Golf is one of the most popular activities on the Costa del Sol, and it's one of the main factors in the growing international reputation of the area. With over sixty excellent courses and a year-round playing season, the region can rightfully be known as "The Costa del Golf".

The quality of the golf clubs and courses is extremely high, yet still there are courses to suit all abilities.

They are set in a fantastic variety of locations from links courses by the sea to courses with panoramic views of the mountains.

Perhaps the most famous is Valderrama Golf Club, which hosted the Ryder Cup in 1997.

The region's reputation was acknowledged by the decision to hold the Golf World Cup 2004 in Seville.

The region's sub-tropical climate, providing an average 300 days of balmy sunshine every year is vital in securing the reputation as a golfing paradise.

While this means that you can leave the trusty brolly and waterproof jacket at home, it also means that a round can be booked months in advance, safe in the knowledge that the elements are unlikely to come between you and the perfect scorecard!

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The courses are open all year round but the main season runs from October to April when the weather is cooler and accommodation and travel prices are cheaper.

Thousands flock to the regions courses to enjoy the ideal conditions and the stylish settings that combine to produce a lifestyle that finds its ultimate expression in the golf clubs of the Costa del Sol.

There is a more relaxed approach to the game than in Britain. Spanish clubs tend not to be bound by the same strict sartorial straightjacket.

Although wearing jeans and a t-shirt is unlikely to be met with enthusiastic approval, there is certainly less clubhouse scrutiny than you'll find in many British establishments.

People enjoy playing golf, but it is the accompanying services and facilities, social life of the clubhouses and the surroundings that help create the unique lifestyle that makes the Costa del Sol so desired by golfers.

Driver and desire willing, whatever direction you decide to take on the Costa del Sol, there is a world of prime golf just waiting to be conquered.

Who knows, maybe next time it will be you waving goodbye to the damp British fairways?