Marbella's sunshine courses draw the golfers
FOR years the Costa del Sol, with more than 320 days of sunshine a year, has been an ideal place for golfers.
Some of Europe's finest courses can be found along the 800-kilometre coast of the province of Andalucia.
There are 34 courses around the jetset playground of Marbella.
Yet such is the unrelenting demand for more venues that another 25 courses are to be built over the next two years - with another dozen or so projects planned.
To many, the Costa del Sol means sun, sea and golf as the 'new wave' layouts complete with resort facilities being built by Spanish, British, Japanese and Swedish developers.
Seve Ballesteros, Spain's golfing hero, said: 'Andalucia has some truly great golf courses and, for me, it is always a pleasure to play there.
'I have already designed two layouts there, Novo Sancti Petri and Los Arqueros. It is an exciting time for golf in Andalucia.' England's former soccer captain, Kevin Keegan, said: 'I live in Marbella and play golf as often as I can. The climate and the courses are great. I am happy to see they are building so many more.' Tony Jacklin, England's Ryder Cup-winning captain, said: 'Andalucia? It's great. I have been living here for about 10 years, always in the Sotogrande area. The courses are getting better and I am golf director at the new San Roque Club.' Fellow professional Sam Torrance noted: 'I am touring pro at La Duquesa, the only club to have provided two players to the same Ryder Cup team (Torrance and Canizares in 1989). What more can I say?' Sean Connery, the most famous James Bond of them all, said: 'I like to spend as much time as I can on the golf course. That is one of the reasons I came to live near Marbella. I come here often and I stay as long as I can.' Comedians seem to have a special fondness for Andalucia. Jimmy Tarbuck said: 'I love the Costa del Sol and get down to play golf whenever I can. Bruce Forsyth, Kenny Lynch, Ronnie Corbett and I have all been playing golf in southern Spain for over 20 years.' Course designer Robert Trent said: 'Of all the courses I have designed in the world, I have a special regard for my work on the Costa Del Sol where I have been active for over 25 years.