By Doug Farrick
So my brother is heading on a honeymoon in Spain. I am a wee bit jealous as Spain is, strangely, one of the few countries I have not visited in Europe – why, I'm not exactly sure.
One of my favorites artists, Picasso, of course hails from Spain and my first stop would probably be the Museu Picasso in Barcelona. I have visited the Picasso Museum in Paris – and it was just fabulous.
So besides the Picasso museum and a tour of the incredible Antoni Gaudi architecture in Barcelona – I would HAVE to get in some golf.
One destination that I have heard great things about from my European friends is the La Manga golf resort – a 1,400 acre sporting paradise nestled between the low hills which separate the Mediterranean from the Mar Menor sea in south eastern Spain in the southeast corner of Southern Spain.
The La Manga Club & Resort has always been synonymous with golf and with its three championship courses and outstanding practice facilities, it is hardly surprising that it has been voted Europe's top golf resort twice in the past five years.
The 3 courses are the North, South and West (did they forget the East one?) The South is considered the premier layout which was reworked by Arnold Palmer in the early 1990's. The other two courses are quite challenging as well, but in different ways.
The South Course has been the venue for many major professional tournaments; Spanish Opens (both ladies' and men's), PGA Championships and Qualifying Schools for both the men's and ladies' European Tours.
The North course (6,291 yards) has more palm trees, lakes, larger greens, tighter fairways and 'barrancas'. These natural storm gullies feature on all three golf courses and add an extra dimension to the game.
The West course is set amid serene pine woodlands, the West Course's design closely follows the natural contours of the undulating land. Its distinct character makes it a good alternative to the other, more classical championship courses.
The West is many golfers' favorite, both because of its unique setting and outstanding views. It weighs in a bit longer than the North at 6,529 yards.
We've made it a goal to do more traveling the next few years and with the kids getting older. One stop will surely be La Manga in Southern Spain.
"If I had to choose one golf course to play before I die, it would be the South Course at La Manga."
- Lord Deedes – Editor of the Daily Telegraph