La Manga Club - West Course

Spain, East Coast
5.2 (6)
Designer: Dave Thomas
Course Opened: 1996

A short drive north of the Costa del Sol, the La Manga Club opened in 1972 and is one of the most historic golf resorts and residential developments in Spain. Initially the development featured 36 holes of golf, the North and South Courses, which were designed by American Robert Dean Putman. The West Course was added in 1996 and designed by English professional Dave Thomas.

For many years La Manga has offered much more than just golf, with the Davis Cup and Fed Cup Tennis tournaments hosted at the resort in the 1990s and custom built football pitches attracting some of Europe’s biggest clubs for practice and relaxation. Adding to the celebrity of the La Manga Club facility was the fact that in its early years the resort employed legends like Gary Player and Seve Ballesteros as its touring professionals, and was able to attract Arnold Palmer to play one of the many Spanish Opens hosted on the South Course.

Added many years after the North and South Courses, the West occupies an elevated, and narrow, woodland property a short drive from the main resort. Perhaps as a result of the trees or the bouncy, unpredictable terrain this is a scruffier, less manicured version of golf and also harder to digest. There are too many holes here where the landing areas are simply too narrow for most average golfers, and too much abrupt variation in elevation both between and within the holes.

The more spacious opening and closing stretches aside, Dave Thomas seemed to be looking too obviously for length and difficulty here, not to mention the obligatory par 72, as he fashioned the course from a pretty tough landscape. With a revision, and perhaps focus on fun holes over longer ones, this could have been a nice par 68 or 70 type course. As it stands we would only recommend the West to those spending an extended period at La Manga Club, and looking for a third course to play.


La Manga ClubThree times the size of Monaco, the La Manga Club is an exclusive tourist, sport, and leisure resort, located north of Cartagena on the Costa Calida. Beyond the three 18-hole golf courses are a 28 Court Tennis centre, Cricket centre, Gym, Wellness centre and 8-Pitch Football facility. The premium golf hotel on the Costa Calida is the 5-Star Hotel Príncipe Felipe at La Manga Club, which we recommend as the base for any golf tour to the region.


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