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  • Writer's pictureGolf on Costa del Sol

Atalaya Golf and Country Club New Course Playing Guide and Review

Updated: Feb 25

The Atalaya Golf and Country Club  New course is cut into the hills above and around parts of The Old Course. The New Course at Atalaya Golf and Country Club Offers the same delightful parkland terrain, this time enhanced by undulating fairways, elevations, depressions and the most amazing views across the mediterranean and Gibraltar.  


Located in Benahavis, Atalaya Golf and Country Club is a few minutes drive from Marbella in the heart of the Costa del Golf and a close neighbour to the outstanding Villa Padierna with its two championship courses and the fabulous Marbella Club Golf Resort giving the potential to create a wonderful golfing holiday in Marbella.


Each of the holes are easy on the eye making for a pleasant and peaceful experience. The golf course is not as long as the Old Course and is perfect for golfers of slower swing speeds and shorter tee shots. If your drive ranges from 150m to 220m then you will reach most of the holes from the optimum position. Whilst long hitters are not penalised, there is no big advantage to be had. Often longer hitters will elect to play for position with an iron from the tee rather than blast away with the big stick.


This would make an ideal family golf day. Juniors and beginners will thoroughly enjoy it.


Atalaya Golf and Country Club New Course Playing Guide and Review Estepona Malaga Andalusia Costa del Sol

The greens, fairways, rough and bunkers are all in great condition, in fact I have never seen either course looking better, Both are a delight! The New Course complements the Old Course perfectly. Come and play both courses, enjoy the ambience around the club house, take your time and decide for yourself which is your favourite.



Location



Atalaya Golf and Country Club New Course

Opened: 1990

Designer: Paul Kings


Facilities

  1. Clubhouse

  2. Restaurant

  3. Lockers

  4. Showers

  5. Proshop

  6. Club Hire

  7. Buggies

  8. Club Hire

  9. Driving Range 

  10. Short game Area

  11. Putting Green


Atalaya Golf and Country Club New Course

White Tees 5179m Yellow Tees 5086m Blue Tees 4611 Red Tees 4390m


Atalaya Golf and Country Club New Course Front Nine Holes



Atalaya New Course Hole 1

Stroke Index 10 Par 4 White Tees 302m Yellow Tees 294m Blue Tees 294m Red Tees 257m

As regular visitors to Atalaya Golf and Country Club we arrived a few minutes early in order to enjoy a coffee at the halfway house close to the 1st tee on the Old Course and also spend a few valuable minutes in the practice bunker and chipping green.


A short drive following the signs for the 1st Tee New Course saw us on the tee awaiting our turn to tee off. A few full swings in the practice net adjacent to the tee and my warm up was complete. (It was a simple yet genius idea from the management team to have these basic warm up facilities close to both first tee boxes – I love it!).

With my creaking body as limber as it will ever be I stood on the tee box with my dear old pal JW and took in the challenge before us.


The fairway is 30m wide all the way to the green rising above us. Very simple. No lay up area, no hazards, just a straight forward straight poke off the tee. The line of rough and trees on the left side separate this hole from the 6th on the Old Course, and on the right the same arrangement keeps us away from the 7th.


Missing right or left means that you have to deal with the trees and rough and will probably cost you a shot. The strategy here is clear. “Hit the fairway” is the first mantra, then for the confident, “hit the fairway as far up its length as you can”. With your ball on the fairway after the first blow you are in good shape.


JW and I both hit decent shots, the wind pushed our balls to the right, JW found the fairways edge, mine missed the fairway heroically, about pin high and 70m to the right!


A bunker is cut into the left front face of the bank upon which sits the green making access from the right a little easier. The green is not a big target but does offer 3m of beautifully cut apron all around it which enhances the target somewhat. Missing the green short or to the right are going to make your first hole more difficult and almost certainly result in a bogey.


All in all this is a nice comfortable opening hole.


Atalaya New Course Hole 2

Stroke Index 6 Par 5 White Tees 464m Yellow Tees 458m Blue Tees 403m Red Tees 403m

It’s a beautiful day in Benahavis, a great golfing area near Estepona. Puffs of cotton candy accentuate the sapphire blue of the  sky, the sun is set to a comfortable 24 degrees centigrade and the breeze stiff enough to make the flags flutter patriotically.


A short walk to the second tee reveals a fascinating par 5.


From the tee this looks to be an impossible slender shoe-lace fairway twisting and turning 450m into the distance. The fairway is slightly slanted from the high side on the left to the low side on the right. On the left of the fairway is a steep bank festooned with Andalucian flora, trees and shrubs.. Above the bank is another fairway. The bank can be used as a buffer to give you a little more room with the tee shot. Any drives that catch the bank will bounce back to the fairway.

