top of page
  • Writer's pictureGolf on Costa del Sol

Villa Padierna Golf Club – Flamingos Course Playing Review

Updated: Feb 26

The Anantara Villa Padierna Villa Palace Resort is amongst the most salubrious on the Costa del Sol offering supreme levels of comfort, service and facilities. With 36 holes of championship golf and a further 18 hole training or short course the Villa Padierna Palace is a perfect base for your golfing holiday.

In this article we want to share our experiences of the Flamingos Course with you.

This visually spectacular golf course is superbly laid out so that from the tee boxes each hole looks like an event! My first impressions of most of the holes was how difficult they looked, this is because of the brilliant manner in which the designers have laid the golf course over the terrain.

Finca Cortesin Golf Course and Resort Flamingos Marbella Cadiz Sotogrande Estepona Andalusia Costa del Sol Spain

This is a tough golf course but is absolutely fair, no blind tee shots, no hidden traps or hazards. Each hole tells you its story as you view it from the tee box. If you select the right tee shot then each of the holes will give you a fair chance of beating your handicap.

I particularly enjoyed how the golf course drew me into the game. Within a hole or so my concentration on the task at hand was total. I found myself wholly immersed in playing the golf course. It felt good to be plugged into the game and for the time it took to play 18 holes , completely removed from everyday life!

The condition and presentation are exactly what you might imagine for a resort of such high standards.

This is a golf course for players that love the game!

We featured the courses at Villa Padierna in some recent articles “The Ultimate Guide to the Estepona Golf Courses” and “Top 10 Luxury Golf Courses on the Costa del Sol” , you can read them by clicking on the titles.

Public rate

Preferred rate for Golf on Costa del Sol


Park underneath the Hotel, for green fee guests the first 5 hours of parking are complimentary.

The pro Shop and Caddy Master are accessible from the car park. Check in is easy, a large service area sits centrally in the Pro Shop. Smiling helpful staff will greet you, give you buggy keys and make sure you have all that you need to get the best out of the day ahead.

The Roman Villa themed pro shop is a very attractive place to be and very well stocked with clothing.

Adjacent to the first tee of the Flamingos course is the clubhouse and a good chance to grab a coffee on this fresh November morning.


  1. Clubhouse

  2. Pro Shop

  3. Driving Range

  4. Changing Rooms

  5. Showers 

  6. Lockers

  7. Club Hire

  8. Halfway House

  9. On Course Refreshments

Flamingos Course

  1. Designer: Antonio Garcia Garrido

  2. Opened: 2001

  3. Tour Events: European Seniors 2002/3/4

  4. Ladies Spanish Open 2010

Flamingos Course Par 71 White Tees 5714m Gold Tees 5456m Red Tees 4828m

Flamingos Course Front 9 Holes

Flamingos Course Hole 1

Par 5 Stroke Index 4 White Tees 440m Gold Tees 429m Red Tees 414m

JW and I elected to play from the back tees today. Five euros is the bet, no shots given or received!

The first hole is an imposing prospect. The tee boxes are close to the pro shop and always guarantee that you will have a gallery!

The first 40m from the tee box cascades down to the valley floor before crossing river bed whereupon the broad domineering fairway rises and climbs towards the hill crest some 220m along the fairway and considerably above you.

The first half of this fairway is wide. It narrows as you reach the crest of the hill. A line of bunkers reside on the right side of the fairway starting at 170m from the tee running in a line for 70m stopping at the crestline. These bunkers will save lives! They will prevent drives that curve to the right from disappearing into the red staked vegetation on the right of the fairway.

A drive up the middle is called for, as far up the middle as you can muster. My own effort left me 190m to the green. A huge water hazard runs along the right of the hole following the profile of the green , encapsulating it making this green surrounded by water hazards!

The most visible danger is on the right. I erred by hitting my four iron at the left side of the green, a slight pull further left and my ball pinged off the cart path and threw itself into the hazard surrounding the green.

Whilst the second shot cannot be described as tight, it is not exactly open either. If you are a bit wayward with long irons or hybrids then you will need to play safe and make your way to the green with a couple of short irons. Starting your round here with a solid par is important. This is a tough track, grab all the pars that you can!

