Miraflores Golf Club was designed by Falco Nardi and opened in 1990. Set in the valley that dominates the popular Riviera del Sol urbanisation, this 18 Hole 5148m par 71 design very cleverly uses the terrain to present a cracking golf course which will both confound and delight depending upon your strategy and risk management!
At 5148m this is not a long course, the fairways are surprisingly generous, despite its appearance Miraflores Golf Club is a comfortable walk and a challenging track. Falco Nardi has used intelligent design to defend the course whilst always making it fair.
As a low handicapper I found Miraflores Golf Club to be very rewarding to play as there are many birdie chances. It’s all about being aggressive from the tee. The more risk you take the more birdies you make. Woe betide you if you get it wrong. Miraflores Golf can look after herself!
Equally, Miraflores Golf Club is a great experience for shorter hitters or longer handicappers, its generous fairways and large greens will make players of all abilities feel good about their game.
Falco Nardi has created a design which fits the terrain perfectly.
Miraflores Golf Club is perfectly located centrally between the popular residential areas of Miraflores, Riviera del Sol and Calahonda. Malaga airport is 25 minutes away, Marbella a further 15 minutes along the A7 main road.
Miraflores Golf Club is a very sociable place. Members and guests enjoy daily events. The centerpiece of Miraflores Golf Club is the clubhouse.
The interior is modern airy and comfortable, the open air terraces are lovely spaces in which to enjoy banter and a beer. The restaurant is renowned along the Costa del Sol for its fine dining and tremendous hospitality.
The ambiance around the clubhouse is very positive – a sure sign that members and guests are happy and content with their golf course! This is the beating heart of Miraflores Golf Club.
- Driving Range
- Pro Shop
- Buggy/Trolley Hire
- Function Room
Miraflores Golf Front Nine
Hole 1, The Rock
Par 4, Stroke Index 17, Yellow Tees 251m, Red Tees 202m
Looking from the tee down the hill towards the green my first thought was how narrow the fairway looks. After a few moments I came to realise that it was not so bad after all.
Forty metres from the tee on your right is a cliff, on top of which are some rather lovely looking apartments. All along the left is out of bounds. The biggest thing you can see from the tee is the green!
It is a short par 4 at 251m . There are no hazards between you and the green, provided that you hit a straight one you will be fine. I chose a 2 iron and thanks to the elevation and tail wind managed to find the green. JW hit a driver slightly long and slightly to the right. He finished 30m past the green and 10m below it leaving himself a tough pitch back into the green. He made a mess of it. This is a common theme on Miraflores Golf Club, if you get yourself out of position it will punish you.
Hole 2, The Village
Par 5, Stroke Index 13, Yellow Tees 407m, Red Tees 388m
A huge stadium like teeing ground, very grand. Behind us is the Miraflores Sports Village with the rather lovely Village Inn Bistro and Bar, the driving range and the excellent Pro Shop.
The fairway runs slightly downhill from the tee for around 200m before turning 90 degrees to the left. The corner of the dog leg is marked by a huge bunker waiting to swallow up errant tee shots. It is a wide fairway and the drive from the tee to the dog leg is a straightforward shot, not much can go wrong!
The tiger line however is a different matter. This is the great thing about Miraflores Golf. Most of the holes present you with 2 options, play the sensible shot and maximise your chance of a Par or net Par, or take on the challenge and attack. Your reward is a birdie; the risk is a ruined score card!
From the bottom of the fairway it all becomes clear. Don’t be greedy with your tee shot. The more corner you cut off the more chances you have to reach this par 5 in two strokes. If you miss the fairway long or to the right you will be blocked by trees and unable to get up in two.
Two large bunkers cross the fairway at 120m from the green. The question you need to ask yourself is can I carry those bunkers with my second shot and keep it straight enough to avoid the creek bed, or do I lay up short and leave a slightly longer and less comfortable wedge on to the green?
The bunkers that guard the approach and the greens themselves are shallow making them less difficult to escape from, the green itself is a large target and predominantly flat with some subtle contours. A par here is a job well done.
This Par 5 is only 407m long, yet it forces you to treat it with respect and earn your score – excellent hole!
Hole 3, The Long Hole
Par 4, Stroke Index 1, Yellow Tees 349m, Red Tees 326m
This is another dog leg hole. Running slightly downhill from the tee to the corner of the dogleg before turning 90 degrees to the left and rising to the green.
