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  • Writer's pictureGolf on Costa del Sol

La Quinta Golf Resort Playing Guide and Review

Updated: Feb 26

La Quinta Golf Resort has been a premium brand in golf on Costa del Sol for several decades. Set in the hinterland behind Marbella and Puerto Banus, La Quinta Golf is a founding member of the famous Marbella Golf Valley along with Las Brisas, Aloha and Los Naranjos.


La Quinta Golf Resort Playing Guide and Review Cadiz Malaga Marbella Benahavis Costa del Sol Andalusia Spain

La Quinta Golf Resort is a superb parkland golf course, a wonderful design from the time when golf courses were not bombed into submission but were gently unpicked with deft shot making, patience and guile. The par 4s and par 5s are not long holes but are so cleverly thought out so as to provide a stern yet fair challenge to golfers of a wide range of abilities. Whether you are a long handicapper who gently coaxes the ball around or a young lion whose drives seek out the horizon you find great satisfaction in crafting a good score at La Quinta.


Today we are playing and reviewing the Guadaiza (C Course) and Ronda (B Course).


Checking in


The staff in the pro shop are extremely cordial and give us a warm welcome as we settle our green fees, they take time to explain to us the local rules, where each of the first tees are and also remind us that courtesy golf balls are awaiting us on the elevated driving range to help us get loosened up prior to teeing off. Very nice!


Location



Set in the heart of Marbella’s golf valley. La Quinta Golf Resort is perfectly situated to offer the best that the Costa del Sol has to offer. Ten minutes from the attractions of Marbella and Puerto Banus, 30 minutes from Malaga airport.

Facilities

  1. Clubhouse

  2. Restaurant

  3. Bar 

  4. Pro Shop

  5. Driving Range 

  6. Putting Green

  7. Club Rentals 

  8. Lessons

  9. Changing Rooms

  10. Lockers

  11. Showers


The Westin La Quinta Golf Resort and Spa

3 x 9 Hole Courses


Course C: Guadaiza Par 36 3057 metres

Designer: Manuel Pinero


Guadaiza (C) Hole 1 Par 4 Stroke Index 16 White Tees 263m Yellow Tees 250m Blue Tees 228m Red Tees 212m


La Quinta Golf Resort Playing Guide and Review Cadiz Malaga Marbella Benahavis Costa del Sol Andalusia Spain

It’s a beautiful day here in the famous Marbella golf valley on Spain’s Costa del Sol and we are about to play one of it’s the most famous courses! La Quinta!


The first is a pretty hole. Pleasing on the eye. A short par 4 with an immaculate fairway of contrasting green stripes framed by short cut rough replete with manicured bushes and shrubs. The rough along the left flank of the fairway is slightly banked which is helpful for keeping your ball on the short grass!


The ideal line to hit with your tee shot is at the white villa set on the hillside just to the left of the green. The fairway falls into a deep valley 100m before the green. It is not desirable to find yourself on the valley floor as the shot into the green becomes far more difficult. Select a club which will propel your ball 170m to the crest line leaving you with a short iron onto the ornate but small green.


Bunkers guard the front of the green, a further bunker on the right edge is your last hope of salvation if you miss the green before your ball is consumed by the rough and the out of bounds just off the putting surface.


A small target with terrible punishment for poor shots makes this opening hole a satisfying par. This looks like such a simple proposition, no need to take any risk here, middle of the fairway and then middle of the green, yet three of the four of us failed to hit the green. This hole is more difficult than it looks! Beware!


Guadaiza (C) Hole 2 Par 3 Stroke Index 12 White Tees 182m Yellow Tees 159m Blue Tees 136m Red Tees 91m


La Quinta Golf Resort Playing Guide and Review Cadiz Malaga Marbella Benahavis Costa del Sol Andalusia Spain


From the tee the view is of water. From the front of the tee box all the way to the green side bunkers 180m distant is water. A waterfall gurgles pleasantly on the left side of the putting surface encapsulating the island green entirely. There is no lay up shot.

The good news is that it is a big green with plenty of room at the back. The green is quad shaped and canted from back to front with a large McKenzie style tier running across the centre which makes it imperative that your tee shot finds the correct quadrant in order to have an easier putt.


