Cerrado del Aguila Golf Course Review and Playing Guide

Cerrado del Aguila Golf Course is unique and fills an important niche for golfers on the Costa del Sol. Designed as an 18 hole layout by Francisco Navarro the first rounds were played here in 2007. A second nine holes are planned although no date is known for when they are likely to be completed.

At around 2900m this is not a short course, consisting of 2 par fives, 3 par threes and 4 par fours. All of the holes are excellently laid out. This is a great golf course built without compromise. I was delighted by my experience here and will be a regular visitor.

Cerrado del Aguila Golf is a perfect solution for holidaying visitors and locals alike for whom time is precious. If you are enjoying a holiday with your family it can be difficult to take 5 hours out of your day to accommodate golf. At Cerrado del Aguila you can enjoy 9 holes of extremely satisfying golf in a little less than 90 minutes. More than that the facilities at Cerrado del Aguila Golf Resort  mean that your non golfing friends and family will have a great time whilst you are doing so.

With Paddle tennis, football, hair salon, a gym this a tremendous facility and an asset for golf on the Costa del Sol.

Location

Located in the Mijas Golf Valley, Cerrado del Aguila is set in the hills just a few km. from Fuengirola, 20 minutes from Malaga airport and 10 minutes from La Cala de Mijas. Cerrada de Aguilar is situated perfectly to cater for the inhabitants of Fuengirola, Mijas and La Cala de Mijas.

Facilities

  • Clubhouse
  • Changing Rooms 
  • Showers Lockers
  • Driving Range
  • Pro Shop
  • Club Hire
  • Trolley Hire
  • Gym and Dance Studio
  • Paddle Tennis
  • Bar Terrace 
  • Snack Menu
  • A la Carte Menu 

Getting started

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The clubhouse is fabulous, a locally renowned restaurateur  runs the kitchen. The interior seating area is spacious and comfortable. The terrace is simply stunning. There is none better at any golf course on Costa del Sol.

We checked in at the pro shop which is inside the clubhouse. The process was fast, friendly and efficient. A quick coffee on the terrace where the theme of warm friendly service was happily continued.

We walked downstairs to collect the buggy and took a moment to have a quick look around the gym. Excellently equipped with modern machines, free weights, classes and everything else you need to get in shape. 

As you head to the first tee you will pass a large putting green on your left, today it felt a little slower than the greens on the golf course, perhaps due to our early tee time the practice green had not yet been cut. Opposite the first tee is the driving range. Long, wide, running uphill with the option of hitting from grass – a good facility and logically located next to the first tee!

Cerrado del Aguila Golf. White Tees 2867 Yellow Tees 2752 Red Tees 2552

Cerrado del Aguila Golf Hole 1

Par 4. Stroke Index 15. White Tees 325m. Yellow Tees 293m. Red Tees 274.  

1st tee SL

After a bit of whinging I persuaded John to play from the white tees. This opening hole is not long, the fairway is not punishingly narrow. On the right of the fairway runs the 2nd going in the opposite direction. To the left, a long way to the left, is the out of bounds fence. If you hit it over the fence then you should immediately go to the driving range until those demons are gone! 

A straight-ish drive is required, whilst you cannot see the green as it sits at the bottom of the valley the line to take is obvious. The choices are to lay up with your drive to the top of the hill some 220m from the tee, or bash it as close to the green as you can and risk having a downhill lie for your chip on to the green.

Bunkers sit on either side of the fairway at the top of the hill. The small green is surrounded on either side and to the rear by three separate bunkers.Your shot into the green will be a short one, the difficulty comes in the size of the target. Distance control with your short irons and wedges is paramount.

I am a member of neighbouring Mijas Golf Club. The greenkeepers have been using this unusual situation caused by Covid to make the greens simply amazing. I have never known them to be so fast and true. By comparison the greens here at Cerros del Aguila golf are slower. That is not a bad thing!

This is a good opening hole, it offers you a couple different ways to play the hole, is well laid out and can yield a very satisfying par to get started with.

Cerrado del Aguila Golf Hole 2

Par 5. Stroke Index 1. White Tees 524m. Yellow Tees 502m. Red Tees 447m.

2nd green

There is often a thought held by golfers that 9 hole courses are somehow not as good as 18 hole courses, too short, not real layouts, etc.

Allow me to put that thought to bed right away. I found, and you will too, that Cerros del Aguila Golf is a well designed golf course where each of the holes makes different demands. There are no weak holes here – this is a very good golf course.