The creek that devoured my ball on the previous hole also runs along the left side of this hole next to the cart path. At the apex of the dog leg on the right of the fairway is a bunker set into a banked fairway. Looks very good from the tee.
Again you need to choose your strategy for the hole before you hit your tee shot. A safety first tee shot will give you a strong chance of par, whereas taking the tiger line over the corner of the cart path can bring equal chances of death or glory!
From the dog leg the hole runs distinctly uphill to the elevated green making judging the distance quite tricky. I allowed 15m for the incline and hit a short iron to the middle of the green, very satisfying it was too.
Miraflores Golf is well designed. If you put yourself in a good position then you are usually rewarded with a straightforward shot for your next one. I like that. It gives you a very positive feeling for the golf course.
Another large well presented green awaits at the top of the hill. This is a pleasant place to be!
Hole 4, The Road Hole
Par 3, Stroke Index 9, Yellow Tees 203m, Red Tees 162m
From the white tees this is a cracking Par 3. You could drop this hole into any championship course and it would fit very well. Again the hole runs downhill from its elevated tee . At 30m from the green it rises steeply to the green.
Two large bunkers guard the front right flank of the green and encroach over the entrance too. It is an enormous green with a series of 4 raised tiers from the front left up to the back right. Around the green there are a series of swales and hollows which form a mini amphitheatre around the putting surface. A terrific looking hole.
Hole 5, The Lake
Par 4, Stroke Index 7, Yellow Tees 290m, Red Tees 250m
This is the most intimidating driving hole at Miraflores Golf Club. Water runs alongside the left of the tee and continues 150m up the fairway. There is 10m wide spit of land to accommodate buggies and walkers giving the slimmest of chances to any miss hit tee shot.
This fairway is saddle shaped with homes built on the hillcrests on either side. Whilst very pretty it also serves to make the hole appear narrower than it actually is. The wide point of the fairway comes immediately after the lake. A tee shot of 200m meters will leave a short iron into the green. A bunker 230m from the tee awaits you on the right of the fairway, at this point the fairway narrows to around 25m in width. Driving the ball past this point needs some accuracy. A large lake lurks just over the back edge of this small green! Even the slightest error in controlling your distance with the second shot can result in a damp outcome! The closer you can get to the green with your tee shot then the easier the second shot becomes, you just have to be confident enough to hit your drive into the narrow part of the fairway.
Another example of a short par 4 made difficult through intelligent design.
Hole 6, Sierra De Mijas
Par 5, Stroke Index 5, Yellow Tees 454m, Red Tees 429m
Trees line both sides of the saddle shaped fairway. Running significantly uphill this hole plays a lot longer than the numbers suggest. Keep your drive on the right half of the fairway to avoid being blocked by the trees on the left with your second shot.
From the tee you can see a radio mast on the horizon. Keep your drive to the right of it. At the end of the fairway is a generous lay up area marked by a large tree. From there the green is tucked away to the left behind the mound that runs up the left side of the hole.
If you can hit your drive more than 230m up this fairway then you can attack the green with your 2nd shot. You will need to hit a club with sufficient loft to fly over the hillside in order to reach the green. If you can execute both shots then you have a strong chance of birdie. If not then the safe option is to drive it up the middle, hit your layup shot towards the big tree and then an 80m chip to find the green.
The green is very large and runs uphill from the front of the green to the back making it dangerous to leave your ball above the cup.
Hole 7, The Backdrop
Par 3, Stroke Index 11, Yellow Tees 163m, Red Tees 117m
This par 3 is a stunner and would not be out of place on any Open Championship golf course! The scorecard says this is a straight forward par 3, in reality it is anything but! A tremendous hole!
The wind is whipping into our faces as we stand on the tee. The challenge here is to be able to fabricate a shot that penetrates the wind, carries all the way to the green and stops quickly enough so as not to go over the back of the green.
The green is large with a large step running through the centre. It runs very downhill from the back of the green to the front. if the pin is on the front and you find yourself above it then you have a problem!
A bunker on the front right is set into the face of the slope that runs up to the green. Open space to the left. If you go too long and run off the back edge of the green you will run all the way to the bottom of the bank and have a down wind downhill pitch back to the flag, very difficult.
Hole 8, The Valley
Par 4, Stroke Index 3, Yellow Tees 293m, Red Tees 224m
From the tee this short par 4 looks just about impossible! The elevated tee runs steeply into the valley at the bottom of which is the beginning of the fairway. It then rises again to the green.
On the right of the fairway is a steep forested bank. If you hit it on to the bank you are doomed. You have to keep the ball away from that bank.
