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  • Writer's pictureGolf on Costa del Sol

Los Olivos Golf Course – Review and Players Guide

Updated: Feb 29

Last Updated November 2020


Designed and opened in 1984 by Cabell Robinson whilst he was attached to the  Robert Trent Jones organisation this layout is very different from Los Lagos. Shorter, tighter, smaller undulating greens share common DNA with many of Cabell Robinson’s other golf courses on the Costa del Sol. The lakes which make Loas Lagos so formidable have been largely replaced by gnarly olive trees giving Los Olivos its name.

This is a very different challenge to Los Lagos and is the perfect foil to its big brother placing the emphasis on straight rather than long tee shots coupled with accurate shots into the often elevated greens.


The management team of Mijas golf refurbished Los Olivos giving it new tee’s, fairways and greens during 2000 and 2001 bring the course up to the highest standards.


As I have mentioned in my review of Los Lagos I can tell you that all of the staff at Mijas Golf are hugely experienced, very affable and focussed on giving the players the best possible experience.


I am very happy each time I play Mijas Golf Club, I cannot praise them highly enough.



Location



Located in the heart of the Mijas Golf valley between the coastal town of Fuengirola and the mountain village of Mijas Pueblo, Mijas Golf Club is centrally located to suit golfers staying anywhere on the Costa del Sol from Estepona  (45 minutes) to Malaga (20 minutes).

Avenida Louison Bobet,Urb Mijas Golf, 1, 3, 5, 29650, Las Lagunas de Mijas, Málaga+34952476843

How to get your round started


As you approach the front gate, you are met by a landmark ornamental golf buggy and player set in the centre of the traffic island. Entering through stone pillars the winding avenue takes you past the 6th fairway on your right, whilst on your left you will see the iconic giant golf ball that adorns the bridge crossing to the 11th tee. Already the sense of occasion is building. You know that you are in for a special day of golf!


The avenue continues to divide the front and back nines of Los Lagos until you reach the Starters Hut. Turn left here and drive to the main car park.

The Pro Shop is situated opposite the clubhouse where you will find the Caddy Masters ready to welcome you and issue your green-fee tickets. As a result of the current Coronavirus an automated system will take your temperature as you enter the Pro Shop and you will be invited to disinfect your hands. In the pro shop a mask is compulsory.


The clubhouse re-opened on the 5th October having been on lockdown since mid March. Jesus and the team serve excellent food in a beautiful setting and are always ready with a warm welcome. Collect your golf cart from the buggy master and head up the concrete cart path to the Starters Hut. There you will find the team who ensure that the golf course runs smoothly. Cristobal, German, Antonio and Rafael have been keeping play moving for more than a century if you add up their combined years of service!


The driving range operates on tokens which you buy from the Starters. The mats are always in good condition and are frequently replaced, as are the range balls. At 80 meters wide and 300 meters long, the driving range is the perfect way to loosen up and build that perfect swing. Behind the range mats is the chipping and bunker practice area, and of course you cannot miss the putting green – it is huge!


The first tee is across the road directly opposite the Starter’s Hut



Facilities

  1. Open and covered driving range

  2. Club washing area

  3. Compressed air for cleaning shoes and bags

  4. Short game area

  5. Practise Bunker

  6. Putting green

  7. Refreshment served on course by buggy

  8. Club repairs

  9. Club rental

  10. Powakaddy rental with GPS


Clubhouse

  1. Pro shop

  2. Changing room with showers and complimentary towels – not available during Coronavirus pandemic

  3. Club room for members

  4. Ranch style clubhouse with function rooms

  5. Covered terrace

  6. Open terrace

  7. Snack menu

  8. A la Carte Menu


Cost


Mijas Golf Club represents incredible value. Los Olivos is a great golf course. A first class facility and mid range prices!

Check out the current green fee rates and offers here.


First nine holes Mijas Golf Club Los Olivos


Mijas Golf Los Olivos 1st Hole

Par 4. Stroke 17. White tees 308, Yellow 301, Red Tee 275.


Los Olivos Golf Course Review and Players Guide Mijas Golf Costa del Sol Malaga Andalusia Spain

From the tee this looks like a completely innocuous opening hole. Dead straight par four needing a drive and flick.