The cardinal sin here is to leave your tee shot short of the green there is so little room between the far edge of the water and the green that any weak tee shots will be in mortal danger. Take one more club than you need and be safe, the green is designed to accommodate you.


Guadaiza (C) Hole 3 Par 4 Stroke Index 10 White Tees 392m Yellow Tees 370m Blue Tees 356m Red Tees 331m


La Quinta Golf Resort Playing Guide and Review Cadiz Malaga Marbella Benahavis Costa del Sol Andalusia Spain

From the tee this is an intimidating driving hole. Long and narrow, you can see the green 392m away in the distance. The fairway is generously wide at the 180m mark. It narrows significantly a little farther up where your drive is likely to finish.This hole is provoking you to play defensively from the tee and settle for a bogey!


The line to take with your tee shot is at the left hand green side bunker. Beyond the tree line on the left is out of bounds.


On the right of the fairway is a single line of pine trees on a raised bank of rough that separates this fairway from the 8th fairway running in the opposite direction. If you are going to hit a bad drive here then make sure it flies to the right, plenty of emergency room over there! A pair of bunkers fill the gap between fairways 240m from the tee. A decent drive here is any drive that does not dash your hopes!


Like all of the holes here at La Quinta Golf Resort, this hole is beautifully crafted. It looks fabulous in its casual elegance. The perfectly manicured fairways with their contrasting stripes. The impenetrable rough is a wonderful display of mediterannean and subtropical horticulture. Yet as perfect as it is it never looks fussy. If La Quinta were a movie star celebrity she would be a Catherine Hepburn rather than a Kardashian.


Most players will be hitting long irons or woods in an effort to reach the elevated green. No room for error on the left, only a greenside bunker between the green and oblivion. Two large bunkers guard the right of the green making this a difficult target to find.


This is a fabulous hole which over the years has beaten many of the worlds finest tournament professionals. Don’t feel bad if it beats you too!


Guadaiza (C) Hole 4 Par 4 Stroke Index 4 White Tees 339m Yellow Tees 326m Blue Tees 303m Red Tees 291m


La Quinta Golf Resort Playing Guide and Review Cadiz Malaga Marbella Benahavis Costa del Sol Andalusia Spain

The view from the tee is again beautiful. A blind tee shot makes the drive uncomfortable. This is a dog leg to the left playing along an ascending fairway the crest of which is 200m distant. The optimum tee shot is at the square shaped villa sitting on the hillside with a club that will get you to the crest of the fairway.

Bunkers guard the front left and right of the green, the entrance is open. Banking at the back of the green will help to contain over enthusiastic approach shots. Your view from the fairway beyond the green is of the sumptuous textures and colours of the mountainside.


The incline from the tee to the green is significant and is fully appreciated when you look down the fairway from the green. The elevation will make hitting the target much harder than you might anticipate adding 2 or 3 extra clubs to the shot.


The large green is shaped rather like a kidney bean. The front tier is the largest landing area, the back tier of the green is 1m higher than the front and about half its size making a back pin position an ordeal!


Guadaiza (C) Hole 5 Par 5 Stroke Index 14 White Tees 447m Yellow Tees 428m Blue Tees 406m Red Tees 371m


La Quinta Golf Resort Playing Guide and Review Cadiz Malaga Marbella Benahavis Costa del Sol Andalusia Spain

A line of trees on either side of this fairway frame this wonderful par 5. The tee box is set on a plinth. The striped fairway climbs directly to the green which seems to be an infinity away set at the foot of a mountain.


Unusually here at La Quinta Golf Resort this hole demands aggression from the tee. There is no reason not to hit your driver as hard as you can. The further up the fairway you can get means the more options you will have with your second shot.

By today’s standard this is a short par 5 and at 445m from the back tees presents a good birdie opportunity.


There is an element of risk and reward to evaluate with the second shot. Immediately left of the green is a large barranca marked as a water hazard which I am sure has frustrated multitudes of visitors in the past! A large bunker sits on the front right of the green leaving the narrowest of openings. The green runs from the front right to back left with the rear two thirds of the green protected by the water hazard. A front pin position is relatively easy to get at. A middle or back pin position is much harder to find.