On the right for the entire length of the hole just 4 paces from the fairway is a line of red stakes denoting a lateral water hazard. There is 8m of bank strewn with dense foliage and then ultimately the lake which will claim any drives that venture near.


There are two clear thoughts when considering how to play this hole. Firstly find the fairway at all costs, secondly, hit it as far up the fairway as your straightness will allow! As we all know, the longer you hit the ball the more difficult it becomes to keep it on target. Your first challenge is to select the right strategy for your tee shot.


The tee shot must be either aimed at the bank on the left or at least the left half of the fairway. Anything that hits the right half of the fairway or is shaping to the right is in danger of crossing into the hazard.


As unlikely as it sounds I laced my drive into the perfect position bouncing along the center line of the fairway and finishing on the short grass. JW started his ball on the right half of the fairway with a barest hint of fade shaping it further right. It bounced three times, each bounce taking it closer to the hazard line before it eventually committed Seppuku throwing itself over the red line.


With 215m to go the green was just about in range with a decent 2 iron. The threats are multiple, the most obvious being the hazard running along the right side. The green is tucked away in a little alcove on the right side where the red stakes deviate further to the right and go on to surround the target. A large bunker to the left of the green marks the end of the fairway and is the logical target for a lay up shot.


My bad shots are either a simple mis hit or a pull hook. I rarely miss to the right so I felt confident that even a poor shot with the 2 iron would not end my hopes of winning this hole. I mishit the ball. It struggled into the air and scrambled its way up the fairway exactly into the ideal lay up position. JW rolled his eyes. A pitch onto the elevated green and a single putt gave me the first birdie of the day.

This is a good scoring hole. Two straight shots will leave you a shortish third into a generous green and a comfortable par or better.


Atalaya New Course Hole 3

Stroke Index 14 Par 4 White Tees 284m Yellow Tees 279m Blue Tees 279m Red Tees 244m 

The tee is located well below the fairway giving a significantly uphill tee shot. The pin is visible on the extreme right of the hole as you view it. The widest part of the fairway arrives at 140m to 180m in the face of the incline. There is a tree at the crest of the hill on the left side. This tree stands just inside the lake that provides the main hazard on this hole. Again, the key to success on this short par four is with the tee shot.


Choose a club that will knock the ball 170m. Aim at that tree and you will find the belly of the fairway. You will still have a challenging shot into the green but it will only be 110m. 


The cart path runs on the left of the green between the green and the lake. Any second shots that bounces left of the cart path will meet a watery end. There is 6m of apron around the green on the right making for a slender target. If you play for the back half of the green you will have the largest area to aim at and the biggest margin for error.


There is no advantage in being a long hitter. Whether you play off scratch or 36 you are likely to be playing your second shots from the same place with your favorite “scoring” club. This hole is a true equalizer!



Atalaya New Course Hole 4

Stroke Index 8 Par 3 White Tees 147m Yellow Tees 145m Blue Tees 110m Red Tees 110m

A pretty par three with all of the components to instill fear and elation in equal measure.


From the yellow markers it plays 147m, today the boxes are a little forwards giving a playing length of 128m.


Water dominates the view. The lake begins directly in front of the tee boxes and runs to 20m of the front edge of the green making the hole play like an island green. There is a vast amount of room on the right of the hole to bail out or lay up, it just takes a second to register such is the magnetic effect of the water!


The group in front of us were four septuagenarians from London enjoying a week’s golf holiday on the Costa del Sol. For these gentlemen the water proved irresistible, the drop zone on the right of the lake made their 3rd shots easier. Despite the large green this diminutive par 3 can prove to be a heartbreaker if your nerve fails you! 


Atalaya New Course Hole 5

Stroke Index 18 Par 4 White Tees 258m Yellow Tees 250m Blue Tees 250m Red Tees 219m

Not a tee shot that requires the big dog, with 2 iron and 3 wood in hand I walked onto the tee box ready to make a plan.


Red stakes abound on the right side of the fairway marking the line of the water hazard. The fairway is slender, although easier to hit thanks to the banking rising on the left side. The cart path runs on the left side of the fairway, those golfers with an aversion to water can aim left of the cart path if necessary everything will bounce down the banking towards the fairway. The error on this hole is to go to the right. 


This is a driveable par four. The only factors that persuade you to lay up with a 2 iron are the proximity of the water on the right and the two large bunkers which guard the front left and right sides of the green leaving only a very small gap for those green hunting drives to run through. A pretty par 4 that for most players will yield a scoring opportunity.


