San Roque, Sotogrande, and Valderrama have all been open for well over a decade, and this triumvirate earned the region its nickname of the Golden Triangle. But two more fine courses have opened here recently, bringing the total to five within 10 minutes of San Roque. Alcaidesa, the coast's only classic British Isles-style seaside links, has just finished much-needed renovations that bring it up to the high standards of its neighbors. New 10th and 11th holes add a magnificent pair of coastal challenges perched atop the cliffside, and the course sits in the shadow of Gibraltar, with views of "the rock" from nearly every hole. Almenara is brand-new - a Dave Thomas-designed roller-coaster mountain course that features dramatic elevation changes and winds around a large lake. Reminiscent of American ski resort courses, Almenara makes a wonderful addition to the region's golf offerings, with forced carries, numerous water hazards, and greatly elevated tee boxes and greens that give the course a feel much different from any other in the region.

Golfers visiting the Costa del Sol will now find five distinct golf experiences - links, mountain, championship, resort, and classic - within minutes of the San Roque Club. With tee times at the region's best courses available for San Roque guests, it is easier than ever to plan a golf vacation to the Costa del Sol. And in case you need one more reason to go, don't forget those 320 days of sunshine each year.

a costa del sol scorecard
most travelers connect through madrid to malaga, about an hour from the san roque club. for one-stop shopping for tee times, air and ground transportation, and lodging, book through a specialty tour operator like wide world of golf (800-214-4653; www.wideworldofgolf.com) or perry golf (800-344-5257).