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  • Writer's pictureGolf on Costa del Sol

The Best Golf Courses for Beginners Around Marbella

Updated: Feb 19

If you are a beginner or new to golf and planning a golf trip or have been invited to join a group on a golf holiday to Marbella then take heart, all of the golf courses on the Costa del Sol welcome beginners with open arms. You are the next generation of the game and therefore the future! In this article we will share with you the best golf courses for beginners around Marbella.

What difference does the course make?

With more than 70 golf courses along the Costa del Sol, and more than 19 of them in the municipality of Marbella there is a huge choice. Many of Europe’s finest golf courses can be found here. Golf courses of the highest quality designed to host tournaments for professional players can be enjoyed by visitors to Marbella.

Quite simply, championship golf courses are hard. If you are not ready for the experience it can be overwhelming.  As a new golfer, playing a golf course that is just too hard for you can shatter your confidence, put you off playing and result in a frustrating, even miserable holiday golf experience.

All of this can be avoided by selecting the right kind of golf course, maximising your fun and leaving you ready for more.

What are the characteristics of a golf course that will assist beginners?

In order to figure out the desirable characteristics of beginner-friendly golf courses near Marbella we need to understand the problems that beginners often face.

By definition beginners have not yet mastered their swing which means it can be inconsistent. This in turns means that the quality of the ball striking can vary resulting in a high number of mishit shots, usually topping it or hitting it fat, both producing a ball flight that does not stay in the air for very long. “Touch and feel” shots such as bunker play and chipping around the green can also be hit and miss for players just starting their golf journey.

The golf courses that we feel best suit golf newbies visiting Marbella have some similar characteristics that make golf more fun:

  1. Short in length

  2. Few or no water hazards or other hazards in front of the tee boxes

  3. Little or no water or “out of bounds”close to greens

  4. Little or no thick rough

Championship courses have all of these things in abundance, a great challenge for skilled players. Your low handicap playing partners will enjoy our list too – everyone likes making birdies!

Los Olivos

Best Golf Courses around Marbella Costa del Sol Andalusia

Mijas Golf is hugely popular with golfers visiting the Costa del Sol, featuring two 18 hole golf courses, Los Lagos and Los Olivos. Los Lagos is a spectacular championship layout suitable for high handicappers but relentlessly tough for inexperienced players. Los Olivos by comparison is a much friendlier prospect for newbies.

Generous fairways, short rough make life easier. The lakes come into play on four holes but only require stern concentration on the 7th and 8th tee shots.

Los Olivos is a good championship standard golf course that has been thoughtfully laid out to aid the less confident whilst offering a strenuous test for skilled players. Los Olivos is good for everyone.


Best Golf Courses around Marbella Costa del Sol Andalusia

Cabopino Golf Marbella is set in the heart of countryside that surrounds Marbella. It is a beautiful golf course offering fantastic views. Cabopino Golf is set up to appeal to social golfers, those players that love to be out in the countryside and not so focussed on playing competitive golf.

Its overall length at 5193m makes it ideal for players that do not hit the ball far. Tee shots of 150m or more are all that is needed to get the best out of the game. It is a great choice for a beginner golf course near Marbella.

Atalaya Golf and Country Club New Course

Best Golf Courses around Marbella Costa del Sol Andalusia

Atalaya Golf and Country Club is home to two 18 hole golf courses. The Old Course is an outstanding golf course of championship standard, like all well designed golf courses each hole offers an easy bogey or a hard par depending upon your skill level.

The new course is set in the beautiful parkland above and around the Old Course. Many of the holes feature elevation changes which serve to make the course look amazing. With most of the par 3 holes less than 160m long and the par four holes around 300m this is a friendly golf course for beginners near Marbella. 

Santa Clara Golf Club

Best Golf Courses around Marbella Costa del Sol Andalusia

In the middle of Marbella Santa Clara is a wonderful golf club. The sole focus of the team at Santa Clara is to make sure you feel like you are at home. They are totally focussed on hospitality and making sure you have fun! Santa Clara is a golf course where beginners and the experienced can play together and both feel deeply rewarded.

The rough is generally light, the fairways kind and greens accessible. There are water features on 3 or 4 holes. They are there to make the course look beautiful rather than to punish!


Best Golf Courses around Marbella Costa del Sol Andalusia

A vibrant members course with a packed social calendar Miraflores Golf Club is a fun place to be.