If you can attack the flag with a mid iron or shorter then it makes sense to have a go. If you have a longer club in your hand then the best strategy is to lay up and leave your preferred wedge shot into the flag.

This is another exquisitely designed hole!


Guadaiza (C) Hole 6 Par 3 Stroke Index 18 White Tees 133m Yellow Tees 120m Blue Tees 102m Red Tees 87m


La Quinta Golf Resort Playing Guide and Review Cadiz Malaga Marbella Benahavis Costa del Sol Andalusia Spain

The tee of this short par 3 is set upon a rocky outcrop on the very edge of the golf course giving amazing views across the surrounding valley. The green is below us and steeply banked from the back to front. Comprising two distinct tiers it is important to get your tee shot to the correct half of the green and preferably below the cup in order to be sure of par or better. It is not a long tee shot, the premium is on distance control and accuracy. If you find the wrong half of the green the undulating slopes are going to generate a lot of 3 putt bogies!


On the left of the green 3 pot bunkers stand sentry. On the right is a large bunker which is the last safe haven for errant shots before being consumed by the vibrant Mediterranean plant life.


Guadaiza (C) Hole 7 Par 4 Stroke Index 2 White Tees 432m Yellow Tees 407m Blue Tees 386m Red Tees 360m


La Quinta Golf Resort Playing Guide and Review Cadiz Malaga Marbella Benahavis Costa del Sol Andalusia Spain

A long svelte dog leg to the left, this is a difficult driving hole. The tiger line is over the bunker set on the inside elbow of the dogleg adjacent to the cart path perilously close to red staked rough.


The safe line is 20m to the right of the cart path. There is something about the way the hole looks that makes it extremely difficult to take the safe line! The right of the fairway has 15m of first cut rough set on a steep rising bank that makes for a very large and very safe bailout area. The trade off is obvious – the farther to the right you aim off the tee the longer your shot into the green.


As you progress along the fairway and prepare for your next shot the hole opens up before you to reveal a beautiful green ringed by tall pine trees and guarded left and right by forbidding bunkers. Out of bounds over the back. The entrance of the green is open, a nice thought from the Senor Pinero! Fifteen meters deep and forty meters wide this is a huge piece of immaculately prepared sweeping and undulating real estate contributing to the ocular feast.


This is a hole of two tests, the first being from the tee. A good drive is essential. The green is difficult to hit meaning that the second test is focussed on your short game. This is an extremely pleasing hole and for me defines La Quinta Golf Resort.


Guadaiza (C) Hole 8 Par 5 Stroke Index 8 White Tees 520m Yellow Tees 498m Blue Tees 450m Red Tees 425m


La Quinta Golf Resort Playing Guide and Review Cadiz Malaga Marbella Benahavis Costa del Sol Andalusia Spain

The first 150m of the gargantuan par 5 is dominated by water. The tee box is situated very close to the out of bounds fence on the left. Your view is of a slither of land running along the OOB. fence beside a vast expanse of water leading to an impossibly slim fairway. The fear factor on this tee box is extreme!

If you can find some resolve then the line to take with your drive is at the fairway bunkers on the right side of the fairway. It is an extremely difficult driving hole, breathtaking!


The cart path crosses the fairway 80m from the green at the point where bunkers sit either side of the fairway. Most folks will hit their second shots just short of this cart path and leave an easy wedge into the green.


A slender green protected by large bunkers left and right await. Danger on the left is only a handful of metres away. Without doubt this is a tough hole that invoked in me a genuine terror! If you do make it to the green you will find another immaculate, fast and true putting surface typical of La Quinta Golf Resort.


Guadaiza (C) Hole 9 Par 4 Stroke Index 6 White Tees 349m Yellow Tees 338m Blue Tees 306m Red Tees 294m


La Quinta Golf Resort Playing Guide and Review Cadiz Malaga Marbella Benahavis Costa del Sol Andalusia Spain

Another tough hole requires you to carry 150m of water before reaching the fairway. Once over the lake the hole turns to the right and runs steeply uphill playing much longer than the tee box says. A bunker 190m from the tee on the right edge of the fairway is the tiger line for the courageous.


Tree lined rough all along the left of the hole, although the fairway is wider than it looks, this hole too has a high fear factor.


