We'll drink to that

Stunning club collection makes this one of greatest golf bars in the world

July 10, 2024

A view inside the Casa Roberto golf bar in Spain. (Evin Priest)

FUENGIROLA, Spain — There are no giant flatscreen TVs or a patio overlooking an ancient golf course at the Casa Roberto restaurant, near Marbella on Spain’s stunning Costa del Sol.

This Spanish bar isn’t the birthplace of urban golf legends told, and retold, like the Dunvegan in St. Andrews, or its Road Hole neighbor at the Jigger Inn. It doesn’t have the slick, modern execution of Tiger Woods’ restaurant, The Woods, in Jupiter, Fla. Instead, Casa Roberto has hand-written messages from diners from around the world and old photographs of famous tour players on its walls, which bear the weight of a ceiling covered with thousands of vintage golf clubs.

Casa Roberto—one hour up the coast from Valderrama, which will host a LIV Golf tournament later this week—is a sight to behold.

The retro sticks, mostly persimmon woods and old-school blades, are wired to the roof and hang just above diners, creating a look of stalactites in a cave. If Batman played golf, he’d probably eat here after a round. And he’d enjoy the hearty, coastal Spanish food.


The Casa Roberto collection includes a Royal & Ancient clock commemorating the Spanish Ladies Open. (Evin Priest)

The bar was the passion project of the late Robert Lantsoght, a Belgian restauranteur who moved to Costa del Sol—an Andalucía region populated by 70 golf courses—in 1966. He opened Casa Roberto in 1968 and wanted it to resemble an Irish pub with a heavy focus on wood. When he realized the ceiling wasn’t the timber canopy he craved, Lantsoght decided to hang a set of old golf clubs his sister had given him. The next weekend, he went to a local market in Fuengirola, where a Scottish man was selling a set of clubs and bought them. And then another set, and another.

More than 30 years later, Lantsoght was rewarded with a Guinness World Record for the largest collection of golf clubs when it was counted at 4,393 clubs. After each individual club had to be photographed and confirmed by the organization, the record was registered in October 2002—four months after Woods had won the U.S. Open at Bethpage. More than 20 years later, the club count at Casa Roberto has grown to more than 5,400.


Casa Roberto's owner says his collection includes a Mizuno 3-wood from Nick Faldo and Nike driver from Tiger Woods. (Evin Priest)

When Lantsoght senior passed away in 2021, his son, Roberto Lantsoght, a former pro golfer on European mini tours, took the reins. “When I was young, my mother and I thought, Oh, dad has gone crazy buying all these golf clubs,” Lantsoght told Golf Digest upon visiting the bar this week. “But then when he landed a Guinness World Record, he said, ‘Look, I've got the best collection in the world!’”

Some 2,200 clubs cover the ceiling on the ground floor, while they also surround the staircase up to the second level. There, another 3,200 clubs hang from the roof. Some are more important than others, including a vintage Mizuno 3-wood Lantsoght said belonged to Nick Faldo, as well as a Nike driver from the early 2000s owned by Woods that was gifted to Lantsoght Jr. by his friend, former PGA Tour pro John Morgan, an Englishman who like Woods was a Nike golf ambassador.

“There’s a Slazenger club from Seve [Ballesteros] and [fellow Spanish great] José María Olazábal. There’s a lot of history in here,” Lantsoght says.

There are also vintage photographs of former World No. 1s, including Greg Norman, Lee Westwood and Bernhard Langer, and more modern framed pictures of Woods, Adam Scott and Jason Day. Some of the best paraphernalia, though, aren’t golf clubs, per se. There are artistic vintage clocks emblazoned with the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews and a plethora of other random golf trinkets.


Casa Roberto displays many photos of golf greats. (Evin Priest)

But what cements the charm at Casa Roberto is the club membership badges and photographs from visiting weekend golfers that have been stuck to the wall over the years. “During COVID-19, we shut for a year, and we painted the walls white to allow guests to write messages on them,” Lantsoght says.

Lantsoght’s favorite room within the restaurant is downstairs, where, in addition to a picture of a teenaged version of himself getting a lesson from David Leadbetter, there are pictures of his family and old articles about his father’s quirky restaurant. “I put pictures of my family so I can always see them while I’m at work,” he says.

Casa Roberto may not overlook the 17th fairway at St. Andrews’ Old Course or have charming views of the courses at Pinehurst, but there is a unique history inside its walls. Is it the best golf bar in the world?

We don’t know. But there isn’t another golf bar like it.