Let me assure you, I walk off this green having taken 6 strokes as frequently as I make par! If you are too complacent this can quickly become one of the most treacherous little par 4’s that you will encounter on any of the Costa del Sol’s golf courses!


An elevated tee looks down a straight fairway that runs gently downhill until 30m short of the green where upon it climbs a 3m bank up to the plateau green.


Out of bounds all along the right side. The out of bounds is close to the fairway and can be intimidating. No need to let it concern you. You have 200m of space on the left!


There is a line of bunkers on the right edge of the fairway that can save you if you go a little right. A complex of bunkers lay on the left side of the fairway running from 50m short of the green to 130m out.


Left of the bunkers is the 9th fairway. If you are worried about going right with your tee shot you can aim over the left hand bunkers and be perfectly safe. I do.

Forty metres short of the green is a large frontal bunker that catches long drives and prevents the big hitters taking the green on from the tee. Do not go in this bunker. Forty metres up to the plateau green – extremely tough shot!

The fairway bunkers all have a hard surface, meaning that you can play a normal iron shot out of them. Not as difficult as you might think.


The front left of the green has a large deep sand trap that can give you as much as 25m to get to the flag, again, best avoided!


The bank running up to the green is steep, making running shots a difficult and risky option. If you leave it even one metre short of the putting surface, you will find yourself at the bottom of the slope again and again.


My advice is to select a tee shot that leaves you a full swing with your most lofted club – you need to fly the ball to the green centre and make it stop in order to get your par.


The green is wide but shallow, some 35 paces wide and only 8 paces deep, with four distinctly different areas. If you are more than 15 paces from the flag you are almost certain to 3 putt.


Try to keep your ball below the flag, you need an uphill putt. If you are putting from the back of the green you will discover that the green can be extremely fast. It is very easy to putt off the green and run down the bank giving you a 30 metre chip to get back to the plating surface.


Walk off the green on the right side up the hill towards the 2nd tee.


Mijas Golf Los Olivos Hole 2

Par 4. Stroke 1. White tee 397. Yellow 392. Red 338.


Los Olivos Golf Course Review and Players Guide Mijas Golf Costa del Sol Malaga Andalusia Spain

An elevated tee looks down a dog leg right par 4. Out of bounds on your right. Only going to affect you if you try to drive over the corner of the dog leg and go too far to the right.


Plenty of room on the left, the 9th fairway is again at your disposal. The further left you go, the longer your second shot. There is a band of olive trees separating the 2nd and 9th fairways.


There is a fairway bunker placed at the apex of the dog leg, 200m carry from the tee. The big hitters will take a tight line between this bunker and the out of bounds wall – high risk shot but if successful leaves a very short second into the green.


The best line from the tee is to aim at the lakes in the distance to the left of the green. The lakes are on the 8th hole, they will not trouble you for a while but they give the perfect line for your tee shot.


If your drive reaches the corner of the dog leg you will have around 150m to the green. The left edge of the green is protected by 2 large bunkers running the length of the green. The green is cut into a hill with the sloping bank on the right side of the green. The green presents a narrow target from the fairway making the left bunkers look almost inescapable! If you don’t fancy taking on the bunkers, you can aim at the bank on the right. Your ball is unlikely to run back to the green. There is a small swale that catches balls that use the bank, leaving you an interesting choice for your next shot. Do you putt across the 1 or 2 metres to the putting surface, or do you chip it? Even though the swale is only 1 or 2 metres from the greens edge it makes you work hard to get up and down in 2. Great hole. Very pleasing to walk off with a par.


Mijas Golf Los Olivos Hole 3

Par 3. Stroke 15. Whjte tee 161. Yellow 156. Red 130.


Los Olivos Golf Course Review and Players Guide Mijas Golf Costa del Sol Malaga Andalusia Spain

The first of five par 3s. The elevated tee drops 15m down to the green. A narrow entrance is guarded left and right by bunkers. The green opens out revealing a tier running front to back along the centre of the green. This feature will give many different kinds of puts to deal with, uphill, downhill, severe side hill.  The back of the green is well bunkered too. Wherever possible get your tee shot below the hole, giving you an uphill putt.