Five pot bunkers form a semi circle surrounding the front half of the green with the banking at the rear forming an amphitheatre. A large green is a fair target when considering the difficulty of the shot required to find it! Another in a series of superb holes!


These nine holes at La Quinta Golf Resort have been tremendous, deeply challenging, in perfect condition and everything I hoped it would be. Such is the quality of the design and conditioning that all of the holes on this nine hole loop are outstanding! Each presents a delicious technical challenge for skilled players, whilst offering easy bogeys for the less experienced golfer. The condition of the playing surfaces, the appearance and maturity of the grounds combine to make this a fantastic experience. La Quinta’s  reputation for excellence is well earned.


Course B: Ronda Par 35 2649 metres

Designer: Manuel Pinero


Ronda (B) Hole 1 Par 4 Stroke Index 11 White Tees 293m Yellow Tees 244m Blue Tees 231m Red Tees 219m


La Quinta Golf Resort Playing Guide and Review Cadiz Malaga Marbella Benahavis Costa del Sol Andalusia Spain

Our tenth hole today is in fact the first hole of the B Courses also called the Ronda course. This is the shortest of the 3 nine hole loops here at La Quinta Golf Resort and is different to the other courses mainly due to the first two holes.


The first hole is a short par 4, 244m from the yellow tees. Immediately in front of the green is a water feature which prevents long hitters attacking the green. The fairway is sufficiently wide that you need not worry about missing it with your long iron or hybrid tee shot.


A fairway bunker sits on the left of the fairway. The green is very small with almost no room around it.


We all played irons from the tee and hit wedges into the green. The target is small enough that only one of us actually found the putting surface. The green is a complex of contours making it also one of the most difficult at La Quinta Golf Resort.


Decidedly tricky to make a par.


Ronda (B) Hole 2 Par 3 Stroke Index 17 White Tees 147m Yellow Tees 105m Blue Tees 90m Red Tees 75m


La Quinta Golf Resort Playing Guide and Review Cadiz Malaga Marbella Benahavis Costa del Sol Andalusia Spain

This short par 3, from the white tees if looks and feels much better. From the forward tees this hole is all about correct clubbing for the elevation.. A short iron hit as high as possible to get over the crest of the extremely steep hill guarding the green. A large bunker at the front of the green will see a lot of traffic as it is very easy to under club .Only the top half of the flag is visible from the tee.

Ronda (B) Hole 3 Par 4 Stroke Index 1 White Tees 336m Yellow Tees 317m Blue Tees 298m Red Tees 279m


La Quinta Golf Resort Playing Guide and Review Cadiz Malaga Marbella Benahavis Costa del Sol Andalusia Spain

As soon as we step on to this tee we can see that normal service is resumed. A striking par 4 of the highest quality sits before us.


Playing steeply uphill this 336m par 4 actually plays closer to 400m. The second shot might require 3 more cubs than the number suggests! This is a wide fairway and there is no need to worry about missing it. The width of the fairway is slightly augmented by being saddle shaped. The rough on either side is banked and will encourage balls back to the fairway.


On the right of the fairway is a line of trees to the right of the cart path. Getting close to these trees will block your view of the green. This is another example of the sublime subtly of these golf courses. Not long by modern standards but so well thought out, laid out and maintained that the holes do not need length to defend themselves, this course is far more elegant than that! This is a course where shot making and strategy are rewarded. An outstanding score here can only be assembled by outstanding mastery of your own game.


Ronda (B) Hole 4 Par 4 Stroke Index 9 White Tees 363m Yellow Tees 354m Blue Tees 337m Red Tees 312m


La Quinta Golf Resort Playing Guide and Review Cadiz Malaga Marbella Benahavis Costa del Sol Andalusia Spain

This is a crescent shaped hole with a green tucked way to the right. The fairway is generously wide for the first 220m before narrowing 120m from the green. A series of bunkers guard the right edge of the fairway at 240m . A pair of bunkers guard the right flank of the green making access a little tougher from the right half of the fairway.


The front of the green is open offering a little help to those coming on from the left. Hillocks and swales surrounded the green making short game skill an asset.

A tremendous par 4 where a par is hard earned.