The golf course is designed so that long hitters are not at an advantage over those that cover less distance from the tee. If you can manage 100m to 200m with your tee shots then you will find yourself in a good position on each hole to start putting together a decent round.

This is a good venue for social golf and will be kind to Marbella’s beginner golfers.

Cerrado del Aguila

This is a golf course that I enjoy playing enormously. It is a nine hole golf course and takes only an hour and a quarter to complete.The quality of the holes is very high with some holes that I found truly challenging.

Cerrado del Aguila serves its membership very well, they are a band of happy golfers that derive great pleasure from their golf course. You will too. It allows skilled players to be aggressive, to take risks and test their skills. It is also kind to those still learning and does not frustrate new players.

Azata Golf

Best Golf Courses around Marbella Costa del Sol Andalusia

One of the newest golf courses on the Costa del Sol, Azata Golf is a cracker. Designed to enthral social golfers and ease new players into the game.

I enjoy playing here. As an experienced player I enjoyed that each hole presented me with different options and strategies allowing me to pit my skills against the course. For the less experienced the layout, thoughtfully, has no barriers that might prevent a new golfer from becoming engaged in the playing experience.

Good shots will be rewarded and make you feel like champion, bad shots are usually not terminal,

Villa Padierna Tramores

Best Golf Courses around Marbella Costa del Sol Andalusia

Villa Padierna Golf Club and the Anantara Villa Padierna Palace Hotel make arguably the best golf resort in Spain. There are three golf courses to choose from. The Flamingos course is a great course and extraordinarily rewarding to play. The Alferini Course is one of the most amazing Championships Golf courses to be found on the Costa del Sol offering an examination in golf akin to famous names such as Finca Cortesin, La Reserva etc.

The amazing courses are not best suited to beginners enjoying a golf holiday in the Marbella sunshine. These are tough golf courses and can make the most wizened hustler weep!

Villa Padierna Golf Club offers a third option to help new golfers gain on course skills and experience, The Tramores executive golf course. Eighteen holes set in the same glorious hinterland that makes Villa Padierna an idyll.

The holes are short in length and sufficiently wide to give new players a positive experience. Designed to provide a sub 2 hour round and allow players to develop on-course playing skills The Tramores course is perfect for beginners to get a championship golf feeling on a scale that is manageable.

Santa Maria

Best Golf Courses around Marbella Costa del Sol Andalusia

Santa Maria Golf Club has a great reputation for its conditioning and presentation. I know from personal experience that it is a beautiful golf course and very pleasant to play.

This is a long golf course from the viewpoint of a beginner, but the fairways are nice and wide and on most holes there are no dangerous hazards between the tee box and the fairway which gives you a fair chance to start each hole with a positive mindset!

La Noria

Best Golf Courses around Marbella Costa del Sol Andalusia

Set close to the beautiful village of La Cala de Mijas, 20 minutes driving from Marbella. La Noria is a great facility for senior and social golfers. A tee shot of 120m is more than enough to give you the opportunity of hitting the green with your second shot and therefore building a very good score.

Be warned, this is no pushover. There are some holes where the lakes prey on those with tentative swings and lack of self belief!

La Noria golf is a great way for beginner golfers to gain more playing experience and confidence and is a good segway into preparing for more challenging golf courses that are waiting for you .


Golf is enjoying a huge boost in numbers. It’s a great sport that can be played all through your life. It can be enjoyed by families, friends and makes a fantastic social event. With record numbers of golfers visiting the Costa del Sol there are also a record number of beginner golfers visiting Marbella for their first golf holiday.

Whilst championship golf courses are both beautiful and plentiful on the Costa del Sol they are tough. When your game is good enough then you must make a point of playing as many as possible. Playing these tough golf courses before you are ready will not be a positive experience. You will feel crushed, lose a lot of golf balls and not be in a hurry to repeat the experience!

If you choose the right type of golf course, perhaps from the list above, the experience will be totally different. You will find yourself making bogeys, pars and even birdies, your confidence will grow and as a result your mastery of the game will develop. The more good shots you hit then the easier it becomes to repeat them!

In no time you will have gained the experience you need to be ready for those exotic tournament golf courses. Please note, it’s not about handicap, you do not need to be a low handicap to enjoy Finca Cortesin or La Reserva, but you do need to have the experience to devise and play to a strategy.

The Costa del Sol is waiting to welcome you as a beginner in our wonderful sport. Choose the right itinerary and you will be embarking upon a golfing odyssey that will delight you for the rest of your life!

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