The South Course is widely regarded as Real Golf La Manga Club's premier layout, and frequently hosts prestigious regional and national events, including the Spanish Open and European Tour Qualifying School. Originally designed by Robert Putman prior to opening in 1971, the South was reworked by the great Arnold Palmer in the early 1990s, and was sharpened up in 2004. As a result, this is now a fair but thoroughly exacting test of golf.
At just over 7100 yards, the course certainly provides the sternest test of golf from the three courses, and lives up to its championship status. Whilst requiring some solid hitting, golfers should beware of the countless water hazards and bunkering throughout the course. The front nine is the tougher, and contains two particularly challenging par 3s, both over 220 yards, as well as a 6th hole containing a blind tee shot onto a expansive and downhill fairway. However, there are still birdie chances on these long holes. The back nine, although less difficult, has many dog-legged holes and is home to one of the largest sand traps in Spain, running almost the whole length on the right hand side fairway on the par four 14th. Avoiding strategically positioned water hazards and bunkers is crucial around this par-73 cracker.
||Robert Dean Putman
|Opened for play
||Spanish Open (1975), PGA Championships, European Tour qualifying schools
||7,107 yards, SSS 74
||6,700 yards, SSS 73
||6,276 yards, SSS 77
||5,620 yards, SSS 73
Signature Hole - No. 18: Par 5, 452 yards (White Tees)
The closing hole is unforgiving. Drives must be hit around a fairway bunker and two large bunkers which flank both sides of the fairway. The green, although large is very well protected and its multi-tiered nature requires a confident putt.
Real Golf La Manga Club's North Course presents a different test, with tighter fairways and larger greens, all bordered by the resort's famous palm trees. While this course may be for the higher handicapper, it makes up for its lack of challenge, which can be found in La Manga’s other two courses, by priding itself on its beauty, boasting some very attractive holes. It is much hillier than the south and many of the fairways are lined with palm trees, while imaginative greenside bunkering is sustained throughout.
The back nine certainly presents a better set of holes than the front, with the par four 13th leaving you with a tee shot that requires a confident club choice and a 18th hole which is satisfying to say the least. The putting surfaces have recently been reconstructed in accordance with USGA design principles, and many have severe slopes and plateaus, that are tricky to say the least. Accuracy and sound course management are the most valuable traits around the 6,291 yard North, which is a gem that will be particularly enjoyed by the creative shot-makers out there.
||Robert Dean Putman
|Opened for play
|Did you know?
||The North course was completely refurbished in 2001
||6,291 yards, SSS 74
||5,937 yards, SSS 73
||5,668 yards, SSS 77
||5,428 yards, SSS 73
Signature Hole – No. 18: Par 5, 340 yards (White Tees)
The 18th is a lovely finishing hole, with the hotel pool in the background reminding you that your post round refreshments are not far away. In fact, only a short walk back to the clubhouse bar.
The West course is unquestionably the pride of Real Golf La Manga Club, with an amazing variety of holes. A beautiful course with spectacular scenery everywhere you turn, it provides a demanding test of golf requiring a first-rate game management. Frequent changes in elevation and fast greens, can cause bad shots to be punished severely.
The West Course is also a genuine championship layout, underlining the fact that Real Golf La Manga Club has no weak links. Measuring in at 6,529 yards, the West winds its way gently through the idyllic pine trees, and has more severe slopes than its neighbours. The West is in fact the favourite of many repeat visitors, particularly because of its unique setting and outstanding views. The fairways are tight, so it is often prudent to play conservatively from the tee, while the West also boasts a collection of fabulous par-3s.
The pearl of the front nine is the 9th which has an uphill tee shot, before the hole bends backwards at right angles into a ravine to the front and a lake at the back. The back nine boasts a lovely streak of four closing consecutive holes, including a par three 16th with little margin for error, before ending with a magnificent 18th.
Designed by: Dave Thomas
Opened for play: 1996
Did you know? The former Formula 1 World Champion, Nigel Mansell, labelled the 18th on the West Course as ‘a great finale’ stating that ‘the magnificent view from the tee is always something to look forward to’.
6,310 yards, SSS 74Yellow:
6,050 yards, SSS 72Blue:
5,610 yards, SSS 75Red:
5,166 yards, SSS 73Signature Hole – No. 18:
Par 4, 409 yards (White Tees)
Although the 18th tee is a bit of a walk up a hill, it gives plenty of anticipation for what is a fantastic closing hole. Once at the top you are greeted with a tee shot at the top of a small mountain overlooking a wide fairway-a 200 yard carry and the wind looking to play its part. An intimidating shot. However, what makes this hole truly special is the view for miles distant, the landscape spreading beyond the Real Golf La Manga Club complex, over the countryside and into the sea. A final picturesque image for a remarkable course.
The practice facilities at Real Golf La Manga Club are second to none. The Golf Practice Centre is seen to be one of the finest in Europe, while the Leadbetter Golf Academy is known for its innovative and creative teaching techniques. The new academy was founded by David Leadbetter himself, a coach to countless PGA Tour, European Tour, LGPA Tour and Champions Tour players. It has two swing rooms and four teaching studios for groups.
On top of this, La Manga possesses a beautiful par 47 “pitch and putt” course ideal for perfecting your short game. The course is well designed with bunkers, water hazards and excellent greens for putting.
At The Clubhouse
Real Golf La Manga Club contains two Clubhouse restaurants. Bar 57, which can be found at the main golf clubhouse, offers golfer’s breakfast, lunch and dinner, with free Wi-Fi and a terrace overlooking the golf courses. It’s open all year from 7:00 to 19:30. By the West Course, is La Princesa Restaurant. It serves typical Spanish cuisine with a great choice of wine and lovely views of the course and surrounding pine woodland. Also open all year round, for breakfast and lunch.
The courses at Real Golf La Manga Club are always cared for, allowing the holes to be in optimum condition. The resort also benefits from an efficient shuttle bus service. It is no wonder that La Manga has won many awards, such as Europe’s and Spain’s Best Golf Resort in the Today’s Golfer Travel Awards in 2012, 2013, and 2014.
However, while the golf at Real golf La Manga Club is certainly the heart and soul of the club, Real Golf La Manga Club also offers plenty of other sport facilities. This includes tennis courts as well as football, cricket and rugby pitches. A junior club is also available- an ideal place for your children to have fun in a friendly, secure environment while you enjoy the great variety of courses La Manga has to offer.
Real Golf La Manga Club's accommodation is also first class. The luxurious Hotel Principe Felipe offers breathtaking views of Real Golf La Manga Club's courses, pools and gardens. There are also plenty of apartments nearby in Las Lomas village if you prefer greater space and independence.
The resort has a comprehensive golf academy, and also runs regular competitions that guests can enter.
NB - Please check golf club dress code before travel.