Among the field targeting further success at La Manga Club will be previous double winners, former Aston Villa and Scotland striker turned Sky Sports commentator Alan McInally and ex-Millwall and Wales striker Steve Lovell, chasing his third victory in the last six years.
Defending champion Kenny Hibbitt – who won at the 13th time of asking last year – Pat Jennings, Russell Osman and Fraser McLachlan will also be aiming for more glory, while the likes of former Arsenal, Juventus and Republic of Ireland star Liam Brady and ex-England internationals Darius Vassell, Mark Wright, Ray Clemence, Dave Beasant and Kevin Davies – making his debut – are also set to feature.
The desire for UK golfers to visit La Manga Club has proved as strong as ever this year with all 45 team places for the 2016 event selling out nine months before it is staged on the resort’s renowned South and North courses.
The golf classic will feature four days of competitive golf: the one-day Alan Ball Trophy and the three-day main event, which is being personally sponsored by John Griffin, former chairman of previous sponsors Addison Lee and who has played in the event every year, with competitors playing in teams of three alongside a different footballer each day.
Entry includes five nights in the resort’s five-star Hotel Principe Felipe, breakfast, welcome and gala dinners and prize-giving with entertainment.
A five-time host of the Spanish Open and set in an area three times the size of Monaco, La Manga Club boasts three 18-hole courses, a nine-hole academy course and outstanding practice amenities – including mainland Spain’s only Leadbetter Golf Academy – amongst its array of five-star sports and leisure facilities.
Among its recent accolades, La Manga Club was named ‘Spain’s Best Golf Hotel’ for the second year running at the 2015 World Golf Awards, shortlisted at the 2015 Family Traveller Awards and voted ‘Best Golf Resort in Spain’ by UK readers of Today’s Golfer magazine for the fifth year running.
As well as golf, the resort’s extensive facilities also include a 28-court tennis academy, a High Performance Sports Centre and 2,000m² spa and fitness complex, a five-star hotel, four-star serviced apartments and townhouses and more than 20 bars and restaurants.