padiernaa Pa

The back tees are placed perilously far back on the side of a lake. A curious duck watched us walk to back tee boxes wondering if he should take shelter. From the tee the view is dominated by a huge lake in front of the tee guarding the front right side of the fairway. At the far end of the lake 130m across the water stands a statue of Julius Caesar. Behind the Emperor is another lake which runs another 60m! Needless to say, the no go area for this hole a vast magnetic body of water running 200m from the tee and to the right of the fairway!

This is a dogleg to the left where the widest part of the fairway arrives 240m from the tee. A bunker sits on the inside left of the dogleg at 220m from the tee, on the other side of the fairway another trap marks the outside edge of the elbow at 265m. The tiger line is to bash it over the left hand bunker into the narrowest part of the fairway avoiding the right hand trap from where the shot in the green is around 220m.

From the ideal drive between the two bunkers the hole narrows dangerously as it winds closer to the green. Out of bounds on the left and a line of pine trees on the right below which is the 14th fairway. The danger is very real, and even if I had managed a decent tee shot (which I most definitely did not) the risk reward balance screams at me to play it as a three shot hole.

A layup of around 150m is ideal and will find you the widest part of a not very wide fairway from where you have less than 100m into a generous green. If you play it this way, and if you execute the shots reasonably well then this scary par 5 need not hurt you!

This is a beautifully crafted par 5 using powerful visual cues to add to the playing experience. I could get used to this style of golf!

Alferini Course Hole 8

Par 3 Stroke Index 13 Gold Tees 206m White Tees 173m Blue Tees 152m Red Tees 135m

Alferini Golf Course Andaluisa Spain Costa del Sol Villa Padiernaa Pa

A long par 3 that requires some big artillery. A hole designed to terrorise.

The green is defended by a lake that wraps around the entire frontal access. To reach the green you need to fly the ball all the way, 206m of carry and then make it stop. Plan B is to lay up short of the lake and have a 50m pitch into the green. Not an option that leaves you feeling good about yourself!

There is rough on the right side of the green, not meant as a bailout area, but at least dry!

No room on the left.

The par 3 holes at the Alferini course are the best assembly of short holes I have ever seen!

Alferini Course Hole 9

Par 4 Stroke Index 3 Gold Tees 390m White Tees 371m Blue Tees 348m Red Tees 331m

Alferini Golf Course Andaluisa Spain Costa del Sol Villa Padiernaa Pa

A par 4 climbing gently towards the green from the tee the no go area is on the left. Plenty of room on the side of caution to the right as the 10th fairway provides a generous if not ideal buffer.

The narrow point of the fairway arrives 215m from the tee where a bunker on the left edge reduces the fairway to a slither. It widens again at 240m encouraging you to use the big stick and suppress your fear of hitting it to the left!

Access to the green is severely restricted by a large lake that sits below the plateau green and 10m from its right edge. The lake prevents all access to the green unless your tee shot is on the extreme left of the fairway. A central drive or a drive that finds the safety of the right side will face a tough shot into the green having to fly the ball over the water into the elevated green. Another outstanding hole!

Alferini Golf Course Back 9 Holes

Alferini Course Hole 10

Par 4 Stroke Index 18 Gold  Tees 343m White Tees 321m Blue Tees 301m  Red Tees 286m

Alferini Golf Course Andaluisa Spain Costa del Sol Villa Padiernaa Pa

The ninth fairway on the right provides a margin of safety, relief from the disquieting presence of the no go area on the left. The cart path marks the limit of usable golf course on the left, beyond that the valley rises, initially clothed in first cut rough, ultimately the boundary markers denote out of bounds.

When viewed from the tee the green appears in line with the extreme left edge of the fairway adding to the mental burden of the tee shot. The optimum line from the tee is at the right edge of the green. There are fairway bunkers halfway down on the right waiting to catch those drives that are intimidated by the trouble on the left . Those bunkers will cost you a shot which is better than pumping it to the left!

The widest part of the fairway is 130m for the green. At 120m it narrows markedly as the two bunkers on either side of the fairway come into play. For the really big hitter the fairway resumes its generous girth if you are able to carry 260m.