Flamingos Course Hole 2

Par 3 Stroke Index 10 White Tees 190m Gold Tees 174m Red Tees 144m

This is one of the great par three holes on the Costa del Sol.

The back tees are tucked away behind and to the right of the forward mens tees. The trees immediately off the front of the tee force you to aim at the left edge of the green. With 190m metres to go I chose to hit a cut 2 iron. I am not a good enough golfer to shape the ball on demand. But in this case I summoned maximum focus, set up to the ball as I know we must in order to get the shape and played a beauty, arcing into the sky and curving back to the target . 4m from paradise! I felt like a golfing God for that moment, this is what keeps us coming back! Deep joy!

JW as ever took a different approach to me and fired his 5 wood laser like at the pin. It left the club face with such ferocity that I thought it might shatter the flag stick! Coming to rest on the back edge of the green that 5 had covered 210m, twenty more than he had budgeted for! This has been happening a lot for JW recently. Certainly a result of his gym work!

A vast lake runs the length of the hole on the right. A large bunker sits on the left flank. You need to carry the ball 150m to clear the trouble in front of you.

There are no easy lay up points or easy up and down saves to be had. If you want a par hit the green. This hole makes it clear from the tee that you are going to have to find a good shot, so find one!

The Green is huge. Today they are running fast, about 10 on the stimpmeter, no bumps, no spike marks, no blemishes at all. The greens can be tricky to read and again require your full attention.

Flamingos Course Hole 3

Par 4 Stroke Index 6 White Tees 367m Gold Tees 346m Red Tees 313m

Terminal trouble on the left for the first 180m at which point the first fairway will provide safety for drives tugged terribly to the left.. A bunker is visible 260m from the tee on the right side of the fairway. This is a great line for your tee shot, and will leave you 100m to the green centre. Large bunkers guard the frontal approaches to the green on the left and right sides. Not much room around the green, The green is shaped like a shark’s tooth with the wide base at the front tapering to a point at the back of the green. The front third of the green is the widest target.

A pleasing hole. Not as tough as the first two, but still requires your attention!

Flamingos Course Hole 4

Par 3 Stroke Index 18 White Tees 150m Gold Tees 136m Red Tees 117m

From an elevated tee this lush green sits invitingly a long way below you. The wind today is against, so balancing wind against the downhill I decide to play the hole at its full length.

An enormous bunker on the left looks hungrily back at you. A bunker running around the back edge of the green will stop a few balls from disappearing out of sight into the trees and river beyond.

The river bed runs along the right of the hole, not an immediate threat but its presence adds a frisson of tension to the tee shot.

You can lay up short if you need to, but it’s only 150m and the green is a big target. Be brave, “Who dares wins” is the spirit needed!

Flamingos Course Hole 5

Par 4 Stroke Index 16 White Tees 319 Gold Tees 301m Red Tees 268m

A long tee box, The white tees are tucked away at the back close to the ornamental colonnades that decorate the golf course and keep the Roman villa theme in your mind – I must say they do add a certain elegance to the proceedings.

Out of bounds on the right, this shortish and very straight par 4 is defended by the need to find a straight tee shot. Missing on the left is not a disaster as the 9th fairway sits at the bottom of the forested bank that divided the two fairways. It is a tough shot from down there to get back to the green. The best I could do was reach the green side bunker and make a five. JW, as is his wont, split the fairway and wedged comfortably into the green. I asked John for his thoughts on the best line for the tee shot as I failed to locate the fairway at any point during the hole. The best line according to JW Is at the distant right hand bunker, at 230m it is out of reach for most of us and is also located in the widest part of the fairway.

Back to all square in our contest for the crisp five euro note.

Flamingos Course Hole 6

Par 5 Stroke Index 8 White Tees 468m Gold Tees 457m Red Tees 420m

So far each hole has been individually carved out of the countryside. You are not aware of the holes around you or the other people enjoying golf. Very peaceful and most conducive to getting the best out of your game.

An almost 90 degree dog leg to the right. Bunkers mark the inside and outside of the dogleg, the optimu line is over the pine trees that sit in the corner of the dog leg. JW hit a nice one on that line, my own effort was a miserable over the top pull to the left which barely hung on the extremity of the first cut. A very wide target comfortably missed. Moron!

Bunkers guard the approach to the green.

