European golfers and golf fans may still be recovering after the battering at the Ryder Cup, but with the Andalucia Masters at Valderrama and the Andalucia Open de España on the horizon, the Costa del Golf is the perfect place to restore your faith in the game this autumn!
Article by Giles Brown
Madrid Magic for the Armada?
7-10 October, 2021
The ‘Spanish Armada’ will be out in force at the first event – The 2021 Acciona Open de España presented by Madrid – a catchy title I know – at the Club de Campo Villa de Madrid. The venue for the Open de España on nine occasions and a further nine Madrid Opens, this year the competition has become more interactive, with the construction of a completely renovated village and a spectacular VIP zone.
Spanish golf will be bidding for a tenth home victory at its flagship event, to join the ranks of Sergio García, Miguel Ángel Jiménez and the great Severiano Ballesteros, who won the event three times.
Current World Number One Jon Rahm will be defending the titles he won in 2018 and 2019 and looking to emulate Seve. Second in command will be Rafael Cabrera Bello, runner-up in the last edition, when the top of the leader board was flooded with Spanish flags thanks to third and fourth place finishes for Samuel del Val and Adri Arnaus, respectively. All four of them will be at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid, hoping for a repeat performance as they form part of the 30 Spanish entries.
Rahm’s ‘Unfinished Business’
14-17 October, 2021
Closer to home, the Real Club Valderrama will be hosting the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters 2021. Mention Valderrama to any golf fan and they come over all misty eyed at Europe’s Ryder Cup victory in 1997 under the inspirational leadership of Seve.
As part of the European Tour, some of the best golfers on the circuit will compete for four days in the beautiful and demanding setting of Valderrama.
Jon Rahm has his sights on capturing another home title at the event. In his last appearance at Valderrama in 2019, Rahm finished runner-up to Christiaan Bezuidenhout.
“I have some unfinished business at Valderrama, that’s for sure,” said Rahm, referencing his runner-up finish two years ago. “As a Spaniard, it’s a golf course where we all want to win.
“As soon as you arrive you get a real sense of the history of the venue and the great moments that have taken place there over the last 30 years.
“I’ve had nothing but great experiences of playing in front of home crowds. Spanish golf fans are truly special, and I can’t wait to see them lining the fairways again.”
Other players to look out for are 2014 US Open winner Martin Kaymer, Bernd Wiesberger, (the first Austrian player to compete in the Ryder Cup) and Marbella resident Michael Campbell, who beat Tiger Woods to win the US Open in 2005, prompting wild celebrations in his native New Zealand!
Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters 2021 14-17 October (Real Club Valderrama)
Out for revenge?
25-28 November, 2021
With the 2023 Solheim Cup scheduled to take place at Finca Cortesín, women’s golf on the coast is rightly raising its profile. Los Naranjos Golf Club is the venue for Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España from 25-28 November, a perfect culmination of both the Race to Costa del Sol table and the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit.
Last year Denmark’s Emily Kristine Pedersen powered to victory after an exciting three way fight with the Spaniards Nuria Iturrioz and Ana Pelaez. Her four shot win from home favourite Nuria gave her both the win and meant she topped the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit
This year all three will be back, with the Spanish pair keen to avenge their defeat in front of a passionate home crowd!
Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España 2021. 25-28 November (Los Naranjos Golf Club)
Spot the future stars
Meanwhile golf professionals looking for an escape from the northern European winter, as well as amateurs competing for World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) and European Golf Ranking points, have been competing on the Toro Tour.
Launched last year in response to the cancelation of golf tournaments around Europe due to Covid, the Toro Tour offers young players the possibility to compete. With many players seeking golfing scholarships, the tour means that they can improve their game and WAGR position.
Open to professionals, amateurs and seniors – both men and women – and featuring courses including Valle Romano, Azata Golf, Atalaya New and San Roque New, the Toro Tour aims to provide the most cost effective yet professionally run events available in Europe this winter.
The Toro Tour – events in Nov, Dec 2021 and Jan / Feb 2022