Research carried out by American Express® Platinum Charge Card* reveals that relaxation tops the list of the one thing travellers look for when booking a trip abroad, and what better way to relax than taking to the stunning golf course of Valderrama in southern Spain. Situated on a private estate along the coast from Marbella, this iconic course was designed by legendary architect Robert Trent Jones Senior in 1974. The club was bought ten years later by Bolivian billionaire, Jaime Ortiz-Patino, who invited Trent Jones back with the brief to transform the course into Continental Europe’s finest, both for the professional and the more modest golfer.
Its fame has spread across the world, initially as the home of the Volvo Masters, the one-time season-ending climax to the European Tour. Greater fame was to arrive when the club hosted the most dramatic of Ryder Cups in 1997, with Europe beating the USA by the narrowest possible margin. The home team was captained by the late, great, Severiano Ballesteros, who said of Valderrama: “I found everything perfect. It’s impossible to imagine a golf course in better condition.” Two years later, the club hosted the inaugural WGC – American Express Championship, won by Tiger Woods.
Consistently presented in the most immaculate condition, Valderrama’s generous fairways and small greens are as good as you will find anywhere. Its bunkers are deep and uniformly filled, and virtually every hole is bordered by beautiful cork and pine trees. By limiting the number of visitors, the course is seldom busy and as a result is never overplayed. The layout is a delight, and while everyone will have a favourite hole, the one that tends to live longest in the memory is the iconic 17th – famous for its green that is protected by water to the front. Back in the spacious and superbly appointed clubhouse, you have the chance to relax and possibly rub shoulders with film stars, sporting heroes and even royalty. On offer are mouth-watering local specialities, fine wines and perhaps a slice of magnificent homemade cake. And don’t forget to browse the splendid pro shop with its tempting array of golf wear and memorabilia.
Valderrama is also surrounded by other top-drawer clubs such as Sotogrande Old, San Roque and La Reserva Club de Golf, and as you would expect, the nearby hotels, restaurants and other attractions will suit the most discerning traveller. So for the golfer heading into Europe in search of the one place to play, a visit to Valderrama is a must.
Make the most of your trip: amex.co.uk/golfplatinum
Various airlines, including British Airways (ba.com) operate to both Malaga and Gibraltar.
Where to Stay
Almenara Hotel, Sotogrande
Club Maritimo de Sotogrande
Where to play
Valderrama Club de Golf
The one thing for the travelling golfer
Golfers who enjoy broadening their horizons appreciate great travel and golf experiences and the American Express Platinum Card provides you with the access to services and benefits that will make the most of any getaway.
– Travel Service & Recognition Dedicated, responsive and knowledgeable planning service
– Travel Rewards Enjoy a wide range of rewards, from those luxuries to the everyday holiday needs – earned as you spend
– Access To support your lifestyle needs from booking theatre and concert tickets to securing travel reservations
– Travel Security Extensive protection for you and your family
To find out more visit: amex.co.uk/golfplatinum
There’s an introductory offer running until midnight on 31st October 2011 that offers 40,000 points if you spend and charge £1500 on your Card in the first three months of Card membership – that’s enough for two return flights to Malaga**.
Terms & taxes apply
*American Express Platinum Charge Card research conducted week commencing 1st August 2011. **Based on airline transfer redemption with British Airways Executive Club as of 1 June 2011. Excludes taxes, fees, charges and surcharges. Terms and Conditions apply.
Membership Rewards Points can also be used to pay for tickets and packages, including taxes and surcharges and on any airline that is offered through American Express Travel. Certain airlines are not available through American Express Travel. They can also be used in part payment for a ticket.If you’d prefer a Card without any rewards, other features or a Card membership fee, an alternative option is available – the Basic Card. Terms and conditions apply.
The Platinum Charge Card is offered by American Express Services Europe Limited. Registered Office: Belgrave House, 76 Buckingham Palace Road, London SW1W 9AX. American Express Services Europe Limited is authorised in the United Kingdom by the Financial Services Authority under the Payment Services Regulations 2009 (reference number 415532) for the provision of payment services.