The only positive I can take from my tee shot is that being on the left has opened the dog leg and given a clear view of the target.

I hit a chunked 3 wood that shot off to the right up the banked rough and dribbled back to the 150m marker. JW made a total mess of his second shot. So far we have elected to play this hole the ugly way.

Thankfully the fairways in respect of the tee shots are generous. Some of my friends tell me that from the yellow boxes the fairways become narrow. Certainly not the case from the White tees. I guess that if you drive the ball more than 220m then you will get the best out of the golf course by playing from the back tees. This is how modern golf is played. You select the box according to how far you can drive the ball – makes perfect sense and allows us to get more enjoyment from the game.

The front of the green is raised by 2m making running the ball into the green a little more difficult. The green itself is small and formed like an amphitheatre with banking rising around its periphery.

The ideal way to play this hole is to bash your drive over those pines leaving 170 to 190m into the green with your second. Assuming that you don’t carve one out to the right then there is no reason not to take a bold line off the tee, the reward is a straightforward long iron into the green.

This should have been a birdie chance!

Flamingos Course Hole 7

Par 4 Stroke Index 14 White Tees 322m Gold Tees 316m Red Tees 290m

An elevated tee high above the green . A shared tee box with the 18th, the adjoining fairway makes for a vast target.

There is a small lake on the right about level with the green, this lake is more of a menace when playing the 18th. A pair of bunkers on the right and left edges of the fairway form a pinch point at 100m from the green and mark the point where the descent to the green steepens significantly and is formed into a series of steps. From 70m out the slope intensifies even more. If you poke your drive this far you might just be able to reach the green!.

The risk and reward here is clever – the closer you get the more the slope will heighten the difficulty of your chip into the flag. Very clever.

Flamingos Course Hole 8

Par 3 Stroke Index 12 White Tees 160m Gold Tees 152m Red Tees 125m

Ornate colonnades adorn the tee box on this pretty par 3. A flat wide hole with a large green this is an accommodating hole. Play one more club to mitigate the incline to the green. Plenty of room to lay up short and salvage a par should you feel the need. Another pleasing hole here at the Flamingos Golf course.

Flamingos Course Hole 9

Par 4 Stroke Index 2 White Tees 336m Gold Tees 316m Red Tees 262m

What a hole to finish the front nine. From the tee all you can see is trouble!

Along the right side runs a deep and wide river bed, thankfully marked as a lateral water hazard. On the left edge of the fairway is a steep bank of trees. The fairway itself is canted and runs at an oblique angle from the tee taking you closer to the river! The obvious line is to aim at the fairway bunker located on the left side of the fairway about 270m from the tee.

The hole crosses the river via an ornate bridge at 130m from the tee. To reach the safety of the fairway from the white tees a carry of 190m is required. Ideally you need to shape your tee shot, either a curve to the left starting on the edge of the river back to the centre, or a curve to the right starting over the banking and heading back to the centre. This hole is all about the tee shot.

Both JW and I, having recovered from the visual shock presented by the tee shot, managed to find the centre of the fairway. From the fairway the hole immediately changes its personality, the shot into the green is elementary.

The test here is finding the fortitude to muster a tee shot under pressure!

Flamingos Course Back 9 Holes

Flamingos Course Hole 10

Par 4 Stroke Index 1 White Tees 360m Gold Tees 351m Red Tees 322m

Standing on this tee and having a quick perusal of the hole before me caused a mighty wobble in the confidence department!

Again that huge lake dominates this hole. A malevolent presence all along the left side, reducing the fairway to a mere sliver for most of it before finally wrapping 270 degrees around the green. I was not thinking about how many strokes this hole might take, but how many balls!!!

The widest part of the fairway for the tee comes at 180m. If you want to poke your tee shot any further than that, good luck to you! The lake consumes the left half of the fairway leaving a strip of green only 10m wide. This narrow spit of land runs from 190m off the tee to 260m from the tee. The big hitters might consider attempting to hit the second part of the fairway. Not recommended!

I hit a 4 iron from the tee, rather poorly. I was left with a gargantuan 228m to the green. My options were to lay up to the elbow of the dogleg left at 60m short and on the far right of the fairway or to lather myself in a jar of “Man Up” cream and go for it with a 3 wood. A savage pull hook saw my ball splashdown nowhere close to land, Quelle surprise!