A wide, deep green is the target, guarded frontal bunkers; this huge green puts emphasis on distance control over directional accuracy, Deeply contoured this is a challenging green. Two of us recorded 3 putts here, one poor soul needed 4!

Alferini Course Hole 11

Par 4 Stroke index 6 Gold Tees 426m White Tees 391m Blue Tees 368m Red Tees 329m

Alferini Golf Course Andaluisa Spain Costa del Sol Villa Padiernaa Pa

The sun is shining, the countryside is verdant green, this is the good life! Villa Padierna Golf Club’s Alferini course is a fabulous golf course set in fabulous scenery. Each hole a solid design, thoughtfully presented to the player so as to create a golf course of leviathan challenge.

The golden globes on this 11th tee are a long way back from the whites. A par 4 of gargantuan proportions straight up the hill. The fairway deviates twenty degrees to the left 140m from the tee giving it a kink rather than a dog leg, The “no go” area is all along the left flank of the fairway, again a generous fairway made harder to find due to the malevolent danger lurking on the left side. A line of trees and the first cut of the right of the fairway opens into the 12th fairway.

A bunker sitting at the right edge of the fairway at 180m will harvest plenty of drives, a second bunker on the same side 60m further up will do the same to the longer hitters.

The green appears on the extreme left dangerously close to the no go zone.

The best line to take from the tee is on the centerline of the fairway. It is a long par 4 and probably out of reach for most players in two shots.

As the hole progresses the tree line on the right becomes a dense barranca thick with trees and vegetation 13m above the neighboring fairway. Anything missed to the right is just as terminal as missing on the left. Suddenly this hole shows its true character!

The green is large and is the only target. There is no bailout area. It is the green or nothing! On the right is the ravine, on the left is 5 paces before the cart path, over the back the tree line. The frontal approaches are guarded left and right . A tough hole.

Alferini Course Hole 12

Par 5 Stroke Index 16 Gold Tees 511m White Tees 490m Blue Tees 468m Red Tees 429m

Alferini Golf Course Andaluisa Spain Costa del Sol Villa Padiernaa Pa

This par 5 offers a wonderful view down the meandering valley, the descending fairway forms a slight dog leg to the right. The cart path runs along the right edge of the fairway at the point where it goes out of view. You will see a complex of bunkers on the inside of the dog leg. The line to take from the tee is just to the left of those bunkers.

A big green awaits you on this hole. A bunker sits 110m from the green on the left, At 30m out on the right along with a pair of frontal bunkers are the defenses to catch lay up shots and poorly hit approaches.

This is a good par 5. The pattern is consistent. A “no go” area on the left, overcompensate on the right and you will be mildly punished. Have the fortitude to overcome your fear and the hole becomes a scoring opportunity.

This hole is designed to be played as a 3 shot hole, but is equally inviting for the long hitter to attack in two . There is no reason not to with the simple caveat – don’t dice with the “no go” area!

Alferini Course Hole 13

Par 5 Stroke Index 14 Gold Tees 467m White Tees 457m Blue Tees 438m Red Tees 389m

Alferini Golf Course Andaluisa Spain Costa del Sol Villa Padiernaa Pa

Another par 5. This is a good stretch of the golf course where if you are in reasonable control of your ball flight, stableford points can be added to your scorecard in quantity!

This is a dog leg to the left with a water hazard all along the right side up to the green.

You can see bunkers on the right from the tee. The line to take is on a little round bush that’s left of the bunkers. With the water hazard on the right, out of bounds left and the fairway tapering as you get closer to the hole this is a good test.

This time we have a small green reinforcing that this is designed as a three shot par 5. To have any realistic hope of reaching in two strokes you need to be on the left side otherwise your shot to the green has to carry the entire length of the water hazard. Even then I don’t think the risk/ reward favors an aggressive approach.

If for any reason you miss the green with your approach shot you won’t like it. Not much to play with here, anything that is not on the putting surface is likely to be a difficult chip.

