Although golf originated in the Costa Del Sol back in the 1930’s it wasn’t until the explosion of golf course development in the 1980’s that the European Tour discovered the Costa Del Golf. It took the vision of Jaime Patino at Valderrama to realise that hosting a tournament was a great way to present your golf course to a wider public and establish it as one of the top destinations in world Golf. Many other courses followed suit and soon the Costa Del Sol was a regular stop on the European Tour.
When Snr Patino bought the little known Las Aves course he believed he could turn it into one of Europe’s great courses and spared no expense in proving his point. The course reopened as Valderrama in 1985 and in order to get worldwide recognition he managed to get the season ending Volvo Maters to hold their tournament in 1998. So successful was it that they held it their every year until 2006 and Valeramma quickly established itself as Europe’s number one golf course. After a break the Tournament returned in 2002 for another successful 4 years. During that time the Tournament winners reads like a who’s who of European golf and Valderrama become recognised in Europe as a must play golf course.
To cement its world wide reputation and with much driving from Snr Patino and Seve Ballesteros they hosted the Ryder Cup in 1997. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t at its best but despite that the Europeans gained a thrilling victory lead by Seve 14.5 to 13.5. This was Tiger Woods first Ryder Cup and he returned to the course in 1999 to win the Amexx World championship an event that was also held in 2000. In 2016 the Open de Espana returned to the course and provided the springboard to recognition for Andrew Johnston to come to prominence and he has since become a golfing phenome and crowd favourite known worldwide as ‘Beef’.
Finca Cortesin followed the Valderrama model by taking over the end of season Volvo Championship and holding the now match play event in 2009. 11 of the top 30 players in the world took part and the tournament returned there in 2011 and 2012. Six of the worlds top ten took part in 2011 and Ian Poulter beat Luke Donald in a thrilling final. In 2012 Nicolas Colsaerts took the event that established him as one of Europe’s top players.
Valle Romano also recognised that hosting a tournament was a quick and good way to enhance the reputation of a new golf course and held the Andalucian Open in 2006. The Aloha Golf Club, Las Brisas and the Parador course are just a few of the other courses that have held European Tour events in recent years and have helped to establish the Costa Del Sol’s reputation as Europe’s number one golfing destination.