JW seared his 5 wood exactly to the furthest reaches of the safe driving zone and hit a 7 iron to a couple of metres. He made this monster look tame!

The green is huge. On the back edge stands a statue watching over the golf course. A spectacular part of the golf course.

Flamingos Course Hole 11

Par 5 Stroke Index 7 White Tees 488m Gold Tees 471m Red Tees 417m

This is a truly great hole and could easily feature in my Costa del Sol fantasy 18 hole perfect golf course!

An enormously wide fairway greets you as you stride on to the tee box. The fairway rises to the right culminating in steep banking accommodating the first cut of rough. Atop that banking runs the cart path.

On the left you will see a series of bunkers, beyond them is terminal trouble. Those bunkers are on the direct line to the green, it is important to keep your drive well to the right of them. In fact there is a further bunker on the right side of the fairway. That is your line, the ball will bounce to the left upon landing.

That lake runs along the left extremity of the hole for the first 90m. it will not come into play, but there is a water inlet that crosses the fairway 100m from the tee that might cause a problem if your tee shot is topped.

Playing uphill from the tee it is a steady climb to reach your drive. From your position in the fairway it all gets very narrow as you get closer to the green. A bunker sits on the left edge of the fairway, it is the narrowest point 100 from the green. All along the left edge is dense vegetation and lost balls. it will take two mighty blows to reach the green, provided that you don’t go to the left and assuming that you have the firepower it’s worth having a go. Making a birdie here will be a great asset on your scorecard.

If you are laying up then hit your second shot as far right as you can keeping below the cart path. Your ball will make its way back or close to the fairway.

The frontal approach to the green is open, although narrow. Huge bunkers guard the front left and rear right , there is very little room around the green. This is a great hole, walking off this green with a 5 is an achievement.

Flamingos Course Hole 12

Par 3 Stroke Index 9 White Tees 164m Gold Tees 147m Red Tees 119m

A good looking par 3. The green is big. It is cut into the hillside, above on the left is raised banking and first cut of rough, below on the right will take you towards the previous fairway or the vast green side bunker that sits below the hole. There is room short and left to bailout.

From the tee this hole tells you exactly how it wants to be played and shows you enough of its hazards to focus the mind. Both JW and I hit the green and both felt a great sense of relief.

This golf course is beautifully laid out. Each hole presents itself as a mighty struggle between player and course. From every tee the view of the hole ranges from difficult to daunting, yet if you play the right shot you are rewarded with kindness.

Flamingos Course Hole 13

Par 4 Stroke Index 15 White Tees 311m Gold Tees 295m Red Tees 254m

A very steep climb from tee to green adds 40m to the actual playing distance of this hole. The cart path runs along the left side of the fairway beyond which is ground before the out of bonus fence. The fairway is decently wide but a well placed bunker at 180m from the tee on the right side will claim a lot of traffic.

The green sat on top of the hill is large with a pronounced tier, it is extremely important to be below the hole, putting down this slope is going to cause heartache!

The second shot requires several more clubs than you might think, it is this shot which will make or break this par for you.

Flamingos Course Hole 14

Par 4 Stroke Index 11 White Tees 369m Gold Tees 348m Red Tees 311m

This time we played down the mountain side. Out of bounds on the left, the 13th fairway on your right.

The first 190m of the hole are significantly downhill, thereafter the slope increases making it precipitously downhill until you reach the front of the green.

The widest part of the fairway comes at 280m for the tee. Take a line on the cart path as far down the hill as you can. I tugged mine out of bounds, again, but JW hit a cracking drive.

Initially we could not find it, we searched amongst the mogul shaped bunkers that sit halfway down the fairway and mark the point where the incline increases, no luck. We looked on the other fairway, no luck. Finally we walked a little further until we reached the frontal greenside bunker and there was JW’s ancient Titleist, just short of the green.

In short this is a birdie chance, give it a whack off the tee, you might be unlucky to have a finish with a difficult lay, or you might get very close to the green and give yourself an easy up and down. A cracking risk and reward hole!