That point is driven home when you view this second hole from the tee. An absolute monster par 5. Running markedly uphill from the tee the fairway appears to reach into the sky. Immediately on your right is death and disaster which will not come into play, further along the right side runs the first fairway. On the left side the rough is banked keeping your ball away from the out of bounds which  is close to the buggy path. This is a very wide fairway and should fill you with confidence. Somehow, maybe because it’s such a long hole and playing uphill it does the opposite. I felt intimidated as I stood on the tee visualising my drive.

I hit a fairly crappy drive into the rough on the left and did not reach the bunker which sits on the left of the slight dogleg hole. I still had 337m to go! Ninety metres short of the green the fairway comes to an abrupt halt. A huge lake lay before the green adding considerably to the challenge. 

You need to hit your second shot as far up the fairway as you can. I still had 150m to go with my third. if you leave your second too far back you can leave yourself with a very difficult choice for your third shot, do you lay up again or  take on the carry all the way to the green. This is truly great par 5.

There is 10m from the edge of the lake to the front of the green. if you leave your shot short of the putting surface the thick rough will stop you from rolling back into the water.

The green is large with a steep tier running through the middle of it and bunkers at the right and  back

If you get a five here you will feel very pleased with yourself!!

Cerrado del Aguila Golf Hole 3

Par 4. Stroke Index 3. White Tees 388m. Yellow Tees 375m. Red Tees 351m.

3rd tee

For me this is the signature hole of Cerrado del Aguila. If I could build a fantasy 18 holes using all of the golf courses along the Costa de Sol then this par 4 is so good it would feature in my fantasy 18!

Again a wide fairway beckons you, but this is not a hit and hope hole. You need to make a plan and you need to execute it or the hole will execute you!

The direct line to the green will take you close to the right edge of the hole and the out of bounds. You can go as far left as you want, but you make your second shot significantly longer.

It’s a dog leg to the right with the tee shot playing uphill making it play much longer than the 388m suggests! At the corner of the dog leg about 250m from the tee sits a lake 100m long between you and the green!

John with his laser guided driver picked a line 10m left of the cart path and nailed one up there. Because I have a propensity to spray the ball all over the place I elected to hit a 2 iron up the middle of the fairway. I found myself 60m short of the lake and needed a second 2 iron to reach the green! 

John’s drive was on the perfect line, any further to the right and he would have been blocked by a hillock which sits on the right of the lake. His 6 iron second shot found greenside bunkers on the right.

There is a 60m lay up area between short of the green and plenty of room both left and right. Again three bunkers protect the small green. This is an extremely difficult hole and one which I cannot wait to have another go at!

Cerrado del Aguila Golf Hole 4

Par 3.  Stroke Index 7. White Tees 140m. Yellow Tees 133m. Red Tees 123m.

4th tee and green

A very pretty par 3 with delightful views over Fuengirola and across the Mediterranean Sea this hole will test your nerve.

From an elevated tee the hole is dominated by the lake on the left which encroaches across the entrance of the green making it a semi-island green. Out of bound on the right make the pinch point of the hole perilously narrow giving no option of being short. There is a little room between the front of the green and the water, and also a little room to the right of the green.

Another small target protected by a large bunker at the back makes this a cracking hole.

Cerrado del Aguila Golf Hole 5

Par 4.  Stroke Index 11. White Tees 318m. Yellow Tees 313m. Red Tees 296m.

5th Green

The view from this tee is directly towards Morocco across the Mediterranean Sea . The sun has just broken through the clouds pouring a shaft of golden light on the distant Moroccan mountains. 

Closer to home is the matter of this downhill par 4 which has all the makings of a birdie opportunity.

One of the many things I like about Cerrado del Aguila Golf Resort is that there are no tricked up holes or blind tee shots with ambush awaiting. On every hole even if you can see the green the line to take is obvious.

In this case the green is clearly visible at the bottom of the fairway. It narrows as you get closer to the green. The 9th fairway runs along the left giving a little emergency room if you need it. Out of bounds of the right. This hole invites you to give it a mighty larrap and see how close to the green you can get.

JW found the fairway (again). I did not (again). We both had short irons into  the green. Mine found the left hand bunker which runs alongside the length of the green. Cracking bunkers, the crushed marble surface instills confidence and allows you to play any kind of shot you wish.

A bunker on the right runs parallel to the one I found myself in. A bunker at the back frames this small nicely contoured green. 

A good tee shot will give you the chance to steal a birdie which you deserve after the previous three tough holes!

Cerrado del Aguila Golf Hole 6

Par 3. Stroke Index 9. White Tees 174m. Yellow Tees 166m. Red Tees 143m.

