My family and I last visited La Reserva in October 2010. I have reviewed the resort of Sotogrande in Holiday Destinations area of this website.
La Reserva is one of the members’ clubs in the Sotogrande area where visitor green fees are expensive and visitor tee times are limited to after 11:30. It is also one of the many Costa del Sol courses that benefits from the use of a buggy, as there are quite long distances between some greens and tees; we have walked round, which is feasible, but slow.
The red traditional Andalician-style club house is very impressive and can be seen from quite a distance. There is a high vaulted roof bar area, with a terrace outside, that serves good bacon sandwiches, and a selection of lunchtime snacks as well as more substantial dishes. There is no half-way hut or drinks buggy, but water is provided in the buggy (as well as soft drinks in a cool-box if you are lucky enough to be playing with a member) and there are several drinking water dispensers located around the course.
La Reserva is a beautiful course, one of the longest in Spain, built in a parkland style. Although they are very long, many of the fairways are quite wide and the rough is not too severe, although very wayward shots are penalised by the likely loss of a ball in the thick scrub alongside most of the holes. The course designers have been generous in their use of red stakes though, so a lost ball usually only means a penalty drop. La Reserva is one course where those of us playing off the red tees really benefit. Many of the holes have quite a different perspective from the red tees: hole 3 (par 4) loses its dog-leg, as does the par 4 5th, the water is much less in play on the par 3 6th and the par 4 17th, and the approaches to the par 4s 9, 13 and 18 are all quite different to those from the white and yellow tees.
As well as the length of the holes, the greens are a major challenge at La Reserva. When we played, in the Autumn, they were extremely fast, and careful reading of the slopes was needed to avoid the ball disappearing off the other side of the green! For a similar reason, chip and bunker shots need to be well judged. Enjoy your round, and consider a good score to be a bonus, especially on a windy day!
I have given my rating for La Reserva below - please add yours if you have played here.