Ronda (B) Hole 5 Par 4 Stroke Index 5 White Tees 416m Yellow Tees 406m Blue Tees 299m Red Tees 282m


A ninety degree dogleg to the right with the elbow of the dog leg arriving 210m from the tee at which point the hole turns to the right for 135m before arriving at the green.


Bunkers are located in the inside elbow of the dogleg and will apprehend those that try to carry the corner but don’t hit it well enough.


My advice is not to mess around with cutting the corner, hit a fairway wood or long iron at the 100m marker which is visible from the tee, this will take you to the widest part of the fairway and leave a reasonably short iron into the green. This is what the golf course wants you to do. It is prudent to listen!


A bunker sits on the right side of this small green with trees almost encircling it. This is a generous target split into 3 distinct areas making distance control imperative.You cannot miss it left. A chip back from the bottom of the valley will be your punishment along with a certain 5 or worse!


Ronda (B) Hole 6 Par 5 Stroke Index 7 White Tees 416m Yellow Tees 406m Blue Tees 387m Red Tees 369m

Our fifteenth hole today is a dog leg right with the green tucked away in the left hand corner effectively giving the hole a serpentine profile.


The ideal drive here starts on line with the 150m marker visible on the left edge of the fairway and will shape a little to the right.


Every tee shot on this nine hole loop requires a shape, a draw or a fade. This is what makes La Quinta Golf Resort so great. The golf course does not set out to trick or confound the player, instead, gently, as the player understands how the course wants to be played it encourages the player to explore a greater level of shot making and strategy. The golf course’s magic is that it brings out the best in each player. It rewards the highly skilled with hard fought birdies and pars whilst cosseting the rest of us with comfortable bogey!


Ronda (B) Hole 7 Par 3 Stroke Index 15 White Tees 168m Yellow Tees 148m Blue Tees 128m Red Tees 109m


La Quinta Golf Resort Playing Guide and Review Cadiz Malaga Marbella Benahavis Costa del Sol Andalusia Spain

Downhill from the tee to the green this is a difficult looking par three. A long narrow green making a slim but deep target. Thirty five meters from the front to back edge of the green. Large bunkers on each flank, beyond the bunkers, is terminal rough.


Ronda (B) Hole 8 Par 4 Stroke Index 3 White Tees 353m Yellow Tees 338m Blue Tees 314m Red Tees 305m


La Quinta Golf Resort Playing Guide and Review Cadiz Malaga Marbella Benahavis Costa del Sol Andalusia Spain

This 17th Hole is another typical La Quinta Golf Resort par 4. It is wonderful. A crafted well planned tee shot is required in order to make the next shot less dangerous. This is a straight and slightly downhill par 4 . Narrow enough to add tension with a lake on the left of the fairway 250m from the tee running to 20m short of the green.


A three wood is a prudent choice from this tee. Out of bounds is stalking you just over the cart path on the right, there is more room available on the left. A seemingly simple par 4 made great through design.


A difficult green made up of different levels is your destination. With a good tee shot and mastery over your wedge this could be a birdie chance. Equally a double bogey is just a blink of the eye away too!


Ronda (B) Hole 9 Par4 Stroke Index 13 White Tees 226m Yellow Tees 214m Blue Tees 200m Red Tees 188m


La Quinta Golf Resort Playing Guide and Review Cadiz Malaga Marbella Benahavis Costa del Sol Andalusia Spain

A tricky hole to end on. Only 226m from the back tees this is comfortably driveable. The danger is the water on the right of the green and the out of bounds running up the left. Steep banking on the left of the green will catch those that have a crack at it and leave them with a frightful chip down onto the green towards the water!


A mid iron and a wedge are the order of the day and will bring your round to a conclusion with a nice par!


Summary


One of the biggest names in golf on the Costa del Sol La Quinta Golf Resort has built a reputation for being an outstanding facility providing a first class challenge for decades and it is set to continue. I cannot think of a golf course that exudes so much charm. Offering fairly comfortable golf for the long handicappers and a feisty challenge both the highly skilled and the long hitters. Length is not an advantage here. This is cerebral golf where brains will always beat brawn. Where a deft touch beats a bludgeon.


La Quinta Golf Resort provides a terrific golfing experience and will bring you enormous satisfaction. This is a “must play” addition to your golfing itinerary.

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