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  • Writer's pictureGolf on Costa del Sol

Miraflores Golf Club – The Captain’s Challenge

Updated: Feb 26

We recently played at Miraflores Golf Club where we wrote our players guide and review. Guiding us around that day were two outstanding gentlemen and Board members at Miraflores Golf, Peter Bundgard and Graham Ford. 

Peter and Graham were ready and waiting to challenge JW and I in a head to head “do or die” matchplay battle in our series of “Challenge Matches”.

In our series of “Challenge Matches” JW and I have built a remarkable record. So far we have actually failed to win a single match! The pressure is on for  Peter and Graham not to become our first victims!

Pre-match Coffee

We met our playing partners, Peter and Graham on the terrace at Miraflores Golf Club for a coffee in the sunshine and to negotiate the terms of the challenge.

Bright sunshine and a beaming smile from our camarera greeted us on the Clubhouse Terrace. A rather lovely way to start the day! Miraflores Golf Club has a reputation for the quality of catering and hospitality, judging by our welcome, we say rightly so!

We joined Peter and Graham at their table bumping elbows and fists in the new Covid style of greeting. “High / Low” said Peter. “You will love it. A form of match play for the connoisseur!” There are 2 points available per hole. The best two scores from the opposing sides compete for 1 point and the worst 2 scores compete for the other. It makes for a very strategic four ball!

Handicaps were discussed, shot allocations calculated and the bet agreed. My throat became dry. I felt like JW and I were Laurel and Hardy pitched against a pair of James Bond-esque villains.

Like lambs to the slaughter, JW and I followed Auric Goldfinger and Ernst Blofeld to the first tee.

Miraflores Golf Club Mijas Malaga Costa del Sol Spain Andalusia

Miraflores Golf: The Challenge Match – The first nine holes

The first hole is a good birdie chance, it looks quite narrow but in fact is not. A good poke off the tee should get most people close to the green.

JW managed a bogey, beaten by Graham’s par. My birdie was equalled by that of Peter, we go to the 2nd tee one point down. Tough game, birdies only get halves!

As we stood on the 2nd tee Graham pointed out to me the tiger line. On the left of the hole from the tee is a tall mound. On top of which is safety netting. The tiger line is on the fence pole on top of the bank. “Do not take that line and then draw the ball” warned Graham, “any further left than that is game over.” Very decent of him to paint a clear picture bearing in mind we are locked in a mortal combat!

JW urged caution, “Just hit a 2 iron down to the dog leg”. Not much faith from my partner, mind you I have cost him a few Euros lately in lost bets!

JW drew his drive around the corner. Graham blasted one over the top on the perfect line, Peter took the conservative line and hit a rather gentle shot – much to Graham’s chagrin. I took the tiger line and hit a cut which brought my ball safely in the right hand rough at the bottom of the fairway. Good driving hole!

My 3 playing partners were all in great shape, I was not. I hit a truly dreadful iron shot which caused my cherished “Tour Special” ball to be lost forever in the creek that runs along the right side of the fairway.

JW chose this critical moment to enjoy some recreational time in the front bunker resulting in a bogey. Two net pars from Miraflores’ Finest resulted in them taking a 3 point lead after 2 holes.

On the third tee Peter stuck resolutely to his safety first campaign and hit a nice drive down the centre of the fairway. Graham , JW and I all chose the “gung ho” option and took a line on the corner of the cart path as it disappeared around the inside corner of the dog leg.

John the Baptist

Graham did not muster his best blow and deposited his ball in the scenery on the left of the cart path, it is marked as a lateral water hazard which allows him to drop it in to play for a penalty, very fair. John also baptised his ball. I hit a cracker.

The steep incline to the green baffled Peter, his second and third shots did not make much progress up the hill meaning that my par won a point back for us. JW salvaged a half with Graham. We are two points adrift as we go in the 4th hole.

The forces of good were reigning in the agents of Spectre!

