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Parrots and Planes

Dec 27, 2011 No Comments by

Parador de Malaga Golf is the oldest golf course in Andalucia. The first 9 holes opened in 1925 and were designed by Harry S. Colt, who also designed Wentworth’s East Course. Shortly thereafter they expanded to 18 holes, helped by renowned golf architect Tom Simpson, who designed many golf courses including Muirfield.

From the yellow tees the course is 5935 metres and from the red tees 5308 metres. I reviewed the course five years ago and had to conclude that it was no fun at all – a worn golf course with no service – but this has really changed.

Some of the changes worth mentioning include a  new two story high driving range that is floodlit at night, new design on holes 3 and 7, a couple of artificial lakes, several tees have been renovated including hole 13 , new fairway measurements, new ball washers, the toilets have been renovated and there are more of them. There are many new trees and some of the sand bunkers have new sand, but of poor quality. All in all, Parador is a much improved course.

Parador unfortunately suffers from being close to the Mediterranean. The ground is sandy with very little soil, which  makes the fairways very uneven and on holes 12 and 13 I think they have given up trying to get a fairway to grow. The one thing they need to improve is the state of the bunkers by putting in new sand and cleaning out the weeds growing in some of them.

After all these improvements  Parador is a relatively easy course where the length for some and wind in general are the biggest challenges. Feel free to hit your driver from almost the entire par 4 and 5 as finding your ball is almost always possible. Playing the Parador you will have planes flying above you for most of the round, but you do get used to it. Parador is flat as a pancake meaning that you really have to be lazy or suffer from a disability of some sort in order not to walk this course. The course design in general is not of a very high standard with too much back and forth but the greens are of a good quality.

Parador is the golf course closest to Malaga city, so there is obviously a lot of traffic to and from the course. But when you play here you don’t notice the traffic. It felt like being in the countryside with the Mediterranean right beside you. Teeing off at the 11th looking out over the sea is one of the more memorable experiences. As mentioned earlier you will encounter the planes taking off and landing and we counted 60 in the four hour round we played. When I spoke  s to the members they mentioned that they don’t hear them but they do hear the many parrots on the course. I guess you can get used to anything!

After a change in director a few years ago they also changed styles of service meaning that you actually feel welcome at the course and the level of service has spread to all of the employees on the course, something I really appreciate.

Over the past 5 years they have seemed to get their course in order, unfortunately you cannot say the same for the restaurant facilities after your round of golf, prices are way too high. I paid almost 20 euros for four large beers and that is just not good enough, even the sandwiches start from € 6,80. No wonder everyone else chose to go somewhere else after their round.

The Parador is a course you should consider including in your schedule when visiting if you are looking for a course and if you pay attention to green fee rates as this is fairly priced . Even a couple’s membership is reasonable at around € 2.500 per year.

A few changes are still needed to get and above average rating especially with the many beautiful courses on the Costa del Sol.

Parador Malaga Golf


Autovía A7, Málaga, km. 231
ES-29004 Malaga, Malagá

0034 951 011 120 | malaga.golf@parador.es

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