Rio Real Golf Course
Urbanización Golf Río Real, Marbella, Málaga, Spain
Description :The oldest course in the Marbella area, Rio Real was built on a compact site back in 1965 when Javier Arana laid out an 18-hole course on the banks of the Real River where it enters the Mediterranean Sea. The valley location was fairly secluded when it was first chosen to site the course but, over time, housing has encroached all around and the noise from the number of vehicles that now use the adjacent main road can be quite distracting on several of the holes.
Still, Rio Real is a classic old Costa del Sol course that retains a fair amount of its original charm and its pine and palm tree-lined fairways play to slightly elevated, well-bunkered green sites, often crossing the river en route to the hole.
The best hole on the front nine is the par four 4th which leads from the background sound of the traffic on the tee to the crashing of waves on the seafront, with the green located right on the coastline. On the back nine, holes 15 to 17 deserve special mention as they form a fine golfing trio – especially the short, par four, 17th where the raised green is well protected by enormous bunkers.