There are so many reasons to buy a home in Spain; wonderful climate, great way of life, the cuisine, the people… Plus, it can be really healthy! The opportunity to play golf, tennis or even swim in the Mediteranean all year, means that you can stay feeling and looking young well into your retirement. And if the weekend weather at home looks a bit grim, jump on a flight and your holiday home awaits!
For golfers, Spain is extra special, with 398 golf courses on the mainland, 23 in the Balearic Islands and 24 in the Canary Islands.
Golf is numero uno when it comes to outdoor sport in Spain. Since it is such a popular sport in many countries of the world, it is hardly surprising that people flock there to enjoy the best golf courses close to their Spanish property located in areas where winters are mild and you can enjoy playing regularly for 12 months of the year.
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Many golf courses have residential areas, club houses and activities for wives and girlfriends who do not play, though ladies’ golf is just as popular as the game for men. Golf is big business in Spain, not only in the obvious way but also giving employment to the companies which supply golfing accessories, clubs, clothes, etc.
Then there are the restaurants and bars attached to golf courses, groundsmen who keep the courses in the best condition and it is undoubtedly very important to the tourist industry which creates in the region €5,418 million in Spain and which increases to €12,769 million when you add in the indirect benefits.
We have a look at Spain’s golf courses and where to buy a property within easy reach of one or more.
Here is a breakdown of the number of golf courses in the most popular areas of the Spanish costas and the islands:
● Costa del Sol – 70
● Costa Dorada – 6
● Costa Brava – 7
● Costa del Azahar- 3
● Costa Calida – 17
● Costa Tropical – 4
● Costa de la Luz – 20
● Majorca – 11
● Menorca – 1
● Ibiza – 2
● Gran Canaria – 8
● Lanzarote – 2
● Fuerteventura- 4
● Tenerife – 9
Green fees vary from course to course and from region to region but everywhere you will find affordable places in which to enjoy golf. On the Costa del Sol for example, fees vary from €50 to €225. Twilight play costs are very reasonable especially in the low season. Further north on the Costa Brava, weekends are more expensive but again, not out of reach of most budgets, with one golf course offering a week’s unlimited golf for €240 while another has daily fees as low as €62.
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Golf clubs in the province of Alicante are mostly very reasonably priced, ranging from €52 upwards. In most areas there is such a good choice that you will have no problem finding the course that suits you. On the island of Tenerife the green fees are similar to mainland Spain but slightly higher on Majorca.
Most golf clubs will offer daily play but if you decide to move to Spain it would be well worth checking membership costs of your chosen club. The Miraflores Golf Club in Mijas, Costa del Sol offers various membership packages up to €1680 a year, as do others around Spain.
You should know that many clubs require a one-off initiation fee. Estepona golf on the Costa del Sol, has different temporary membership costs, up to 8 weeks unlimited golf from €225 to €775, while Ifach Golf in the province of Alicante has memberships paid twice a year for single-player and couples.
Golf by the coast or inland?
Whilst many beautiful courses are located near Spain’s coasts, there are several others to be found inland. One of the loveliest is the PGA Catalunya, a few kilometres from the pretty medieval city of Girona and 50 minutes’ from Barcelona. The golf resort has 2 courses, a 5-star hotel and under construction is a vineyard, equestrian centre and a lake. It is also named as Spain’s number one course by Leading Courses.
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Most golf courses are within striking distance of the sea though there are 34 in and around Spain’s inland capital, Madrid, 4 inland north of Vigo in Galicia, 4 around the capital of the Basque Country, Vitoria Gasteiz and others near the larger inland cities.
For the majority of people, the combination of sea and golf is paramount, resulting in the vast number of courses in the costas.
Of course, golf is popular with ladies too and most clubs have ladies’ membership or the possibility of playing on a daily basis. In 2020, the Ladies’ European Tour returned to Andalusia at the Real Club de Golf Guadalmina and is an important element of bringing Spanish golf and golf courses to a wide audience, especially to ladies. Golf is not only a sport but provides a social life too and is an excellent way to meet like minded people in your area.
Property in golf resorts
For the serious golfer, the option to buy a home within a golf resort is more than just a dream in Spain, it is really possible but it isn’t only for golfers but also for investors. Of the Costa del Sol’s golf courses, around 40% offer on-course homes.
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There are many reasons why buying this way is so attractive, not least of all because you are living with the beauty of a top-class golf course, professionally designed to look wonderful as well as to be the best for playing golf. Places with these high standards also offer a great variety of amenities and those some distance from towns will have literally everything you need on the spot – bars, restaurants, small supermarkets and some have other activities attached such as horse riding.
Something else to consider is that all the maintenance, gardening and pool cleaning is done for you, so you can just sit back with a glass of wine and enjoy living.
To have all this and more, you will be paying a premium, so property will cost more than a similar home outside the resort and the prices inside for food and dining will cost more than in the local town. That said, there will be no problems meeting people and enjoying a full social life in an international environment. The majority of others living on-course are retired or semi-retired, so bear this in mind if you are thinking of buying on-course.
Investors and homeowners alike let out their properties in golf resorts for a very good return as there are always people from around the world who want to come to Spain to play golf, feel the sunshine and are able to pay to be in lovely surroundings. If the property is close to the sea, that is an added benefit to the would-be renter.
Property outside golf resorts
You probably won’t be far away from a golf course if you buy your Spanish home on any of the coasts on the Mediterranean. The prices for properties similar to those located in golf resorts will be lower and you will be able to enjoy a round or two at any number of courses nearby rather than being tied to one only.
You will also be able to get involved in life locally and in your community which is a great way to settle into a new country and to make friends. You’ll have the choice of any number of bars and restaurants, shops and markets and certainly, for those with school-aged children, this is by far the better option.
You might fancy doing up a property in which case off-course offers you some wonderful typical houses of the region, from grand cortijos in Andalusia to fishermen’s cottages in older parts of towns along the coast.
Also, you should consider the cost of overheads as if you buy off-course you‘ll not have to fork out for the community charges which can be quite high depending on the resort. There might be community charges on urbanisations but they are generally lower than in golf resorts.
Spain has literally everything for every golfer, for every budget and for every type of player. Why not start looking into moving to a golf resort or nearby on one of the lovely Spanish costas? There is so much else you can do too as the climate is good almost 12 months of the year – but that’s another story.