The next hole, the 4th, is a cracking par 3, playing downhill from the tee with OOB on the left. Graham and Peter both came up short, the wind having stalled their shots. JW made it to the front apron and unusually I hit the middle of the green.

Graham made a spectacular up and down from the front bunker. As his putt dropped I magnanimously congratulated him whilst fighting back the tears of despair. My par was enough for only a half. Like a knife through the heart Peter then drained a 7m putt to make a net par, we were suddenly back to 3 points down!

Miraflores Golf Club Mijas Malaga Costa del Sol Spain Andalusia

Net Eagle dashes hopes

The 5th is a tough, technical par 4 hole requiring the calm resolve of a Tony Stark. Unsurprisingly the Iron Men of Miraflores ruthlessly canned two nett birdies. As in all Bond movies they looked set to defeat their nemesis in the first reel!

5 Points down after 5 holes. Not looking too good for the plucky young men of Mijas Golf. A rousing come back is required!

By some miracle my tortured swing produced a drive of outstanding quality on the 6th hole. Perfectly on line and arcing towards the horizon. Peter and Graham both found the first cut of rough on the right side of the fairway, the redoubtable JW found the centre of the fairway.

Graham and Peter had no option other than to lay up. JW elected to do the same creating an opportunity for me to have a crack at the green. Choosing a line over the mound was difficult, my iron shot made it to the front right of the green leaving with a 30m uphill putt for eagle.

My hope was that by smashing the ball to the green in two blows would have unnerved the opposition. On the contrary, it seemed to motivate them. Peter hit his 3rd shot to 3m and sank the putt for a birdie net eagle! JW’s net birdie was good enough to beat Graham’s score, so we remained 5 points behind. Peter and Graham are extremely efficient at quashing our hopes!

Miraflores Golf Club Mijas Malaga Costa del Sol Spain Andalusia

A stiff upper lip

The par 3 seventh hole at Miraflores Golf is an outstanding par 3. The prevailing wind and exposure make it feel like one of the great par 3’s that you might find on the finest links courses.

Both Graham and Peter manufactured shots that found them just off the left front edge of the green. My punch shot ran over the back of the green and continued for another 30m running down the bank. I found myself in the front bunker after the second shot. From the green I could see JW imploring me to stop cocking about and get it in the hole. Nope! Not going to happen. Several more desperate swipes followed quickly before I returned my golf ball to the safety of my pocket.

JW holed out for a stoic par. Grace under fire. A captain going down with his ship. With a stiff upper lip JW congratulated the enemy on their brace of nett birdies.

The 8th hole is even harder! With the exception of John “Keep calm and carry on” Walker we all made a total bollix of it. This was 12 minutes of being brutalised by the sport that we all love so deeply!

The ninth hole is a short-ish dog leg leg and is a real birdie chance. The Miraflores Marauders both hit excellent tee shots to the corner of the dogleg as did JW and I. Both of our wedge shots were within 2m of the cup. A rare three putt from Graham opened a window of opportunity. Briefly. We missed our birdie putts and gained back a point.

6 points behind after nine holes.

Miraflores Golf Club Mijas Malaga Costa del Sol Spain Andalusia

Miraflores Golf – The Challenge Match – the back nine

The 10th is another short par 4 but is no birdie push over. JW and I both found the copse of trees on the left. We both managed to hack out and reach the putting surface. Graham dunked his second shot into the front right bunker whilst Peter bladed one through the back of the green. “Well, well well”, we both commented, “Is this the start of our comeback?”

A brace of pars for the men of Mijas Golf was enough to take 2 points back. With 8 holes remaining we were only 4 points adrift. This could be a great escape!

The short uphill par 3 11th represented another chance to close the gap as no shots were in play.

Two pars from John and I saw the gap reduced to two points. Momentum had clearly moved our way.

The 12th hole at Miraflores is a cracking par 5, probably my favorite hole. It looks great from the tee, you can see exactly what you need to do. Outstanding views across the valley out to sea.

