Spain has a wide range of golf courses available to suit all tastes and all levels of play, ranging from Valderrama on the Costa del Sol, home of the Volvo Masters, site of the Ryder Cup 1997, to a host of commercial clubs mostly in the coastal regions. Inland clubs are mostly members' clubs but all offer green fees to visiting golfers.
Seasons may vary slightly from course to course but generally are:
Insurance for third party damage and personal accidents on the golf course are covered in most cases through payment of the green fees. A minority of courses require a small additional payment for this insurance. Discounted green fees can be obtained for most courses by booking through reputable golf agencies.
Most if not all commercial golf courses have excellent club house facilities and pro shops offering golf cart, trolley and club hire. Some courses offer the use of buggies included in the green fee prices.
Group and individual tuition by qualified professionals can be booked at most courses.
The Royal Spanish Golf Federation (Real Federación Española de Golf) promotes and controls golf activities in Spain, organises national and local competitions (the latter via the federations of the individual regions) and insures that the rules as set by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A) are respected.
Spain is a member of the EGA, European Golf Association, the body which regulates the game in line with the international rules. Spain uses the EGA handicap standards. Handicaps are transferable throughout EGA countries.
All players resident in Spain are required to obtain a licence from the federation. These licences can be applied for through their clubs or the regional federation. An applicant must complete a license request (Solicitud de Licencia). Licences are valid for a calendar year (1 January to 31 December).
At the moment resident golfers pay a fee annually to the federation for the licence. The amount may vary from region to region.
Visiting golfers of countries other than Spain are not required to obtain a licence from the Spanish federation but must provide a valid handicap certificate from their home club or their home federation. Proof of handicap is required by all courses (though some may take this on good faith). Depending on the policy of an individual course, men up to a maximum handicap 28 and ladies up to 36 are allowed to play.
Beginners and players without a valid handicap are welcome on some courses but may have to play accompanied by a professional or have to play later in the afternoon in company of a competent partner.
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