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Travel bucket list idea:
Real Club Valderrama Golf Course
Torreguardiaro, Andalusia, Spain|www.valderrama.com
Valderrama is everything a world-class parkland should be: immaculately maintained, beautifully designed and devilishly tricky without being overlong.
It’s not enough to hit the fairways here – you have to hit the correct side of the fairway, otherwise you’ll meet the implacable cork trees that offer a most beautiful defense against an easy score.
Its signature hole is the marvellous 17th, a par five with a green protected by water, tempting you to go for it when a layup is probably the smarter play.
It hosted the memorable matches of the 1997 Ryder Cup, and is one of only two courses in Europe to be granted Audobon status for its preservation of its natural ecosystems.
Getting there & doing it
The club is 90-minute drive from Malaga or 45-minute drive from Marbella. Virtually every golf package provider will offer tee times, or you can book directly with the club itself.
When to do it
The course is open all year round, seven days a week. There’s no bad time to play Valderrama; the warmest weather is between April and October, though July and August can be uncomfortably hot.
Destination guides including or relevant to this experience
A big dazzling region, packed with fascinating cities, beautiful landscapes and beaches, colourful fiestas and oodles of sunshine.