Over the last few years, Gran Canaria has become one of the most popular tourist destinations amongst golfers. It's not hard to see why, either.
As holiday-making golfers go looking for the highest levels of service together with a fine climate for playing, Gran Canaria complies fully with both - but the island has endless other possibilities, too.
No matter the type of golfing tourist, they are sure to find what they are looking for. This destination caters for all kinds of golfers, whether playing on their own or with friends, there with their family, casual tourists trying out the game for the first time, or those who came across the courses while on a sun and beach holiday.
For all these golfers, Gran Canaria offers seven excellent courses, all quite different from one another yet all within a 50km radius, enabling players to sample the complete set while on holiday.
Starting to the west of the island and moving along the coastline, we first come to the spectacular Anfi Tauro Golf, an ever-present in the top ten in online ratings.
Next, the Old Course and New Course at Salobre, set in its peculiar Arizona-like desert location, with the Hotel Sheraton Salobre as a backdrop. This is a complete golf resort, with its contrasting courses which have earned the label of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ by those in the know, the first for how it grows on players, and the second for being only for the most intrepid.
Moving on around, we come to Lopesan Meloneras Golf, with its top-quality Lopesan brand, built in the image of the great American courses.
Its front nine overlooks the island’s mountain peaks, while the back nine sits high overlooking the Atlantic.
We then come to Maspalomas Golf, a much-loved golf course with an enviable location next to the sand dunes.
Nearer to the airport, for those keen to get straight onto the fairways, is the Cortijo Club de Campo. It boasts one of the longest courses in Spain and was the scene of Sergio Garcia’s Spanish Open victory in 2002.
Last but not least, we come up to the ever-popular Real Club de Golf de Las Palmas, famous for being the oldest club in Spain and whose clubhouse and course were designed and built around the now-extinct volcanic crater at Bandama.
These seven courses largely owe the fact they are always busy in the winter months to the 27 quality hotels recommended specifically for golfers and which form part of the Association of Golf Courses of Gran Canaria.
This association prides itself on providing all relevant information concerning Gran Canaria as a golfing destination, including a timely reminder to visitors to leave aside their international food for a short while and try out the island’s fine local cuisine.
So, this is what golf tourism in Gran Canaria is all about. But what really sets it apart are the multiple choices it provides for visitors to get the widest and most memorable possible experience out of their stay.
The south of the island is a beach and sun paradise that enables golfers to take an imprint of the sun back home with them after their rounds.
Elsewhere, there is a bit of everything: green landscapes, desert landscapes, mountain peaks over a sea of clouds, picturesque villages dotted all around the island, as well as a capital city to delve deep into.
You can go out for drinks and tapas, visit the historical parts of town, the capital’s urban beach, all with the Atlantic on the one side of the isthmus and the bustling Sea Port on the other.
For the culturally sharp golfing holiday-maker, there is an endless choice for combining golf with other events held annually on the island, from opera and jazz to theatre, dance and carnivals.
There are also other sporting events that encourage the locals to get outdoors, with regattas, marathons and modest cycling tours bringing the streets to life.
Gran Canaria is popularly known as the ‘Miniature Continent’ and, as such, was chosen as the Best European Golfing Destination in 2013 by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators.
Pay it a visit - you won’t regret it!