Atalaya New Course Hole 6

Stroke Index 4 Par 5 White Tees 440m Yellow Tees 437m Blue Tees 387m Red Tees 387m

This is an interesting hole offering several different strategies. Your task is to pick one and stick with it!


This is a dog leg shaping to the left with the elbow forming a 110 degree angle. From the tee a bunker is visible on the left edge of the fairway 200m from the tee. If you go left of the bunker you will be in the tree line significantly below the level of the green or worse somewhere close to the 7th green. The best line to take is at the distant bunker 320m from the tee. This bunker is set  in a spit of rough separating the two halves of the fairway. The higher fairway to the right is more desirable as it gives the easier shot into the green, The lower fairway on the left is significantly lower and makes not only attacking the green more difficult but also finding a good place to lay up.


From the right side of the fairway you are level with the green , the problem is that the out of bounds runs along the right side of the fairway and is very close! It gets narrower as the green draws closer. A bunker blocks access to the green 35m from the putting surface, the left of the bunker falls away steeply making access to the green very difficult.


Bash a drive at that bunker 320m distant from the tee, it does not matter how it shapes, a little to the right and you find the ideal spot, a little left and you will find the lower fairway. A reasonable drive of 250m or more makes attacking the green more palatable from around 170m any more than that and I don’t think the risk/reward equation works in your favor.


A small green sits at the high point of the hole. This short par five is a difficult challenge requiring both a good tee shot and a good second. No room for errors here.



Atalaya New Course Hole 7

Stroke Index 16 Par 4 White Tees 231m Yellow Tees 231m Blue Tees 231m Red Tees 211m

This plays as a slight dog leg to the right from the back tees and a straight shot from the front boxes. Today we played it from the front boxes. A five wood for John and a 2 iron for me found us both on the apron of the green on the right.

From the back tees it plays 230m. To reach the green the ball needs to shape from left to right. Banking on the right side often helps keep the ball moving towards the green.


A straightforward hole which brings another scoring opportunity.


Atalaya New Course Hole 8

Stroke Index 2 Par 4 White Tees 310m Yellow Tees 298m Blue Tees 245m Red Tees 245m

We are almost at the halfway point, the pace of play has been fast. The course is busy, each hole has a four ball and yet we are flying around! If you want to avoid five hour rounds then keep Atalaya New Course in mind!


A straight hole providing fabulous views from the tee across the Mediterranean Sea. Playing uphill, maybe a 3 or 4 m incline climbing towards the green,. There is a bunker that I can see which is 160m from the tee. The widest part of the fairway arrives 213m from the tee, this is a logical place to strive for with your tee shot.

The line to take is right of the green as everything will run to the left.


Missing the fairway on the left will result in your ball bouncing down the bank and does not make your life any easier!


The front right of the green is open, the front left guarded by a bunker. The green is generous and makes this a good chance for an easy par or better.


Atalaya New Course Hole 9

Stroke Index 12 Par 3 White Tees 122m Yellow Tees 118m Blue Tees 118m Red Tees 107m

A par three of 128m. The green is on the crest of a hill. The effect from the tee is that when you take aim and prepare to hit it feels as though hitting the ball into an infinite sky. The elevation from the tee to the green is only 2m and makes little difference to the shot.


JW hit a corker riding the wind to finish less than a meter from the hole. I can see as I approach the green that my ball has settled on the left apron of the green and is 2m away from the abyss. Do not miss this green on the left side!


The green is fast when putting from the back towards the front. This is a cracking way to finish the front nine.


Atalaya Golf and Country Club New Course Back Nine Holes



Atalaya New Course Hole 10

Stroke Index 9 Par 4 White Tees 274m Yellow Tees 267m Blue Tees 247m Red Tees 247m

The high point is on the right, the low point on the left, a barranca of thick greenery marked with red stakes. The 11th fairway sits above you on the right, a comforting thought when considering the depth of rough on the left!


The green is directly online with the left edge of the fairway making it very easy to find that trouble! The fairway falls into a valley before climbing to reach the distant green. The best tee shot will take a line on the right side of the fairway no more than 230m.From there an easy pitch of 40m should give another par.


The green sits on a promontory of land surrounded on all sides by disaster. The only kind thing about this green is the stunning view across the sea.If you get this hole wrong, tee shot on the left, or miss the green with your wedge you will have a nightmarish experience. All those birdies and pars gone – all that good work torn asunder!