Left of the fairway is a line of tall pine trees, left of those is out of bounds. The fairway is only a few paces wide at its narrowest point.
The widest part of the fairway is at the bottom of the valley 140m from the tee and equidistant to the green. If you elect to hit your tee shot any further than that then you are putting your scorecard at risk!
If you are courageous enough and have confidence to give it lash then a long straight drive is the obvious solution. The closer you can get to the green with your tee shot brings the reward of an easier shot up to the green.
The green is made up of three stepped areas guarded by a fearsome bunker set in to the front elevation
Next time I play this hole I will hit 140m to the wide point of the fairway and then another 140m up to the green. It is the only safe way of keeping your score intact!
Hole 9, La Casa
Par 4, Stroke Index 15, Yellow Tees 309m, Red Tees 278m
This is a birdie chance. An elevated tee points to the corner of the dog leg in the fairway below. From there the hole turns sharply to the left leaving a short wedge to the green 10m above you.
However, there is a clear “Plan B” from this tee which if successful will yield a birdie, maybe even an eagle opportunity. There is a large bank on the left of the fairway as you view it from the tee. On top of that bank is a pylon carrying electricity cables. left of the bank is out of bounds at the point where it crosses into the adjoining 10th fairway.
The tiger line is to hit it directly at the pylon. Your reward for taking on the challenge is a shortcut to a very generous green set in an amphitheatre. If you carry the ball far enough the shape of the banking around the green will collect your ball and deflect it towards the centre of the green. It’s a risk worth taking.
If you miss the drive slightly to the right you will finish in the fairway along with those who elected the safe option – nothing to lose – unless you go too far left!
Miraflores Golf Back Nine
Hole 10, Hogs Back
Par 4, Stroke Index 16, Yellow Tees 273m, Red Tees 263m
Another reachable Par 4 which can offer an easy birdie for the right tee shot. Very encouraging. However, the risk reward balance is not quite so clear on this occasion.
The fairway falls into a hollow about 180m from the tee. At the bottom of the hollow is the green. Sitting on a small plinth the green is guarded by aggressively placed bunkers guarding the left and right front approaches. The terrain slopes away to the right and can take your ball towards the 2nd tee.
The green is tiered and also slopes towards the right making it very difficult to get your 2nd shot close and also very difficult single putt.
A copse of trees sit in the rough to the left and slightly above the green making the tee shot quite tricky.
The line to take is on the left edge of the fairway inside the tree line. Any shot of 220m on that line will give you a clear but not easy shot into the green. This apparently simple hole is very well designed and requires well thought out and precise golf to successfully navigate.
This is a satisfying par!
Hole 11, The Easy One
Par 3, Stroke Index 18, Yellow Tees 109m, Red Tees 91m
This is a short par 3 playing uphill to a green 12m above you. All you can see from the tee is the top half of the flag and a series of bunkers on the crest line that look so menacing that you might think they contain landmines and crocodiles.
Make sure and take enough club to fly over the crest line in order to reach the safety of this small green. Hollows and swales will catch your ball if you are slightly long. If you are very long then the out of bounds fence might catch you!
A well contoured and slick green makes securing your par even more of a challenge.
Hole 12, The Fountain
Par 5, Stroke Index 2, Yellow Tees 480m, Red Tees 417m
This is a wonderful hole. Amazing views down the avenue like fairway looking over the lake and then out to sea on the distance. When you stand on this tee take a moment to reflect how good golf is on the Costa del Sol! Life is good!
The fairway is interrupted at 230m by a lake. The saddle shaped fairway is an inviting target. The feeling it invokes on the tee is that you want to attack the hole. Out of bounds are both left and right of the fairway but will not concern you unless a true stinker comes off the clubface!
The lake runs from 230m to 130m from the green. The lay up shot is made difficult only by the thought of the water. A good test of character! Once the lake is behind you relatively simple shots into the small green are all that remain. If you cross the cart path on the left you are dicing with the out of bounds, there is plenty of room on the right. An excellent par 5!
Hole 13, Good Luck
Par 3, Stroke Index 10, Yellow Tees 130m, Red Tees 115m
This par 3 appears to be wide open, it is only when you walk up to the green that the diminutive dimensions of the target become apparent. This slender, long, hourglass shaped green is an elusive target.
The rear half of the green is raised adding further complexity to the hole. The bail out areas on either side of the green are generous and give you a fair chance of saving par. A bunker protects the front.