Mijas Golf Los Olivos Hole 4

Par 4. Stroke 11. White tee 323. Yellow 310. Red 279.


Los Olivos Golf Course Review and Players Guide Mijas Golf Costa del Sol Malaga Andalusia Spain

A straight fairway pointing directly at the green. Out of bounds if you hit a really bad one to the right. A large mound of gorse and olive trees if you hit a poor one too far left.


The green is elevated. There are many difficult bunkers set into the face of the front elevation. You can take 1 more club than you think to deal with the elevation of the green, and also to take those bunkers out of play. The green runs at an oblique angle away from the fairway, meaning you have a shallow target to aim at. Don’t worry, the bank at the back will stop long shots and keep you close to the green. The easiest pin to get at is back right. If the pin is front left make sure you are front right to give the easiest putt.

Mijas Golf Los Olivos Hole 5

Par 4. Stroke 9. White tee 392. Yellow 375. Red 338.


Los Olivos Golf Course Review and Players Guide Mijas Golf Costa del Sol Malaga Andalusia Spain

The tees are set high on the embankment. You are looking over the mound of trouble that featured on the previous hole to your left and all you can see of the fairway are a pair of vast bunkers on the right.


To carry the mound is around 170m. You can aim to the right of the mound directly at the bunkers, anything less than 190m and you will be in the fairway short of the sand. The tiger line is to take aim on the white villa visible just to the right of the mound on the hillside on the horizon.


If you reach the fairway bunkers you are in trouble – very difficult to reach the green.


There are no obstacles in front of the green – easy access to the pin. The green is canted towards you so that you can see the bottom of the flag when playing your approach shot. The right greenside bunker is tricky as it has an olive tree on it and can make your escape tougher.


The left greenside and rear bunkers are pretty straightforward and simply require a confident splash to escape. If you go over the green you roll down the bank and find yourself needing a Phil Mickleson flop shot to get you back to the flag.

The green breaks subtly – in general if you are only a metre or two from the cup, aim at the middle and hit it firm.


Mijas Golf Los Olivos Hole 6

Par 3. Stroke 13. White tee 167. Yellow 162. Red 134.


Los Olivos Golf Course Review and Players Guide Mijas Golf Costa del Sol Malaga Andalusia Spain

The green is a lovely big generous target – just focus on that. Do not focus on the huge lake on the left edge of the green. Ignore it!!


Bunkers on the right can be difficult as you often find yourself with a downhill lie, which is not easy when you are playing towards the water.


There is no trouble short of the green – if the water worries you, then play for the front edge of the green – take the water out of play and leave yourself a long first putt. Nothing difficult with the green – true and generally flat.


Mijas Golf Los Olivos Hole 7

Par 4 Stroke 5. White tee 350. Yellow 309. Red 280.


Los Olivos Golf Course Review and Players Guide Mijas Golf Costa del Sol Malaga Andalusia Spain

Now this is a tee shot! There is water everywhere!! You have no choice but to gird your loins and take on the shot!


The lake runs along the left side of the tee box, runs under a stone bridge which is your access to the fairway, and continues up the right side of the fairway. To reach safety you need to carry 150 metres. If you go to the right you are going to get wet unless you can hit it 220m on the fly.

There are trees on the left of the fairway. The safest line is to aim at the olive tree closest to the green that gives you the most fairway to go at.


The green is on a plateau – your approach shots are not going to run up to the green – you need to carry the ball to the putting surface. Front right is well bunkered. Over the back finds you on the embankment with a tough chip or putt required to get you close.


The green is on 2 tiers. On the top tier all the putts break towards the clubhouse. The lower tier runs downhill towards the front of the green and can be very quick

Always good to walk off the green with a 4.


Mijas Golf Los Olivos Hole 8

Par 3. Stroke 3. White tee 214.  Yellow 174. Red 128.


Los Olivos Golf Course Review and Players Guide Mijas Golf Costa del Sol Malaga Andalusia Spain

In my opinion, this is the most daunting hole at Mijas Golf Club. Along with the 8th hole on Los Lagos probably 2 of the most iconic holes on any of the Costa del Sol’s golf courses. It is a pretty easy 4, but an extremely difficult 3. Terrific layout!

