Situated in the foothills of the beautiful Mijas Mountains with breath-taking views of the stunning Andalusian countryside, La Cala’s superb 54-hole resort offers an idyllic rural retreat just 20 minutes from Marbella and only 30 minutes from Malaga airport. A recently completed renovation of the resort’s America course has elevated conditioning, playability and aesthetics to new levels, plus the arrival of a superb new GPS buggy fleet.
The three superb championship courses at La Cala Resort – Campo America, Campo Asia and Campo Europa – each present unique challenges and slot seamlessly into a natural, undulating backdrop of trees and flowers, rich with birds and wildlife. Designed by famous golf course architect Cabell Robinson, each 18-hole layout has been created to ensure a truly exhilarating experience. An additional 6-hole, par-3 course and world-class golf academy complete the La Cala experience.
For the last seven years, The Alps Tour Qualifying School has been staged at La Cala in December. Last year, some 250 hopefuls did battle for their playing rights on one of Europe’s premier third-tier professional tours over the resort’s Asia and America courses.
Campo America was the second of La Cala’s three courses to open in 1991, two years after the Asia course and 14 years before the Europa course. America has come to be regarded as the resort’s premier and most requested layout, for although all three serve up spectacular mountain vistas and views down to the coast, it is America that provides perhaps the most exhilarating golfing ride of all. Many golfing visitors go home marvelling at the vision and daring of those who first thought of setting out a course over such a dramatic mountainous landscape, which offers up spectacular views out over the Sierra de Ojen and down towards the Mediterranean Sea.
Campo America sets out from a stirring elevated tee that allows you to open your shoulders off the 1st as you launch one away to the valley floor below. The first three holes on that valley floor have more of a traditional, Spanish parkland feel; you then climb to higher ground that offers up the most incredible views of all at La Cala; and the back nine plays in amongst the villas, both contemporary and classic Andalusian in style. It is a course where the par 3s and especially the par 5s stand out.
The first par 3 – the 4th hole, where the green is cut into a slope some 200 yards away – has been extensively remodelled to improve its playability as part of a major renovation programme on the America course in 2018, which, among many other things, has seen all bunkers refurbished to enhance the aesthetics. Another hole to undergo a major remodelling is the excellent long dogleg par-5 15th, where a ravine on the left side up towards the green has been partially filled in to allow greater flexibility in strategy for those looking to lay up. The course finishes with another truly memorable par 5, which turns left before plunging down towards the green. If a perfect drawing drive reaches the crest on the dogleg, there is a chance of the ball rolling another 150 yards down the hill, potentially leaving a mere short iron in for the second shot.
The fruit of this major renovation programme is a course whose already heady reputation is now set to be enhanced yet further. The investment is scheduled to continue apace, too, with plans already in place for similar renovation projects on both the Asia and Europa courses this year and in 2020, plus a brand-new fleet of GPS buggies set to hit Campo America’s fairways this spring to elevate its status as La Cala’s premier golf offering.
“We are one of very few 54-hole golf resorts across continental Europe and are immensely proud of all three championship courses here,” says Sean Corte-Real, Director of La Cala Resort. “But Campo America is our most requested course among visitors, so we took the decision last year to raise the bar further, investing heavily in our course renovation project and placing a significant order for a state-of-the-art new buggy fleet.”
La Cala resort boasts accommodation of the highest standard, including a newly renovated 107-bedroom hotel, a selection of on-site properties for sale and rental; from attractive 2-bedroom apartments to opulent 5-bedroom villas spread throughout the estate of approximately four million square metres. Residents can enjoy the luxurious spa and a selection of excellent restaurants and bars. There are also further leisure opportunities with a FIFA-standard football pitch, running circuit, gym, tennis and squash courts.
Nestled between the arresting beauty of the Sierra de Mijas Natural Park and the shimmering Mediterranean Sea, La Cala is a genuine haven of tranquillity. It’s the perfect base for exploring Andalusia and Spain’s fascinating cultural cities like Granada, Seville and Malaga.