Atalaya New Course Hole 11

Stroke Index 13 Par 4 White Tees 271m Yellow Tees 260m Blue Tees 260m Red Tees 231m

A par four of 270m. The tee box is on a high point. A tall hedgerow towers on our immediate left as we address the ball. Out of bounds runs all up the left side where the beautiful homes are. The fairway plummets into the valley from the tee before climbing steeply in the final 100m to the green. The terrain also falls steeply from the out of bounds wall on the left away to the right.


The green is visible from the tee. Despite the fact that it is so within range for a big drive this clearly is not a driver hole. I settled on a 5 iron. I took aim at the green and watched as my ball came to rest on the extreme right of the fairway at the bottom of the valley.


My second shot into the green 15m above my ahead and 120m distant required some careful thought when selecting a club. Mercifully it is a large green.

Do not fiddle about trying to get close to the flag. Take more club and play for the centre of the green. If you fall into the trap and come up short you could quickly run up a big number here. This is a dangerous hole.


Atalaya New Course Hole 12

Stroke Index 5 Par 3 White Tees 214m Yellow Tees 206m Blue Tees 148m Red Tees 148m

This is a tough par three playing down the hill. From the tee it appears that you can only see the left half of the green. In fact you can see 80% of the green.

Anything that flies to the right of your sight line will meet a dreadful end in the thick bushes and rough that separate the right flank of this green for the next tee.


You can bail out as far to the left as you like, you can be long. The one thing that you cannot be is right of the green. My advice would be to ignore the flag. Do not aim at the green center. Instead aim at the left edge. If it goes a little right you have a good shot, if it goes a little left a chip and putt might save the day. Discretion over valor.



Atalaya New Course Hole 13

Stroke Index 11 Par 3 White Tees 167m Yellow Tees 162m Blue Tees 162m  Red Tees 135m 

A stream bubbles and gurgles just ahead of you as you stand on the tee box. The terrain is curvaceous beyond the cart path on the left; the terrain cascades down the bank making chip shots into the green fraught with difficulty. A large bunker guards the front access to the green 15m before the putting surface. If you need to lay up then make sure you aim at the right side of the fairway.


There are far more ways of missing this elusive green than there are of hitting it.

The green is shaped like an upturned saucer. The highpoint of the green is the rear third centre, everything falls away from it making even the shortest tapin worth your full focus.


Atalaya New Course Hole 14

Stroke Index 1 Par 5 White Tees 474m Yellow Tees 469m Blue Tees 421m Red Tees 421m

In my opinion this is the best hole on the course. A par five with a perfect 50:50 ratio of risk and reward. A slender fairway forms a dog leg to the left. On the left of the fairway runs the 2nd fairway which makes a good bailout option and still keeps your chances of attacking the green in two alive.

The cart path runs on the right of the fairway. Beyond the cart path is the forest of thick trees and rough which will bring your hole to a disastrous conclusion. Do not drive the ball excessively to the right, especially given the acreage available to you on the left.


The ideal line is to aim as far up the cart path on the right as you can, steel yourself and give the ball a mighty whack. On this line you have maximum forgiveness.


The green is tucked away in an annexe of the fairway slightly below you and to the left. You need to be on the right half of the fairway to have a clear line of sight and clear access.


I hit a 5 iron second shot from my (unusual for me) position in the centre of the fairway . A large bunker guards the left flank. If you are attacking the green from the left side this becomes a front bunker making your second shot much tougher. A second bunker sits on the right flank and will catch those shots that drift off line.


This is an immensely satisfying risk and reward par 5. You need to hit a decent drive followed up with a pure long iron to find the dance floor. If you find one of the bunkers the punishment is not grave, it simply turns your birdie into a par.

Atalaya New Course Hole 15

Stroke Index 15 Par 4 White Tees 240m Yellow Tees 234m Blue Tees 241m Red Tees 207m

A pencil slim fairway. The number on the tee box suggests that it might be another driveable par 4. The fairway is perfectly flat between tee and green. on the right tree dotted rough. Further along the right 170m from the tee and 70m from the green is the huge stone plinth upon which sits the next tee. Get too close to this and you are stymied.


Miss on the left and you will fall off the fairway and come to rest in thick rough that surrounds the 6th green of the Old Course. JW learned first hand how difficult it is to try to blast a short iron out of this rough over the tree line bank onto the fairway. For JW an errant drive caused this simple par four to become anything but simple!


I hit a 3 wood straight at the green. It stopped running with 35m remaining to the flag stick. A simple pitch over the bunkers guarding the front and a tap in birdie was the result. This golf course will yield plenty of good scores to those that manage their tee shots the best.