The tee looks toward the green, all you are going to notice is the lake on the left. The lake starts approximately 80 metres from the green and runs around the left and rear of the green.


In order to reach the green, you have to carry the ball all the way to the green.

If you aim at the right hand green side bunker, you will be able to play to the right of the lake and leave yourself a chip into the green. I really think it might be wise to lay up on the right side and chip and putt – for most golfers it is such a difficult tee shot to hit the green.


If you do fire your tee shot over the water directly to the green, you have a few more problems. Front left just over the lake is a green side bunker – not hard to escape from, but is deeply disappointing to have hit a great shot over the lake, only to fall a few metres short and be bunkered.


If you carry the lake but are heading to the left edge, you are likely to get a bad bounce off the bank and kick towards the water. It’s a penalty drop out of the water and then you have a very tough chip up the steep bank – looking like a double bogey!


The green runs at an oblique angle right to left away from the tee. Long and narrow, it runs slightly downhill from the back to the front ,with some complex contours to deal with if the pin is located on the front of the green.

A great hole!


Mijas Golf Los Olivos Hole 9

Par 5. Stroke 7. White tee 503. Yellow 494. Red 443.

A great Par 5 to finish the front 9 at Mijas Golf’s Los Olivos. Dogleg right heading steeply uphill as you turn the corner.


Huge amounts of room from the tee box provided that you do not go to the right. The best line for your drive is to aim at the Byblos Tower behind the fairway.

There is a mound of earth with scrub and trees to the right of the fairway. If you are on the bank you are in trouble, play a provisional, it will be difficult to find.

The further to the right you can get your drive, the shorter your second shot, don’t get too close to the bank or it will block your second shot. The long hitter will take a tiger line bisecting the Byblos Tower, and the end of the bank, if they get past the corner they will be in range to get up with 2 shots!

For us humans, drive the ball anywhere up the fairway. You will see a series of fairway bunkers across the fairway about 100m from the green, lay up as close to these as possible. Your approach into the green will be steeply uphill, add an extra club, or even two, to be sure that you carry the ball to the putting surface. If you are even 1 metre short of the putting surface, you will roll 30 metres back down the hill.


Bunkers protect the left and right flanks to the green. The green runs from front to back and can be very fast. The upper tier is hard to get to, but if the pin is at the back and you find the back tier, you will have a short putt!


Mijas Golf, Los Olivos – The back nine holes


Mijas Golf Los Olivos Hole 10

Par 5. Stroke 6. White tee 511. Yellow 507. Red 454.


Los Olivos Golf Course Review and Players Guide Mijas Golf Costa del Sol Malaga Andalusia Spain

This is a marvelous par 5. The tees are set on top of the hill looking down the fairway which runs from left to right towards the green. A very large fairway gives you an invitation to hit it hard off the tee. Out of bounds along the left side of the fairway if you cross the cart path. It will only affect shots that are very offline. A complex of fairway bunkers on the right side of the fairway can prove difficult to miss! Right of the fairway lies the 18th, meaning that you have a huge target to go at from the tee.


The further right you go, the more difficult it becomes to cross back on to your fairway, as you need to traverse a line of mature trees running from the right hand fairway bunkers down to 110m short of the green. These trees divide the 10th and 18th fairways.

Your second shot may be influenced by bunker complexes on both the left and right side of the fairway, approximately 130m from the green on the left and 110m on the right.


Big hitters can make it home in 2. The front of the green is open and will allow shots to run on. Cavernous greenside bunkers will punish errant shots in.

The green itself is a double green shared with the 17th. Once you get past the narrow bunker lined entrance, there is plenty of room. It is always better to be 1 club longer going into the green in order to take those bunkers out of play.


Mijas Golf Los Olivos Hole 11

Par 4. Stroke 14. White tee 339. Yellow 314. Red 291.


