Although there are plans to build a lot more golf courses in the area, during the high season, the demand substantially exceeds the availability.
We were delighted to have been granted an interview by Amanda Hinchliffe, the Public Relations Manageress of the Estepona Golf Course, one of the most popular courses on the Costa as well as one of the very few that are privately owned.
Q - Is this a members club?
A - No, it is not, we do not want it to be. Estepona Golf was designed by José Luis López and was first opened in 1989. It is owned by Rory and David Leader and I believe that, perhaps with one exception, it is the only privately owned Golf Course in the area. This is probably what makes it different from the rest.
Q - What do you mean, different?
A - Because we are not dictated to by members with privileges, it is possible to adopt a policy of Pay as you play. So, every client receives the same level of attention and courtesy, it is very important. Whereas, elsewhere, Prime Time may usually be reserved for members, while the others are packed in at the members convenience, this situation here does not exist.
Q - I would think that almost every client prefers prime time, how busy do you get during the season?
A - I see what you are getting at. Of course we do get extremely busy during the season and prime time is the first to fill up, however there is always another day, should it be the case that what is available is not suitable. Further more, because this is a family owned course, we have a terrific atmosphere here. Everyone from the owners, right down to the cleaners, works as part of a happy team. We all work together as one, with the sole object of making our clients feel welcome and at home. Of course there are many other reasons why people like coming here.
Q - What about the off season times, what are they like?
A - It is not that bad at all. For instance, in winter, it is almost impossible to play golf in northern countries and we do get a good influx of Scandinavians, for example. In winter the rain can be a problem, but it does not normally rain so much. Does it?
Q - You said that there are other reasons for your popularity?
A - Well, yes! Just look at the view from here! Its middle of winter, its not a very nice day, yet the scenery is just simply beautiful. Can you imagine what its like when the sun shines? You can see the Mediterranean and the mountains of Sierra Bermeja from almost anywhere on the Course. Additionally, lets not forget the course itself. This is an 18 hole course, Par 72. And we pride ourselves of the condition of our greens, they are some of the best on the Coast!
Q - Is it a difficult course to follow?
A - It is an enjoyable Course, both for the professional as well as the casual player. Our wide Fairways help not to punish the average golfer, yet provide a challenge for players at all levels.
Q - What about prices?
A - Ah! This is another reason why we are popular. We are quite competitive, we believe in giving good value for money. Our green fee is currently 7.500 pesetas in the high season. As part of the service, every one can book for a 30 minutes free consultation with our P.G.A. Professional, Darran Clark. Of course he also does give lessons on a regular basis.
Q - I do know that you have a Web site. Would you say that it is being used by people?
A -Yes, I would. I think it must three years since we started with our Web site. The number of bookings we receive via Internet has noticeably grown each year. It was slow to start with, but now we do receive quite a number of bookings this way. Of course the e-mail side has also gained a lot of preference to the conventional methods of communication, though the fax is still being used quite extensively. This happens quite a lot, specially when clients want us to arrange a package for them, such as accommodation, car hire and so on. Which of course we also do!
Q - I have seen you are doing some work at the Pro-shop. What going on there?
A - We are quite simply making it quite a bit larger, while also adding some more office space. We sell some very good and well known brands in the shop, we just needed more space for clients to see more at ease.
Q - I find that it is very pleasant sitting here in the Bar/Restaurant. Can you tell me anything about it?
A - Sure. The restaurant is here for the convenience of our clients, making food and drinks available to make their stay here more pleasurable. In the summer the terrace is quite simply enchanting. The food is based on European Cuisine and very good, but it is not open at night. As I said it is purely for the convenience of our visitors.
Miss Hinchliffe, thank you so much for your time.