This is a very satisfying par to make. A good hole.
Hole 14, The Elbow
Par 4, Stroke Index 4, Yellow Tees 466m, Red Tees 369m
This is another very cleverly designed dog leg par 5. From the tee you can see the corner of the dog leg ahead of you. At the corner the hole turns 70 degrees to the left and heads uphill to a green sitting on the high point at the top of the fairway. Out of bounds runs along the left side of the hole for the entirety of its length and extends around the back of the green marked by an attractive stone wall.
Long hitters can take a line just over the left edge of the rough and carry the corner making the second shot a little shorter. Most players will reach the corner of the dog leg and then be able to play their second shots up the hill towards the green. The second shot plays very long, make sure and get it as far up as you can. Bear in mind that the hole becomes narrower the further up you go.
Hole 15, The Island
Par 3, Stroke Index 12, Yellow Tees 121m, Red Tees 105m
Everyone likes an island green! This par 3 is only 120m but being surrounded by a moat makes a real test of mettle!
There is 4m of apron between you and the moat that surrounds the green making a very generous target for such a short hole. Most people will not see it that way however as the inherent fear of water that all golfers suffer from will distort one’s view!
Hole 16, DownHill
Par 4, Stroke Index 8, Yellow Tees 300m, Red Tees 266m
Another driveable par 4 with a good blend of risk and reward. If you cross onto the adjoining 14th fairway on your right you are out of bounds. it is imperative that you keep your tee shot in the correct fairway.
There is trouble on the left but will only affect the worst tee shots.
The ideal drive is 220m down the centre line of the fairway. That will leave you with a 60m chip into a welcoming green.
If you are a big hitter and can shape the ball left to right then you might fancy having a go at this green with your drive. It will be a great feeling if you pull it off. However, it is a very difficult shot to execute with an out of bounds penalty just a few yards to the right. This hole will reward far more birdies to a well played wedge shot than it will to quixotic lash from the tee! On this hole it definitely pays to take the conservative line.
The green is banked with a generous apron. As with all of the greens at Miraflores Golf, two putts are not guaranteed.
Hole 17, Homeward Bound
Par 4, Stroke Index 6, Yellow Tees 308m, Red Tees 285m
This is a cracking par 4. The fairway is again generous and inspires confidence. The line to take is at the bunker set into the face of the green. The small green is elevated and sits 5m above the fairway. if you get too close to the green with your drive you will leave yourself a very difficult pitch into the flag.
A shallow burn runs across the fairway 60m short of the green. The ideal tee shot will be short of the burn leaving you a full swing with a lofted wedge which is the ideal way to get close to the target on this small green.
Once you arrive on the putting surface you will find that this green is contoured in every direction. Two putts here is well done!
Another short par 4 that plays very well and will give your game a thorough examination.
Hole 18, The Last
Par 4, Stroke Index 14, Yellow Tees 242m, Red Tees 192m
The tee is located 20m below the green with a moonscape fairway winding to the right around the large hill that rises to block your dirt line of sight of the target.
The green is driveable but requires a tee shot with sufficient elevation to fly over the hill in front of you. Another tactic might be to take a line just to the left of the hill and hit a powerful left to right shape as JW did.
To be completely safe you need to hit a mid iron or hybrid up the fairway and then hit a pitch into the green.
A mistake off the tee is not going to be easy to recover from. The best balance of risk and reward here is to hit that left to right tee shot, a big hit will see you on or close to the green with a fairly simple chip into the immaculate large putting surface.
Miraflores Golf always gives you 2 choices – the safe conservative option play to your ball safely in the fairway perhaps to the corner of the dog leg and then have a manageable shot on the green or throw caution to the wind and take the tiger line. If you hit a good one you set yourself up for a birdie. If you hit a poor one you might not be able to scramble a bogey!
Remember this is not a long golf course, neither is it narrow. It offers generous greens. Falco Nardi has cleverly hidden the greens to force long hitters to summon an exceptional shot in order to capitalise and equally to reward those that play the percentage game
Miraflores is a delightful members course that will entertain golfers of all abilities. It meets its design brief perfectly. Miraflores Golf does not pretend to aspire to be a championship layout. It is meant to be urban golf course that brings pleasure to its members and guests – which it does perfectly.
3 thoughts on “Miraflores Golf Course Review and Playing Guide”
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Great review Stuart….info will come in very handy.
This course is defenitely not up to the standard you would expect for 65 Euro. The staff is extremely hostile and constantly tries to rob you. Dont play here.