Atalaya New Course Hole 16

Stroke Index 7 Par 4 White Tees 285m Yellow Tees 282m Blue Tees 241m Red Tees 241m


This is a ninety degree dog leg to the left. A bunker sits at the outside corner of the dogleg 190m from the tee. This is the only sensible line. There is no benefit in trying to cut some of the dog leg, certainly not trying to cut all of it and attack the green.


On the left of the fairway a steep bank blocks the view of the green, on the side of the bank close to the left edge of the fairway is a sighting post which indicates a good line to take with the tee shot. Ignore it. Aim at the bunker. My poorly struck 4 iron struggled up the fairway stopping well short of these bunkers leaving me with 100m up the hill into the green. The elevation fooled me into leaving my wedge shot 30m short of the flag, a silly mistake on my part. The incline is obvious, poor concentration cost me a dropped shot here! The fairway is narrow as it turns the corner towards the green. Missing the fairway on the right is catastrophic. Marked with red stakes it will cost you at least one shot.


A bunker guards the front right of the green, the left is open.


Atalaya New Course Hole 17

Stroke Index 17 Par 3 White Tees 151m Yellow Tees 151m Blue Tees 151m Red Tees 147m

The penultimate hole. Atalaya Golf and Country Club New Course, which is one of the best budget golf courses on Costa del Sol has been good fun! A few eagle putts, a nice haul of birdies and a few lost balls! 


I did not think that Atalaya New Course would suit me because it is short with narrow fairways. In fact I had a blast. As a long  and often wide hitter this has been a great opportunity to brush up on some shot making and strategy skills. As is normal for me I missed the golf course with wild tee shots a couple of times, but, on the plus side conservative play from the tee and the flattering nature of the risk / reward par fives gave me a huge number of birdie chances and as a result this pretty golf course has been a very positive experience.


The 17th is an exceedingly pretty par three. Playing from an elevated tee down to the green set in a verdant valley of trees.


Bunkers guard the left and right flanks of the green leaving the entrance open. There is plenty of room short of the green, but it all gets very tight around the putting surface. Missing the green left or long is a mild disaster, chipping up the bank back to the green is going to be costly. Missing on the right from this short range is a “face-palm” moment as you watch your ball fly over the out of bounds fence.


This is a simple looking hole but requires a level of confidence to take on the flag. This little finishing hole can easily add a double bogey to your card!


Atalaya New Course Hole 18

Stroke Index 3 Par 5 White Tees 545m Yellow Tees 545m Blue Tees 430m Red Tees 430m

A cracking par five to finish with. This hole runs parallel to the fifth hole on the Old Course. Make sure that you play from the correct tee box. The 5th tee box is close by and can be easily confused.


A long slender straight fairway presents the challenge from the tee. The fifth fairway is on your left separated by a strip of rough and a line of trees, the fourth fairway is similarly located on your right. Nothing bad will happen to you if your drive diverts into either of these alternate fairways.


A ravine replete with flowing stream runs across the fairway 50m from the green at which point the terrain climbs 4m to meet the putting surface. This is not a par five that can be attacked in two unless you have the skill level to play this game for a living!


The drive is not the difficult shot, any of the three fairways available to you will do. The difficult shot is laying up short of the ravine and keeping it on the correct fairway in order to have any chance of hitting this small green with your third shot.


A straight drive and second shot hit to the right position will leave less than 100m and a good chance of par or better. if you fail to find the layup position then a big number might just ruin your score card.


This is a cracking finishing hole. So much can happen to make your round great or to dash your hopes.


Summary


Like the Old Course at Atalaya Golf and Country Club the New Course is a beautiful parkland course but with more inclines, ups, downs, elevations, hollows and views! It is also notably shorter in length than the Old course. If your average drive is 150m to 180m you will love it here because you are able to hit 9 irons and wedges into greens. Imagine playing golf where the golf course allows you to replace frustration with excitement! That’s what happens when a “teen” handicap golfer suddenly finds themselves hitting the greens in regulation!


Longer hitters and highly skilled players too will have a scoring bonanza if they are able to maintain strict discipline and take the right club from the tee. The next time I play here I will hit which club from the tee leaves me 40m to 70m as my approach shot. There are a lot of birdies to be had at the Atalaya New Course. Everyone feels good about making a birdie!


Globally statistics show that 75% of golfers have an average driving distance of less than 180m. This course is perfect for 75% of golfers. It will allow the average golfer to play golf like the elites. A decent drive and the greens are in range with a short scoring club, just like the superstars on TV!


If you want to have a great day on the golf course with your friends or a group of friends then Atalaya Golf and Country Club New Course will flatter the less skilled and reward the highly skilled while enchanting everyone with its sheer beauty!


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