Alferini Course Hole 14

Par 3 Stroke Index 8 Gold Tees 179m White Tees 149m Blue Tees 133m Red Tees 117m

Alferini Golf Course Andaluisa Spain Costa del Sol Villa Padiernaa Pa

The par threes here at Alferini Golf Course are very strong! This is another in a series of exceptionally good short holes. Not really that short to be fair. 180m Played over water all the way to the green. The lake is shared with the ninth, upon its shore Julius Caesar stands sentinel. From the back tees at first glance this hole is excruciatingly difficult. Water all the way with the thinnest sliver of land on the extreme left. Beyond that green finger of hope is a fence marked in red denoting a further hazard!

Look beyond the irresistible hazards, take a moment to consider the hole again and you will see that the green is huge, as wide as a fairway. Aim at the middle of the green, close your mind to all of the things that could go wrong and swing your swing. Whether your club is a driver, hybrid or iron you have enough room to pitch your ball on the vast green and bring it to a stop.

Focus only on the result you seek, not the distractions that you fear and maybe you will enjoy one of the best par three holes that I have ever seen!

Alferini Course Hole 15

Par 4 Stroke Index 4 Gold Tees 355m White Tees 342m Blue Tees 317m Red Tees 305m

Alferini Golf Course Andaluisa Spain Costa del Sol Villa Padiernaa Pa

A par four, requiring judicious use of a 3 wood or 3 iron to find the fairway.

On this occasion, rather like the previous hole, terminal trouble lurks on both sides. It seems the designers have made the home stretch a real test of nerve! On the right is the severe “no go” area, out of bounds on the mountain’s flank. On the left a thick line of trees, if you are lucky you might make it through to the clearing of the 16th tee. Unlikely. There will be at least one shot dropped if you go in there.

The widest part of the fairway comes from 200m to 230m. A good line to take is at the bunker set on the left edge of the fairway 245m from the tee.

The green is elevated sitting on a plateau. Large bunkers guard the front left, another on the front right. A dreadful fate awaits should you miss on the left. Don’t! A bail out area on the right offers some respite, this is a great hole and makes the closing stretch an outstanding battle both physical and mental.

Alferini Course Hole 16

Par 5 Stroke Index 10  Gold Tees 492m White Tees 470m Blue Tees 450m Red Tees 414m

Alferini Golf Course Andaluisa Spain Costa del Sol Villa Padiernaa Pa

It’s a long way back to the golden globes, the third par 5 on this back nine! Such an outstanding finishing stretch, full of danger but equally full of opportunity. Thank you Senor Antonio Garrido for designing the course this way and saving the highest risk/reward holes for the home stretch!

The view from this tee will send chills down your spine. The fairway appears to be just a handful of meters in width between the hideous ravine and vegetation on the left and the rising valley wall on the right both marked as water hazards. Missing on the left requires you to drop your ball back at the very beginning of the fairway!

The ravine on the left has a ledge half way down from where you could theoretically play your ball should you have the misfortune to be there, beyond the ledge are the canopies of trees that rise up from the ravine bottom deep in the valley. This hole is outstandingly beautiful.

The line to hit is on the bunker set into the right side of the fairway. In reality there is sufficient room not to have to worry. It does not look so from the tee box!

The fairway narrows marginally at 70m from the green where a bunker on the left sits waiting to eat errant second shots. The green is huge making an inviting target for those with the fire power to reach in two. A bunker on the front right will catch many of those attempts, further bunkers on the rear left look as though they are intended to catch shots that run through .

Five meters of apron surrounds the green beyond that a water hazard on the right. This is a deliciously demanding par 5 that requires courage and controlled aggression to force a birdie. Wonderful!

Alferini Course Hole 17

Par 3 Stroke Index 12 Gold Tees 200m White Tees 174m Blue Tees 159m Red Tees 139m

Alferini Golf Course Andaluisa Spain Costa del Sol Villa Padiernaa Pa

This par 3 is another example of excellence. A 200m into the wind. There is a little room on the left approaches to the green, only a few paces for those that need to lay up or hit it offline. The biggest part of the hole is the green.

A large green is the target, a cavernous bunker guards the front approach which means you have to fly the ball all the way to access the green! Make sure you choose the right tee boxes for you!

