Every two years, Top 100 Golf Courses reveals the best around the world. Earlier this year, it was time to take a look at those in Europe and rate the best golf courses in Spain. Yet again, Rio Real Golf climbs the rankings and sits in 37th place for 2020. In the list of the best golf courses in southern Spain, Rio Real takes 16th position.

Stiff competition

There are almost 350 golf courses in Spain, the fourth highest in any country in the world. This together with the world’s fifth largest number of registered golfers (Spain has around 270,000) means there’s strong competition to be the best.

In the 2020 edition of the Top 100 golf courses in Spain, the prestigious independent website has travelled the length and breadth of the country including the islands in search of the very best. 13 new courses entered the rankings this year including several in the Canary Islands and one in Galicia.

Rio Real climbs the rankings

In the last edition of the Top 100 golf courses in Spain (2018), Rio Real soared up the rankings to reach 38th place. In 2020, the “oldest golf course in the Marbella area” continues its upward trend and takes 37th place.

The iconic course, designed and created by legendary Javier Arana in 1965, offers golfers several attractions. The Top 100 Golf Courses highlights two holes in particular – it describes the 4th as “one of the most memorable holes on the card” with its seafront position. It also calls the 8th “a wonderful hole with another fine long par four”.

In his visit to Rio Real, the editor Jim McCann said that “visitors are treated like members, not as vacation golfers”. In his notes, he concluded that “Rio Real was one of the most pleasant surprises in my recent golf travels in Europe”.

Did you know? You can get the low-down on every single one of the 18 holes at Rio Real with our detailed descriptions and pro tips. See them here. 

Best golf courses in Spain

Real Valderrama takes top position this year in the rankings. This prestigious golf course on the Costa del Sol has featured as one of the best in the world since its inauguration and in 2020 it returns to the number one position in the Top 100 Golf Courses.

The website attributes the return to the recent refurbishment carried out by Kyle Phillips at the course. Real Valderrama also ranks as one of the best golf courses in the world this year.

Two other golf courses on the Costa del Sol feature in this year’s best courses in Spain. Real Sotogrande takes third position and Finca Cortesín sits in fifth. This area of southern Spain consistently offers world-class courses and optimum playing conditions.

Did you know? The Costa del Sol hosts the Andalucia Masters every year with the 2020 tournament taking place between 30 April and 3 May. Read about last year’s edition here. 

Best newcomers

Rio Real Golf was one of the 32 golf courses in Spain to climb positions in the rankings this year when 13 new courses joined the list. The one that made the highest entry was Real Club de Golf de La Coruña in Galicia, northern Spain. The course designed by Philip Mackenzie Ross entered the ranking at number 35.

Just behind it was Saurines de la Torre in Murcia, one of the golf courses in southeastern Spain. This course is a Nicklaus creation and entered the Top 100 Golf Courses in Spain in 39th place.

Did you know? Río Real Golf is one of the few golf courses in Spain with a dynamic pricing system. Get the best deals for green fees on the Costa del Sol as well as 20% off this year just because it’s 2020. Book yours now