Unlike many sports such as football and basketball, golf isn’t timed and the amount of time spent on a game of 18 holes varies. The average comes in at around four hours, but some golfers spend considerably longer on the course. In its bid to provide the right balance for golf on the Costa del Sol, Río Real has introduced some innovations on its iconic course. These tweaks allow golfers to take slightly less time on their round if they wish.

The length of a game of golf

Studies show that the average length of play sits at just over four hours, although players with lower handicaps can expect to get round the course in three and a half. But a game can also take much longer.
A variety of factors affect how long it takes to play 18 holes. Not least the difficulty of the course. Then there’s the number of players – your round of golf on the Costa del Sol will take much longer with three others than a solo game. Plus you need to take the pace of other players on the course into consideration, lost balls, whether you’re walking or using a buggy…
Check out the Rio Real Golf course hole-by-hole. 

What golfers think about the length

Although non-golfers tend to see golf as a leisurely and even slow sport, the players themselves differ. A survey carried out in 2015 by The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A) looked at the pace of play. It revealed 70% of golfers are mostly satisfied with the length of a game, but that 60% would enjoy the game more if it didn’t take so long. This sentiment was particularly strong in the younger age bracket.
Did you know that with Rio Real’s innovative dynamic pricing system you can save up to 45% off regular green fees on the Costa del Sol? Find out more .

The perfect solution

In its latest bid to stay one step ahead in the game, Rio Real Golf has provided a solution that suits both parties when they play golf on the Costa del Sol. Two new holes have just been completed on the course.
Players who wish to play at their usual pace or have no preference as to the time they spend on the course may continue to do so. Those who want or need to speed things up a bit have the option to still play 18 holes, but in less time. Perfect if weather conditions mean it’s too hot to stay for the full four and half hours on the course or if it’s high season and Rio Real Golf is busy. And best of all, the different options are configurable immediately and on demand.

Faithful to traditional

While the latest innovations bring Rio Real Golf right up to the top of the game, they still remain true to the spirit of the course. The new holes have been designed with the master in mind. Legendary Javier Arana put his signature to Rio Real Golf back in 1965 and the course is widely considered to be one of his masterpieces. It’s therefore only fitting that the latest additions mirror his designer skills.
The result? The perfect course to play golf on the Costa del Sol whether you’re looking for a game as long as it takes or one that’s shorter. Whatever your reasons and your preferences, Rio Real Golf fits the bill.
See for yourself when you book your round at Rio Real. 

hotel boutique Marbella


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golf courses Costa del Sol Río Real


There are over 70 golf courses on the Costa del Sol so you’re literally spoilt for choice. This makes deciding which one to play at regularly or while you’re on holiday something of a challenge. To help you pick a course that offers the best playing experience, we’ve put together a list of the criteria that make up a good golf course. Then all you have to do is find the one that ticks all the boxes.



The arrival of cruise ships in Marbella takes a step closer to reality this November when works start on the extension of the Virgen del Carmen Marina. Completion on the berth for shuttle boats should be completed by the end of the year and allow passengers from ships over 30 metres long to land in the centre of Marbella.