Real Club de Golf Sotogrande
Sotogrande, founded in 1964, this refined and traditional club remained part of the stylish urbanization until 1979, the year in which the members acquired the course giving rise to a private members’ club which is considered nowadays as one of the best in Europe.
- Ranked #37 Todays Golfer Top 50 Europe 2015
- Host to Spanish Open 1965 won by Roberto de Vicenzo
- Co-host (with San Roque Club) to the European Tour Qualifying School from 1996 to 2001
- Granted ‘Royal’ status by King Juan Carlos in 1994
Designed by Robert Trent Jones, his first in Europe and typical of his philosophy – a course perfectly integrated with the natural surroundings which is a great challenge to the better players, but accessible and enjoyable for everyone.
Quality practice facilities. There is a driving range with natural grass for up to 30 places, along with magnificent short game area with an impeccable maintenance. It has three bunkers, pitching green with different pin positions and a putting green.
A relatively flat course but beautifully manicured. Wide, lush fairways framed by mature cork oaks, eucalyptus, pine and palm.
Rather than length off the tee, the layout requires strategic thinking and ball striking of the highest order.
Although not a hilly course, greens are elevated and each approach requires extra care in club selection and execution. Firm and fast greens with subtle contouring are possibly the course’s greatest defence, along with the bunkering – 69 of the 100 or so bunkers are placed around the greens.
Unusually the hardest hole is a par 3, and comes early in the round. 208m off Whites the 4th hole features a green which is 5m higher than the tee and slopes from back to front. So club selection is all.
Typical of RTJ designs of the time, the finishing holes are tough with water very much to the fore.
Starting in 2014, the course underwent a major restoration with the construction of a new drainage system, the replacement of all grass and the reconstruction of all greens, bunkers and tees. In addition, the original contours of greens and bunkers which Trent Jones originally devised were recovered. For such an extensive and sensitive restoration, the club contracted the services Roger Rulewich who worked with Trent Jones for more than 35 years.
With wider than average fairways, and subtle greenside challenges, consider playing Sotogrande at the start of your vacation. Scoring well is a different matter – based on Slope rating it’s the most difficult course in the area!
The trick of Sotogrande lies in the narrow entrances to greens and the very subtle contours once you are on ‘the dance floor’. See full review
Designer – Robert Trent Jones
Par – 72
Fairways – Bermuda
|Length (m)||Course Rating||Bogey Rating||Slope Rating||Likely score
This chart shows a bogey golfer’s likely score to par. For the likely score to par based on YOUR handicap take a look at our simple score prediction tool here
How difficult is this course compared with others?
Take a look at rankings for each course in the Sotogrande area by overall playing difficulty along with analysis for scratch and bogey golfers here
Playing difficulty for scratch golfers; likely strokes taken
Playing difficulty for bogey golfers; likely strokes taken
Bogey male golfer has a handicap of 20, female 24
Relative playing difficulty for bogey v scratch golfers
Minimum slope = 55, maximum = 155, average = 113
The higher the slope the more difficult the course for bogey golfers
Likely score to par
For a bogey golfer, based on the course par and its bogey rating
Terms trademarked by USGA (www.usga.org)
Full explanation of terms here
Services & Facilities
Large beer €4
Cafe con leche €2.2
Resident golf pro
Power trolley rental