Thursday, September 15, 2016

Living and Loving golf in Spain

Well lets face it the sun does shine a lot
More and more couples are looking to take advantage of low cost air travel and play golf in Spain and Portugal with regular trips to their favorite locations. Our golf club see's its fair share of extremely good competitive golfers who have been coming and playing in Spain for many years and finally want to commit to more golf in their favorite location not to mention a wonderful championship course.
There have been so many people inquiring in the last 12 months that this year that the Golf Club have created a more user friendly International Membership to entice them to join the club and many are doing just that. I look back fondly at my golf days in Dorset getting up at 6.30am just to get a tee time and making sure I had my woolen beanie and the single fur lined glove just to keep your hands warm. Not any more, these days on this western fringe of the Costa del Golf if it looks like a few spits of rain we delay until tomorrow when we know that the sun will shine again. The new members under their 6 month membership come and go with the seasons and many take a month at a time before the draw of family takes them back to the Country of origin.
As people become familiar with the club and its members friendships are formed and people suddenly start to book their golf trips in line with club events when they know the rest of the gang are more likely to be there. Some great rivalries materialize and tournaments then provides some great social aspects including the 'after golf' when that couple of drinks on the terrace turns to a few more and a few more. What about when you return home to rain and wind can you forget what you have just left behind. Its hard with all this social media particularly if you are constantly reminded that life in the sun goes on
In Spain we are also seeing quite a few families with talented golf children who look to take a gap year after GCSE's or A levels so that they can practice golf with very little weather interruption. The whole family are often involved and once again find club golf life very enjoyable. So enjoyable that they start to look at the options to continue the golfing lifestyle once the gap year ends.
Club golf in the sun becomes very addictive. I love my coffee and bacon roll in the sun on the terrace pre-warmup followed by 18 holes on well manicured golf course wearing shorts. Our club always runs 2 roll up competitions per week on Tuesdays and Thursdays and fortnightly there is either the monthly medal or the club Ranking competition, throw in a main club event maybe once a month and there is plenty of competitive golf to play. I should also mention the inter-club events as we play all over the coast.
For myself I have not retired yet and need to work. Having said that estate agents in Spain are not the busiest of people in these economic times but we do work very flexible hours so taking a morning off for golf in the week is always a possibility and maybe knocking off at 3pm for some social golf. Very often we like to play the course with a client who maybe seeking a golf front villa or apartment. No point trying to sell an apartment until the client decides the course is good enough.
In our area we have 7 courses all within 7 minutes drive of each other and once you get involved with golf locally you will meet members from other local clubs who will sign you in to play their course at a fraction of the wrack rate. Of the 7 courses 5 are in Spains top 10 so we are very spoilt for choice here. These include Valderrama, La Resrva, Real Club Sotogrande, San Roque New Course & San Roque Old course. Other local courses include Almenara's 27 holes, Alcaidesa beachfront course and La Canada golf. The wonderful Finca Cortesin is within 15 minutes drive.
This morning I met a client at the golf club and whilst there introduced him to a number of members some who had just arrived back in Spain and a few that were departing having spent most of the summer here. These people were all members who had taken the 6 month option but some were already looking to maybe upgrade their membership to full time and spend more time here than back in their country of origin.
My golf club is the San Roque golf club and whilst the majority of members are Brits and Irish there is also a great mix of other Europeans and a few Spanish. The atmosphere is always friendly and very few play and dash off immediately as there is always a drink while waiting the results of the match.
I am happy to chat to anyone thinking about Spain Golf and the logistics of a second home in the sun. One thing I do know if you make the commitment you will not regret it and I still say 10 years on that moving here was the best decision I have ever made.
Isnt it time you discovered the stunning western fringe of the Costa del Sol
article by Francis Payne
Tailor Made estate agents of Sotogrande
Golf in Sotogrande Southern Spain

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