We all hit cracking tee shots well down the fairway, JW and I coming to within 5m of over shooting the short grass and finding the lake. Perfect position!

The lake is 40m long and requires a second shot from Peter and Graham of around 150m to get over it. From the lake to the green is 230m.

The vast expanse of water did not bother Graham or Peter one jot. Fairway woods were crisply struck and balls dispatched to the far shore with apparent ease. This was not the demeanor of beaten men!

All 4 of us found the green in regulation figures. Net birdies from Peter and Graham were enough to take back one of those hard fought points and slow our momentum.

Miraflores Golf Club Mijas Malaga Costa del Sol Spain Andalusia

The turning point

The next par 3 looks very straightforward, in fact I found it to be confoundingly difficult. There is nothing in the way between the tee and green. A bunker guards the front edge. Plenty of room around the green for off line tee shots. Nothing to fear but fear itself.

As you walk up to the green it becomes apparent how small the target is. A long slender hourglass shaped green is very tough to hit. Needless to say this did not deter Peter who sought out the centre of green with almost nonchalant ease!

JW hit a stone cold top which mercifully for all of us scrambled just ahead of the red tee boxes. Rather a chilly wind would not have flattered him, if you know what I mean?!

With JW out of the hole I found myself next to Graham on the left apron of the green. My pitch and run was impressive, 2m from the cup. I had literally loaded the pressure on to Graham. Waiting for him to crumble I watched in stunned horror as his pitch was executed to perfection finishing on the lip of the hole. A few moments later Peters par secured the second available point. Our charge had been thwarted, we were 4 points behind with 5 holes to play!

Miraflores Golf’s 14th hole is a challenging par 5. Both the drive and second shots require your full attention. The courageous – or desperate – can cut the corner of this dog leg left and may reach the green in two. The match winning strategy for our opponents would be to bash it up the middle towards the apex of the dog leg and then play up the hill on to the green for three strokes.

Once again, with the sinister confidence of James Bond assassins Peter and Graham’s tee shot sought out the centre line of the fairway. In desperation JW and I were forced to take the tiger line. I succeeded and hit my best drive of the day and was able to reach the green with my second shot.

John was less successful. He hit the drive beautifully but a slight hint of draw took his ball away from the safety of the fairway and finished out of bounds.

With devastating ease the men from Miraflores both found this difficult green in regulation figures and secured net birdies. I three putted for a par to lose two more valuable points. We are now 6 points down with 8 points available over the closing holes.

Miraflores Golf Club Mijas Malaga Costa del Sol Spain Andalusia

The Moat

Unbelievably both Peter and Graham made a mess of this tee shot finding the water that surrounds this island green. JW and I coaxed a pair of short irons 120m on to the putting surface.

As if inspired by dark forces Graham salvaged an improbable net bogey which was enough to limit us to 1 point gained. We are 5 down with 6 points to play for. As the expression goes, “It ain’t over ‘till the fat lady sings” – She is definitely clearing her throat!

The Handshake

Another short par 4 that can be a real birdie chance. John and I both hit crackers in our increasingly desperate efforts to stave off defeat. To no avail as Peter and Graham simply matched our drives but with a shot in hand! All 4 of us hit the green in 2 shots and all four of us made par.

It was handshake on the 16th green. Seven points behind with only 4 left to play for. Peter and Graham had no intention of becoming our first victims. Our miserable losing streak continues – is there anyone who plays golf on the Costa del Sol that we can beat? Please get in touch!!


JW and I had a cracking day at Miraflores Golf Club. Peter and Graham gave us a good beating proving the adage “Drive for show and putt for dough”. A couple of beers on the clubhouse terrace brought the day to a perfect conclusion. Peter and Graham are a formidable team and dealt with our challenge comfortably. We will be seeking a rematch! The pride of Mijas Golf is at stake!

It’s hard to beat a day like this. Enjoying golf on Costa del Sol is pretty special. 

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