Former Huddersfield gymnast and pub landlord Brian Hayhurst and his wife Elaine are ex-pats who have lived just outside Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol for 20 years. He writes every fortnight for Huddersfield Hub.

This week we had a chance meet up with a young friend called Juan who, until recently, worked as a top waiter at the prestigious Los Monteros Hotel Marbella, one that has been enjoyed frequently by celebs and wealthy visitors from around the world.

He was headhunted and is now on full pay awaiting the opening of the 5* + La Zambra hotel, just 2km from where we and Juan live.

There is still another month to opening this iconic hotel, which in the past has welcomed some very famous people including Princess Di, The Rolling Stones and Julio Iglesias.

It is now listed in the renowned Forbes Directory as being amongst the best in the world. Juan is learning further, how to present and recommend the fine wines for diners and get familiar with the extensive menu etc.

He was able to tell us about both hotels. Los Monteros, which has accommodated Michael Jackson, Arnie Schwarzenegger, Antonio Banderas and Saudi royals. Also, Julio Iglesias whose house was inland near to Ojen, from where he occasionally used to take a helicopter for a meeting and a meal at La Zambra, which was then called Byblos, where no one left tips in coins, only notes – sometimes large ones!

Extensive total refurbishment work has been going on for two years at La Zambra and the owners – Intriva group of investors – are eager to get it up and running, as is the company fronting the project, Hyatt whose name is synonymous worldwide with opulent, luxurious hotels.

It has 197 rooms, all with private balconies and has a standard room rate of €1,055 per night. Depending upon the room or suite chosen, you could pay up to €5,500 per night. But breakfast IS included. I don’t think there will be many ‘Bargain Loving Brits’ turning up!

Named after a Spanish Flamenco dance, La Zambra is surrounded by two popular, beautifully maintained golf courses; two of over 70 courses up and down the Costa del Sol which are a vital source of revenue here in Spain.

The main image at the top shows the hotel frontage overlooking one of the courses. And another shows a course worker replacing at incredible speed (two minutes) to move a hole on one of the immaculate greens.

Another friend who is now a most proficient golfer gave us a rundown of some of the costings for golfers here.

It’s known as Costa del Golf because it has the highest concentration of courses in Europe making it a golfer’s paradise, 365 days per year.

Starting with group/club fees for regular bookings which can be half price, right up to Valderama (which hosted the Ryder Cup) which could set you back €375 per round.

The highly-prestigious Las Brisas costs €22,000 to join and has an annual membership fee of €2,700. But the most expensive is Finca Cortesan which demands €50,000 to join!

READ MORE: Catch up on Brian’s previous blogs HERE

Another popular course is San Roque Old Course, which had its bunkers re-designed by Seve Ballasteros.

These are nothing when comparing the joining fees at The Royal Wentworth in Surrey which, I understand, are £100,000 and 16,000 quid a year membership!!

Another friend Jeff, who was a marshal at Marbella Golf & Country Club, said: “I often had to remind visiting players about the dress code and behaviour whilst playing.” He has seen guys turn up too inebriated to start playing and politely asked to leave.

The first Spanish golf course was in Gran Canaria in 1891. Some 30 years later Parador del Golf here began to welcome members.

But the modern game originated at St Andrews in Scotland in 1764. Wow! How the game has evolved since those years.