6th tee

This is an outstanding par 3. Playing slightly down hill you need to hit a long and precise iron or hybrid to find the green. Plenty of bail out areas short and left this hole actually defends itself by taking your focus away from the green  and making you look at the bail out areas. Neither JW or I got nowhere close to the green and both made bogey.

This should not be a difficult hole. There is something about how it suits your eye that gives it that elusive quality. A three here is very satisfying. Maybe next time I will make one!

Cerrado del Aguila Golf Hole 7

Par 4. Stroke Index 13. White Tees 301m. Yellow Tees 291m. Red Tees 274m.

7th Fairway towards green

Probably the most difficult driving hole.  This short par 4’s bite is worse than its bark! With out of bounds tight on the right I could not resist the impulse to carve a banana slice deep into the countryside.

The view from the tee is like looking through a keyhole. It is narrow for the first 180m at which point it opens up considerably. Aiming up the left half of the fairway is the safe option. At 223m  the fairway descends into a bowl shaped valley at the bottom of which sits the green.

Your options are to lay up at the top of the hill or hit it as close as you can and chip it close.

A triangle of bunkers surround the green adding an extra layer of difficulty to your approach shot. This can be considered another birdie chance.

Cerrado del Aguila Golf Hole 8

Par 3. Stroke Index 17. White Tees 130m. Yellow Tees 124m.Red Tees 112m.

8th tee_

Another tough little par 3. The green sits perpendicular to the fairway giving a shallow target. Sitting on a plateau the front of the green is defended by a large bunker set in to the face of the elevation making it impossible to run a shot in.

Bunkers on the left and rear make the right side the only viable lay up area. A precise iron shot is required here. It’s a small green so if you find the putting surface then you will have a reasonable putt. A par here is a good result.

Cerrado del Aguila Golf Hole 9

Par 5. Stroke Index 5. White Tees 567m. Yellow Tees 555m. Red Tees 532m.

9th From Yellow Tees

We’re on the ninth,  a behemoth par 5 of more than 600 yards!!! I urge you to come here just to play this hole! 

Out of bounds on the right, will only trouble those truly awful shots. Plenty of room to find the short grass. The line to take is the left half of the fairway. A line of mounds run along the left and will bounce your ball towards the fairway.

It’s John’s honour, somehow we are all square on the last tee with a cafe con leche at stake. Tensions are high.

Quelle surprise, JW finds the middle of the fairway. A much bigger surprise is that I do too. I slaughter one miles past John and it’s actually on the fairway!!

The fairway runs endlessly down hill towards the clubhouse, plenty of room to hit your biggest club with your second shot, things do not get narrow until close proximity to the green has been reached.

Oddly JW got one off the toe and popped it over the fence on the right. Happy days! Looks like the coffee is mine!

There is a bunker on the left about 100m from the green this is the area where most shots into the green will be played from. The final 100m requires a deft touch. Large bunkers defend the front. Out of bounds surround the rear. Not an easy green. Difficult to get close to the pin. An amazing hole to finish with. 

Summary

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Nine or six hole golf courses might be the future of the game especially in urban areas. If they are designed like this one then the future of golf is looking very good indeed!

This is a cracking budget golf course on Costa del Sol. It took us a little less than 90 minutes to play. It was so much better  than I had imagined. All of the holes here are good holes. There has been no compromise in the design, layout or daily maintenance. 

If time is short, if 5 hours is too big a chunk of your day then Cerrado del Aguila is the answer. If your family doesn’t play golf, no problem, they will enjoy the Padel Tennis, the football, gym or hair salon for 90 minutes while you get your golf done – perfect!

The fairways offer a good playing surface. They can be slightly heavy with retained moisture on early morning tee times or after irrigation. The first  cut of rough is severe enough to make clean contact more tricky. It is not going to consume golf balls nor will it cost you valuable time looking for balls. It is very fair and very sensible.

The bunkers here are a real treat. I don’t remember seeing better bunkers at any of the golf courses on the Costa de Sol. The green keepers have meticulously prepared each bunker so that there is no lip. If you wish you can putt out of the bunkers. The sand is crushed marble which in my opinion gives the perfect playing surface. If you miss the green with a wedge you will get some kind of fried egg lie which punishes a poor shot. if you miss with a longer club, not such a bad shot, then you will be sat on top of the sand and able to putt if you choose to. All the members here love it!

The greens at Cerrado del Aguila Golf are running at about 8 on the Stimpmeter. Slower than many golf courses on the Costa del Sol but by no means slow.  The advantage of slower greens is that missed putts don’t run so far past reducing the number of three putts and generally making amateur golfers feel more confident!

Come and play – I am certain you  too will recommend it to your friends!

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Cerrado del Aguila Golf Club Review

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