Los Olivos Golf Course Review and Players Guide Mijas Golf Costa del Sol Malaga Andalusia Spain

This is a tough par 4. You need a good straight drive here to give you as short a second shot as possible. You have out of bounds up the left edge of the fairway, with a fairway bunker half way up waiting to catch your tee shot. The right side is tree lined. If you find the trees it is going to cost you a shot to get it back in play. If you are very wayward and go right of the trees you will discover the 17th fairway. If you can hit it high enough to carry over the trees you will have a chance of getting on.


The fairway runs uphill to the green 15m metres higher than the tee. Bunkers protect the left side front and back of the green as well as the back right. The slope is the main protection here. Running shots very rarely make it up and often roll 10 m or 20 metres back down the fairway. You need to hit a lofted club at the middle of the green as this is one of the smallest targets on the course.


Having reached the green the second challenge begins. This green is the most difficult on the golf course. It is very easy to have multiple putts here. Take care when you read the breaks.


This is an example of Cabell Robinson design at its best, taking a perfectly simple looking Par 4 and giving it teeth that are sharp enough to bite you if you are not completely focussed on your game. Mijas Golf, easy bogey, hard par.


Mijas Golf Los Olivos Hole 12

Par 4. Stroke 4. White tee 373. Yellow 368. Red tee 326.


Los Olivos Golf Course Review and Players Guide Mijas Golf Costa del Sol Malaga Andalusia Spain

Another challenging par 4. Dog leg right with out of bounds on the right side. The corner of the dog leg is tree lined and makes cutting the corner very tough.

Out of bounds also awaits you on the left of the fairway. Whilst the fairway is reasonably wide, it is still a huge relief to find the fairway. There are far more ways to make a mess of it here than there are to find safety. The best line off the tee is either a driver of 3 wood taking a line on the brown or white garden wall ahead of you, and on the left edge of the fairway.


Out of bounds runs the full length of the hole and behind the green too. The green has a narrow entrance guarded by bunkers left and right. Another green protects the back of the green making this tricky to hit.


You make a par or net par here and you can feel very pleased with yourself!


Mijas Golf Los Olivos Hole 13

Par 4. Stroke 12. White tee 300. Yellow 296. Red 264.



This hole offers you an intimidating view from the tee. You see what appears to be a narrow fairway running straight up the valley with trees, bushes and out of bounds everywhere around you. In fact at its widest point you have nearly 50m of safety if you include the playable areas of rough. Just smack it up the middle!

Any drives that go left of the fairway are dead. Hit a provisional ball. Most drives that miss the fairway on the right will be OK. You need to be 30 metres right of the fairway to be out of bounds.


The green is tucked away to the left and is protected by tall trees. You can only access it from the centre or right side of the fairway. Bunkers protect the front left as well as the right side of the green.


The green is very difficult to read, not easy to get long putts close.


Mijas Golf Los Olivos Hole 14

Par 3. Stroke 10. White tee 163. Yellow 162. Red 137.


Los Olivos Golf Course Review and Players Guide Mijas Golf Costa del Sol Malaga Andalusia Spain

This looks like the easiest par 3 in the world. Just a flick from the tee down to the green on the valley floor. Wrong. This is a deceptively tough hole.


The drop from the tee to the green looks in the region of 30 metres. The green is an island with scrubland defending all sides of it. If you are more than 20 metres right or left of the green you are out of bounds. If you are short you face a very difficult chip. Left edge of the green has huge bunkers set into it. The right side of the green is the only bailout area and will give you a tricky chip or putt back onto the green. The green itself undulates in all directions, meaning that 2 putts is no mean feat!


Recording a par or net par here is an achievement. This innocuous little hole can break your heart and shred your scorecard.


Mijas Golf Los Olivos Hole 15

Par 4 . Stroke 2. White tee 433. Yellow 401. Red 331.


Los Olivos Golf Course Review and Players Guide Mijas Golf Costa del Sol Malaga Andalusia Spain

If you thought the previous hole was difficult, now you are faced with a monster. Steel yourself. Maximum focus. Get past this one and the finishing 3 are not so bad!


A dog leg left. The tee points you towards the out of bounds fence 300 metres ahead. You probably cannot reach it. If you go to the right of the fairway you will go over the fence. There is trouble up the left for the first 200 metres too. This is an intimidating drive. You need to hit it in the fairway no less than 160 metres to have sight of the green. The best line off the tee is to aim at the bush located in the fairway.