Flamingos Course Hole 15

Par 5 Stroke Index 5 White Tees 450m Gold Tees 435m Red Tees 384m

This is another very good par 5. A little more intricate than the others but still a tough and fair challenge.The slightly elevated tee gives a view to the corner of this dog leg left. On the left a lake comes into play at 240m from the tee. Experience has taught me that playing a tee shot directly at the edge of the lake is the best option.

The fairway is wide, but what you cannot see from the tee is that the left half of the fairway is higher than the right. If you go on the right side you may get caught in the bunker that awaits 210m for the tee, or worse you could bounce further right and skip down the steep bank and find the 11th fairway or even the water inlet just ahead of the 11th tee.

From the optimum position on the edge of the lake there is 190m to the green, the last 50m ascends steeply to the dance floor making it hard to run your second shot into the green. It needs to be flown all the way.

Dense wooded areas run along the entire length of the cart path on the right, laying up with the second shot needs to be done by taking a careful line on the left hand bunker. Bunkers guard the front left and right as well as the rear.

A tactical tee shot is the secret to success on this hole. Get as close to the lake as you can and a birdie chance might just develop for you!

Flamingos Course Hole 16

Par 3 Stroke Index 13 White Tees 137m Gold Tees 123m Red Tees 93m 

A good looking par 3 whose tee box is decorated with signature colonnades. A small tee box points you directly at the green, water hazard sits to the left of the green and 30m short of the putting surface, the large lake which featured on the previous hole sits greenside on the right.

A bunker sits on the back edge with another on the front left between the lake and the putting surface. This is a tight hole, you really need to find the green or a bunker with your tee shot, Luckily it is not a long hole just an 8 iron for John and myself today. This is not an easy par that you might be hoping for!

Flamingos Course Hole 17

Par 4 Stroke Index 17 White Tees 294m Gold Tees 276m Red Tees 237m 

Another par 4 climbing the steep hill. Out of bounds on the left, the large stone wall will save most tee shots that head in that direction.

A bunker on the left side at 165m from the tee will come into play more than you might think due to the inclination of the fairway. A pair of bunkers on the left side of the fairway at 220m make this a tricky fairway to hit. Ideally your drive needs to be on the right side to give the best view of the green. Anything missing the green on the right will be devoured by a huge bunker, a small pot bunker guards the front left.

The green is high above the fairway. Hit the middle of the green. Like all of the greens at Flamingos, it is well contoured, smooth and fast. As much time needs to be taken over the putts as the drives.

Flamingos Course Hole 18

Par 4 stroke Index 3 White Tees 390m Gold Tees 381m Red Tees 338m

A steep climb up the wooden steps from the 17th green to the 18th tee. From this highpoint you are afforded one last chance to soak up the ambience of it all. It has been superb!!.

A par 4 that runs steeply downhill towards the green. You can see the lake on your right ready to digest errant blows, on the left just over the crest of the hill is a small lake which is a feature of the 9th hole played from this adjoining tee.

The crest of the fairway arrives at 230m, beyond which the slope falls even faster towards the green. Once you pass this crest it all gets very narrow and awkward. Keep your tee shot above the crest, with water close to the right edge, bunkers and more water on the left and drives that carry over the crest will need a good serving of luck to survive!

From the crest line 150m into a decent sized green. Nowhere to lay up. If you are unsure about finding the green then head for a bunker, it’s the next safest place!

This hole only needs for the drive to be good then after that it falls into place. If that drive is not good then this hole can easily cost you a bogey or far worse.


I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Flamingos Course. This golf course makes it easy to lose yourself in concentration. Eighteen holes have flown past, it feels like only half an hour ago we were having a coffee! They say that time flies when you are enjoying yourself. I think that is a perfect summary of our experience today at Villa Padierna Flamingos Course. A thoroughly enjoyable resort golf course that makes you think and gives tremendous satisfaction!

This golf course coaxes you, it shows you the shot you need to play and if you play it, it gives you the result you deserve. Flamingos is a hugely satisfying golf course! I like this kind of golf. For 4 hours nothing but the next shot is on your mind. For four hours you are unplugged from the rest of the world. Wonderful!!

Liked it? Pin it!

Disclaimer: Some of the links on this website are “affiliate links.” If you make a purchase from our affiliate partners we will receive a commission at no additional cost to you.

18 views0 comments
bottom of page