On a golf course of this standard you need to select the tees according to the par 3’s. If you cannot carry the golf ball 200m through the air then there are some par 3s that will be out of reach for you, which also means you will be at a disadvantage on the other holes too. I urge you to play from the tee box from which the par 3’s are in range. By doing so you will be playing the course and experiencing the course as Senior Garrido intended. 

Another huge bunker at the back will catch hot tee shots that do not stop on the green. Beyond the green is a line of trees and beyond that a sheer drop 40m to the valley floor. Awesome!

This is a brilliant golf hole. After a sequence of par 5’s and a scoring par 4 on the home straight the designers now present you with this amazing challenge. If I were to draft a list of the best par 3 holes on the Costa del Sol, quite a few of them would come from this golf course!

Alferini Course Hole 18

Par 4 Stroke Index 2 Gold Tees 415m White Tees 404m Blue Tees 395m Red Tees 266m

Alferini Golf Course Andaluisa Spain Costa del Sol Villa Padiernaa Pa

This tee box is the most spectacular I have seen. Set on top of an escarpment 40m above the 1st and 18th fairways below you this tee shot looks hopeless. Please bear in mind I have had a tough day, with only one golf ball remaining the golf course has a “Hannibal Lecter” mesmeric effect upon me. With my final ball I step on to the tee and can hear the inner Hannibal taunting me “just one more swing Stuart, will it be left or will it be right?

The first and 18th fairways are separated by tree infested first cut of rough. The 18th seems impossibly slender, experience by now is telling me not to worry, they all look impossibly slender and they all have plenty of room!

The no go area is on the right, out of bounds very close to the fairway. The ideal line is at the bunker visible on the right side of the fairway 240m from the tee. If you are short of the bunker you have 180m into the green, a tough shot. If you get past the bunker then 140m is a much easier prospect. Brilliant use of risk and reward make this a genius closing hole.

A tree sits in the middle of the fairway 60m from the green. It is there to make life difficult for those who play conservatively. The tree marks the narrow point of the fairway, only 10m with a bunker to the right of the tree. it forces you to take on the 180m second shot!

The last 60m of fairway are a moonscape of deep swales and hollows, again these are there to encourage you to go for it in two and take on the risk and to make pitching and putting for par that much more demanding if you play safe. A double bogey here is just as likely as a par.

Surely one of the great closing holes!


Most golf courses have one or two holes designed to frighten you from the tee. The Alferini Golf course has 18 such holes!

Its length and its ability to intimidate are two of the factors that have earned Alferini Golf Course its fearsome reputation. Yet like many fearsome beasts, if you look past the facade you will see a different aspect to this golf course.

Despite appearances the fairways are not mean or elusive, they are often wide and accommodating. The greens are not impossible, hidden away or unhittable. For the most part they are large, offering big targets and gently contoured.

If you look beyond the fear and listen carefully then Alferini Golf Course will coax you, even encourage you to make the best score that you can. Each hole has on one side an empathic disaster zone, a no go area. That clear and present danger can either prove to be a fatal attraction or it can force an error of caution and make you miss in the other direction where only a mild punishment awaits. This is as much a test of your mental game as it is a test of technique.

There is always the third option. This is the option that makes the hole open itself to you and takes the danger away. All you need to do is muster the confidence to play the tee shot that leaves you with the easiest second shot.  Again this is Alferini Golf Course testing your technique  and risk management. 

To do that the golf course requires that you have a degree of control over your ball flight. It will often require that you play your tee shot alongside the dreaded “no go” zone. You do not need to be as skilled as Seve, but you do need the confidence to acknowledge the danger, not get tight and swing your swing.

If you are a parent then think back to when you were teaching your child to ride a bike, “Don’t worry, relax, let it happen”  – This is what Alferini Golf Course is whispering to you. 

Villa Padierna Golf Club is an outstanding golf facility. The Alferini Golf Course is a masterpiece.The Anantara Villa Padierna Palace Hotel is superb and makes Villa Padierna amongst the  most desirable golf resorts in Europe.

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