One of Southern Spain’s original big names, Aloha is again one of the region’s must-play courses - Rob Smith takes a look…

Aloha Golf Club Course Review

The area around Marbella is jam-packed with golf courses of all shapes and sizes, and something to  suit all tastes and budgets. Aloha Golf Club is one of the older and more established names, dating back to the mid-70s when it was the final course designed by Javier Arana, and much work has been done in the last little while to place the course back in the premier league.

An elevated tee makes for a most inviting opening drive at the par-5 first which then sweeps round to the left to a well-protected green.

Looking back up the opening hole at Aloha

This is followed by another elevated tee at the second from which you play down to a hole so attractive that it could have been the work of a landscape designer.

The short par-4 second is as pretty as a picture

Strong bunkering is a feature and the par-3 fourth hole calls for a very well struck shot that must not be short.

The fourth is the first short hole on the course

A par 5 and a par 4 come next, before an unusual 2-shotter where you will run out of space if you drive too long before a substantial drop down to the green.

There is a dramatic drop down to the hole at the seventh

The eighth is another gorgeous par 3, again from an elevated tee and played down to a dell that looks as though it was always designed to have a green.

The short eighth with the mountains beyond

The front nine closes with a drive and pitch par 4 back up to the clubhouse and the welcoming halfway house. Once again, the mountains provide a fabulous backdrop.

The ninth plays uphill and a little longer than its yardage

The tenth hole is named after its celebrated architect, and is a very attractive par 5.

A split fairway at the tenth gives the golfer options

Eleven plays up the hill and I really liked the twelfth that is played back down to a green beyond a pond, rightly named Cuidado… or Watch Out!

Looking back up the extremely attractive par-4 twelfth

The next three work their way out to the furthest point from the clubhouse, a strong par 3 up the hill and two left-to-right par 4s.

The fifteenth green at Aloha

A snaking par 5 and the final short hole lead you to the closing tee and another very photogenic view. Water awaits, as do trees, sand and elevation changes – something for everyone in just one hole and a very worthy end to an extremely enjoyable course.

The closing hole – a testing but thrilling finish to the round

Aloha is managed by Troon Golf and has hosted the Spanish Open a number of times as well as the Ladies Spanish Open more recently in 2016. So popular with its members is the lovely course, that visitor rounds are generally restricted to afternoon only. However, this thriving and very sociable club is more than worth a visit and a lunch on the terrace before your game is also to be recommended.

In an area packed with a great variety of golf, Aloha is more than worth a visit.