The fairway crests at 100m short of the green and falls into a deep valley with the green located on the other side of the valley, running obliquely left to right.

The upslope guarding the green approach does a terrific job of frustrating many approach shots. Ideally you need to fly the ball to the green centre and make it stop


The left of the green has a bunker, as does the back right. It is a very small target and will prove tough to hit. Once you reach the green, be aware that almost all putts break away from the road.


Very few pars are recorded here.


Mijas Golf Los Olivos Hole 16

Par 3 Stroke 18 White tee 135. Yellow 130. Red 101.


Los Olivos Golf Course Review and Players Guide Mijas Golf Costa del Sol Malaga Andalusia Spain

This is a pleasantly gentle par 3. The green is cut into the bank with bunkers set into the slope off the right side – don’t go there! The left side banking will collect your ball and prevent all but the wildest shots from going too far from the putting surface. There is a bunker left of the pin leaving you a short sand shot to get out – not so difficult and nothing to worry about.


The front of the green has a bunker which catches quite a few. This bunker gives you the full length of green to play with. Not so hard to get it out. The green runs downhill from front to back and can be very quick. 

Mijas Golf Los Olivos Hole 17

Par 4. Stroke 16. White tees 371, Yellow 316, Red 293.


Los Olivos Golf Course Review and Players Guide Mijas Golf Costa del Sol Malaga Andalusia Spain

Wonderful par 4. A chance to take a shot back from the golf course. This is a thoroughly enjoyable hole that invites you to attack it.


The tee is elevated on a bank with a beautiful stone wall standing 4 metres tall running the entire length of the left edge of the tee box. The right side of the fairway is tree lined, right of the trees is the 11th fairway.


There are fairway bunkers on the left of the fairway about 100m short of the green. They can catch offline drives but are easy to play out of.


Because the left of the tee box has the wall running along it, very few players go left off the tee. The ideal line is to aim directly at the entrance of the green and bash it mightily. The longest hitters can reach the dancefloor with a powerful blow and a little luck.


Most players will have a straight and fairly short shot into the green. Bunkers left and right of the green, but you have a large unprotected opening to the green.

The green is vast being shared with the 10th, but is largely flat.


Mijas Golf Los Olivos Hole 18

Par 5. Stoke 8. White tee 435, Yellow 421, Red 384.


Los Olivos Golf Course Review and Players Guide Mijas Golf Costa del Sol Malaga Andalusia Spain

The final hole. If you get a good drive you give yourself a birdie opportunity. A chance for redemption, a chance to either save your score card, or make it rather special!


The tee is set alongside a lake which runs up the left side of the fairway and stops 150m short of the green.


The right side of the fairway is tree lined with the 10th fairway available to the right of the trees, if you feel the need to avoid the lake at all costs! The best driving line is to aim at the car park you can see ahead of you on the hillside. The fairway is generously wide until it narrows to a pinch point 170m from the green. At this point, as the line of trees come to an end you will find a bunker complex on the right side of the fairway. Big hitters will be able to carry this pinch point and land where the fairway opens up again, to find themselves with a mid iron into the green and a terrific chance for an eagle or birdie.


The less long players will drive into the generous belly of the fairway and then play their second shots, laying up short of the deadly bunker that crosses the fairway 30m short of the green. Sadly, if you go into this bunker you may find yourself in big trouble – it is a tough escape shot.


If your layup shot is successful, then you have a straightforward shot into the green. Irrespective of where the pin is, always play for the middle of the green. Putting front to back can be difficult as can putting across the green. If you are in the middle, you are minimising these dangers.


Summary


I am lucky enough to be a member at Mijas Golf Club. I play both courses frequently. Los Olivos is a hugely different character to Los Lagos and is a course that I relish each time I tee it up.


The Mijas Golf courses are the most commercially famous golf courses on the Costa del Sol. If you are visiting for a week or so then playing 36 holes at Mijas Golf is a must.


There is a reason why Mijas Golf are the most played golf courses on the Costa del Sol, I urge you to come and see for yourself.


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