NO less than 38 years ago Rosie Jones won the first Spanish Open in Las Aves (now Real Club Valderrama) and now the Ladies European Tour returns with the celebration of the Andalucia Costa del Sol Spanish Open, which will run from November 26 to 29 at the Real Club de Golf Guadalmina and will serve as a magnificent finale to the season.
For the fifth consecutive year an Andalucian course will host the Spanish Open, a historic championship whose list of winners is adorned with illustrious names such as Azahara Muñoz, Anne Van Dam, Laura Davies, Melissa Reid, Marie-Laure De Lorenzi and Rosie Jones.
With 104 courses throughout Andalucia (21 per cent of those in Spain), golf attracted almost 600,000 tourists to the region and earned more than €700 million and unlike many tourist destinations, golf has no season.
The Andalucia Costa del Sol Open in Spain serves to underpin the reality of Andalucia as a leading golf destination in continental Europe and also as a powerhouse of national golf, since the promotion of the popularisation of this sport by the Regional Government has served to make golf the third most popular sport in the community in terms of the number of licenses, with almost 44,000 (only surpassed by Madrid in Spain).
The implementation of measures to bring golf to any audience (especially women, young people and families) in collaboration with the Royal Andalucian Golf Federation and other institutions is bearing fruit, as can be seen in the notable activity of clubs such as the Real Club de Golf Guadalmina, the tournament venue, the cradle of champions and the nursery of both Andalucia and Spain.
With more than 70 courses in Malaga Province – most being based in the Costa del Sol – it has become the leading destination in Europe in terms of the number of courses on offer.
The Guadalmina course has a proud 60-year history and is considered to be one of the Costa del Golf’s flagships and with its two 18 hole courses it regularly hosts both amateur and professional tournaments.