The ever-present breezes, year-round sunshine and average temperature of around 23˚ are the reasons Tenerife is often referred to as the ‘Island of Eternal Spring’. This ideal weather and suitable topography goes a long way to explaining why so many quality courses have sprung up on the island, mostly on the south and south-western coasts.
Golf del Sur, the first course to open in the south of the island (1987), is only one on Tenerife boasting 27 holes and, uniquely, has every bunker filled with black volcanic ‘sand’. The former European Tour venue has three nine-hole loops – North, South and Links. The North has the best views, the South is regarded as the most difficult and the Links is the most popular as it runs closest to the sea. Statuesque pines help give definition to all three and there is a Jurassic Park quality to some of the volcanic areas scattered throughout.
Abama's views over the Atlantic, crystal white bunkers, huge greens, 22 lakes, 25,000 palm trees and spectacular waterfalls make it one of the most beautiful courses in Tenerife. It benefits from plenty of elevation and drops about 1,000 feet from top to bottom. Since opening in 2005, this Dave Thomas design has hosted the men’s and women’s European Tour and is truly spectacular. You'll also find it in Augusta-style condition.
Costa Adeje to the north of the lively towns of Las Americas and Los Christianos has been built on a former banana plantation. The resultant 'terracing' is unusual but attractive; there are even several tiered greens echoing this theme. It is a gorgeous course that weaves down to the sea in delightful style.
With masses of beautiful flowers, gorgeous water features, generous fairways and super smooth greens, Las Americas is a thrill from 1st tee to final green. It is stunningly pretty parkland with water on eight holes and plenty of wildlife adds to the delightful atmosphere.
Finally, to the spectacular Seve Ballesteros designed Buenavista, perched on the rugged mountainous west coast, while we also recommend visiting the stunning Tecina, a 40-minute ferry ride on the beautiful island of La Gomera.
Gran Canaria has long been a great escape during the UK’s dark, cold winter months. The second largest Canary Island has six venues and eight courses – all handily located within relatively short driving distances. This was recognised when it claimed IAGTO’s 2013 European Destination of the Year award.
It’s the home of Spain’s oldest golf club, the quirky and spectacular Real Club de Golf Las Palmas, which was founded in 1891. It weaves through a valley between the mountains next to the crater of an extinct volcano. The views are out-of-this-world on this tight par-71 Mackenzie Ross layout.
Anfi Tauro is a sensational desert-style Robert von Hagge layout close to the sea and plotted in a valley overlooked by mountains. You’ll relish hitting from a collection of breathtaking elevated tees.
Salobre is home to the only 36-hole complex in the Canaries. The 15-year-old Old is the no.1 layout here and has a terrific variety of holes with the par-3 14th played from a spectacular elevated tee to a ‘drop’ green is particularly memorable.
The New is eccentric in the extreme: you’re regularly required to hit nerve-jangling shots over gaping chasms! This classy resort is also a short drive from both the coastal courses of Maspalomas – a former European Tour venue (Turespana Masters Opens) that opened in 1968 and was created by Mackenzie Ross – and Meloneras. The latter is a Ron Kirby design which opened in 2006 and offers a striking mix of undulating parkland and gorgeous clifftop holes, including the stunning par-4 14th where you drive over a ravine.
Last but not least there’s El Cortijo which hosted the 2002 Spanish Open (won by Sergio Garcia) and is conveniently located close to the airport.
A quartet of varied and challenging layouts awaits visitors to the island, just 100km from Cape Juby in Morocco. Best known is Fuerteventura GC, which hosted the 2004 Spanish Open and is plotted within a UNESCO-protected reserve next to the Atlantic and features three lakes. It’s close to the airport while the luxury Elba Palace hotel is on site.
Also close to the airport is Salinas de Antigua, a fine 'links' with large greens and giant dunes, and in the south you’ll find Ron Kirby-designed Jandia sitting right next to the beach. Par-67 course Las Playitas (under 5,500 yards) provides a short, fun round.
The fourth largest of the Canaries – it sits in the Atlantic Ocean just 78 miles off the African coast – it is the home of two impressive 18-hole courses.
Lanzarote, near the popular resort of Puerto del Carmen, was designed by US architect Ron Kirby and at 6,700 yards is a stern holiday challenge, being surrounded by extinct volcanoes and providing breathtaking ocean views.
Costa Teguise can be found under an old volcano in the north east and John Harris’ course has been testing golfers since the late 1970s. It features several dog-leg holes and well over 3,000 palm trees.