Golf Course

The Rio Real golf course was designed by the legendary Javier Arana, considered to be the best Spanish designer of all time.

Located in the most prestigious area of Marbella, just 5 minutes from the city centre, this golf course opened in 1965. The golf course runs alongside the Rio Real River, from which it takes its name, and forms an integral part of the course, right up until it reaches the Mediterranean Sea.

Its design makes it a spectacular course. With 18 holes (par 72) and more than 6,000 m in length, the Royal Spanish Golf Federation (Real Federación Española de Golf) considers it to be a prestigious golf course and one of the best in Spain, both for its layout, as well as it unique beauty. The course has a wide variety of different species of trees: Pine, Palm, Casuarinas, Olive, Cypress, etc. which make it the ideal place to play golf, both on foot and in golf carts. Thanks to its Mediterranean climate, one can play all year around, with seafront holes and spectacular views. The course is suitable for every player, thanks to its more elevated holes, which make them even more appealing as they require the use of various clubs.

Let’s go! Relax and think about the wonderful day of golf you are about to enjoy in Marbella, but don’t forget that first of all you have to get over the river right in front of you. It’s called Río Real and is what the course takes its name from.

Aim down the middle of the fairway. Remember the name of the river – not the make of the ball you might put in it. Play your second shot confidently over the right bunker and if you land on the green you could be on for your first birdie!

That all too familiar river again! You can beat it by playing long to the back of the green. Don’t be short. And bear in mind wind strength and direction.

Hit it hard, there’s no water to worry about, only the sea which is the far side of the green! If you can get on in 2 you can rightfully boast about it to your friends. Watch out for the Marbellan sea breeze.

Damn it! That river again to the right and the Levante wind is blowing from the left. If you manage to land on the fairway, don’t be intimidated by the hill hiding the green on your approach. Be brave, but don’t forget where the golf course gets its name from! (Handicap 1)

Out of bounds to the right and that river again on the left. With the right club selection you should make it onto the green. If not, you will have to use your skills to get the ball out of one of the bunkers that surround it.

First par 5 and uphill. Don’t get distracted by the great view of the course from the tee. Hit your first two shots as hard as you can. On the approach watch out for the bunker on the left, it is there to punish the overconfident player, as well as the apparently innocent looking green!

Remember the technical description for this hole. Always keep left if you don’t want to be fetching your ball from the 9th fairway, or in the pine trees which separate the fairways. Your scorecard will thank you for it!

Aren’t we doing great halfway round? Well make sure you play this hole as though you’ll be discussing it with the spectators from Marbella who’ll be watching you on your approach and as you put out looking for the birdie. Don’t let them down.

Don’t worry if your drive doesn’t reach the dogleg in the fairway. Nobody is perfect! Choose your second shot to the green carefully. If you lay up you’ll be fine. If you decide to go for it – over the pine trees and the hill – hold your breath until you hear “over! over!” from your fellow players. Then feel free to breathe again!

The tee sits 80 metres above the fairway. Follow the majestic flight of your ball. Travel with it humming one of your favourite melodies. Enjoy that magical moment until the ball lands in the middle of the fairway. On your second shot drop the ball on the green and without hiding your satisfaction for the birdie, move on to the next tee.

When you’re playing this hole, forget the magic of the previous hole for a moment.  It is not Río Real in front of you, but it is nonetheless water!

This is the longest and most spectacular hole on the course. Remember Tiger Woods? Imitate him and try to reach the green in 3. If you can do it, forget the master, your scorecard is more important.

Aim for the olive tree on the right that partially obstructs the tee. If you close your clubface, the ball will land at the feet of the players on the 15th tee. If this does happen, don’t forget to shout ‘Four!’. A bad shot is no excuse for poor etiquette in this gentlemen’s sport.

See the bunker on the right? See those pine trees at the curve of that dogleg left? Do you want to take on the course? Yes? Then play over the trees and if you make it your prize will be waiting for you when you reach the green.

The last par 5 of the course. Go for it! Avoid the dogleg to the right off the tee. After that just don’t make life difficult for yourself until you reach the green! Later, when you go over your scorecard you will be able to proudly comment on how well you played the hole.

See the flag at the end of the fairway? Any reason you can’t get there in 2? Of course not. So go ahead and give it your best shot.

You have reached the end of the course. If it didn’t go as you had hoped, finish off on a high by playing this hole well. If you don’t succeed, don’t worry, tomorrow will be better. However, if you have a good scorecard, steady your nerves and don’t spoil it now. In any case the 19th hole is waiting for you in the clubhouse where you can chat about the fortunes and misfortunes of your day’s golf at Río Real over a refreshing beer.