Mallorca Golfer’s Paradise

Mallorca Golfer’s Paradise

There is a not-so-little island off the coast of Spain which is doing its best to turn itself into a golfer’s paradise, and such is the progress being made that some are already calling it ‘The Miracle of Mallorca’.

The largest of the Balearic islands is long established as one of the more popular summer destinations for Irish holiday-makers – mainly because of its many sandy beaches,  acres of untouched natural beauty, and array of family-fun facilities.

But there is much more to this Spanish jewel in the Mediterranean sun, and golf is an area of the tourist industry that is determined to shine more brightly.

In an effort to harness this potential, two of their German-owned golf courses have teamed up with a recently opened hotel and spa resort, Hotel Carossa, to attract more Irish golfers to this enchanting part of the world. Aided by the presence of that big golden ball in the sky, they don’t have to try too hard to persuade you to give a it a whirl.

Son Gual is the island’s flagship course that will tickle the tastebuds of your average club golfer, while its challenging layout is one that will the test every single-figure handicapper. Rated seventh in Spain and 42nd in Europe in the prestigious 2018 Top 100 Courses of the Continent, this magnificent venue has an intriguing back story.

German millionaire Adam Pamer loved visiting Mallorca and loved playing golf, but felt the island was in need of a premier course. Back in 1995 he decided to invest some of his hard-earned marks in a high-quality track that would appeal to everyone.

A view up the challenging 18th hole at Son Gual
A view up the challenging 18th hole at Son Gual

He duly engaged the services of designer Thomas Himmel to make his dream a reality, and it proved a wise choice. The designer delivered in spades and since it first opened its fairways in 2007, it has become a mecca for golfers visiting Mallorca.

Located within a 15-minute drive of Palma airport, it is set on 160 hectares of gently rolling land and while its key feature is the proliferation of bunkers (every tee bar one offers a test of sand), this classic par 72 with four par-fives and four par-threes also has it share of lakes and streams to avoid, as well as being peppered by 800 olive trees.

The official welcome note to Son Gual promises that you can “cast off all the stress of everyday life”, which is probably true for most club golfers. However, if you have the swing of a slow, one-sided junior B hurler and the putting stroke of an inebriated croquet player, like me, then you’re sure to encounter the stress of losing plenty of balls along the way.

This is a real thinking-man’s course as the superb layout challenges your brain on the tee box. From the elevated first tee, you will be tempted – go with driver over a big bunker or lay up and give yourself a more difficult second into the green.

A view from the highest point in Alcanada across the bay
A view from the highest point in Alcanada across the bay

It was a similar story on my favourite hole, the par-five sixth, which has an appealing tee-shot where you have to drive over a lake that gradually widens at the other side. Be brave with the driver and you have to clear 180 metres to land on a wide fairway, or go short with an iron to clear 120 metres and find land but be faced with a long haul to an elevated green.

The signature hole is the 18th, also a par-five with plenty water and again requiring the golfer to put on his thinking cap from the tee-box. There’s a testy carry over a stream from the tee, but you must be straight as there is water down the left-hand side of the landing area before the stream crosses the fairway, widens and travels up the right hand side.

Just under the green, the stream becomes a pond and it makes for a picturesque setting under the magnificent Palacio clubhouse.

Our other venue on the trip was the Alcanada course, which is situated in the north-east of the island in a breathtaking location overlooking the Bay of Alcudia.

Some of the picturesque views at Alcanada
Some of the picturesque views at Alcanada

With a traditional lighthouse just offshore from which the club takes its name, Alcanada’s 7,108-yard 18-hole championship course was designed by award-winning golf architect Robert Trent Jones Jnr.

Owned by the Porsche family, it’s hard not to fall in love with this most picturesque of courses, which boasts a beautiful old-style terraced clubhouse, allowing visitors to enjoy the stunning views.

The course itself was right up my street, with the opening dog-leg, par-five (which has echoes of the famous 13th at Augusta) setting the tone for a wonderful challenge.

The views become more and more spectacular as you travel around the course, with the high point being the location of the raised 13th tee-box. As you look out it’s like a picture postcard and you can drive down towards the bay with the lighthouse  in full view.

Our genial host, director of golf Kristoff Both, told us they plan to redevelop the greens with an investment of close to a €1m during the current off-season. When the work is finished, it’s current standing of 81 in Europe’s Top 100 should jump considerably and make it well worth checking out in 2019.

How to do it

carossa.jpg
The infinity pool at the luxurious Hotel Carossa

There are many options for places to stay in Majorca, but if you want to do it in style, then The Carrossa Resort is the ideal one for golfers playing Son Gual and Alcanada.

Located in the beautiful Llevant Hills, it is a 30-minute drive from both courses and far away from mass tourism.  This recently opened hotel, owned by the Hamachers from Cologne who are a successful hotelier family, has teamed up with Son Gual and Alcanada to offer an attractive premier golf package which includes gourmet half-board and four sets of green feens.

Offering the finest cuisine, Carossa has an array of first-class services and facilities, including a luxury spa and indoor pool, massage and beauty treatments, gym, luscious gardens with a heated outdoor infinity pool and poolside bar – all this with the benefit of keeping in touch with home thanks to free Wi-Fi.

The deal starts at a price of €1,139, which is value for money considering the level of hospitality. For more, visit: carrossa.com.

Tip: Avoid the hassle of bringing your own clubs on the plane and check out clubstohire.com  – modern golf clubs are available from Palma Airport from just €35 per week

This feature originally appeared in The Irish Independent.

Source: Shane Scanlon

Alcúdia Taxi Tour

Alcúdia Taxi Tour

Alcúdia is a peninsula situated in the NE of the island of Majorca between its two bays – that of Alcúdia and that of Pollença – covering an area of 60 km2, with more than 30 km of coastline and some of the longest beaches in Mallorca

Alcúdia presents a highly varied landscape. As well as numerous coves and beaches with transparent waters, it also offers a broad range of opportunities for all visitors: from those seeking peace and relaxation or doing some kind of sport, to enjoying nature, being immersed in history and culture, right up to those interested in gastronomy, folklore, handicrafts, etc.

The municipality of Alcúdia includes different population centres: the historical centre, the port, Alcúdia beach, and other residential zones (Alcanada, La Marina, Barcarès, Moré Vermell, Manresa, Mal Pas, Bon Aire, etc.). Each one of them has its own special charm making it unique.  http://www.alcudiamallorca.com/en/que-ver/zonas-de-alcudia/

Alcudia Majorca Golf

Club de Golf Alcanada’s is an 18-hole course opened in 2003 and offers all the services needed to practice this sport. Alcanada is located by the sea and the 6,499-metre lay-out blends naturally into the typical Mallorcan landscape.

 

Best Golf Courses in Mallorca

Best Golf Courses in Mallorca

We have researched from various resources top 12 best rated golf courses in Mallorca. At the bottom of the article all golf courses are geotagged in a map to give you quick overview. And we have listed the best hotels in Mallorca as well for a perfect golf break.

1. Son Vida

Opened in 1964 this was the first golf course on Mallorca, and is located in the luxury residential area of Son Vida, just inland of Palma. Meandering through the villas and residences it challenges with narrow fairways and its hilly landscaping. Outstanding is the view from the 6 th hole to the Cathedral of Palma.

Specification:

Built 1964 // Designed by Hawtree

Type: 18 Holes // Par 71

Location: Son Vida

Green Fees: €94-€120 (low-high season)

Visit Website – Son Vida

2. Son Muntaner

This beautiful second course of Arabella Golf is also located in Son Vida and was inaugurated in 2000. It is much wider though quite challenging for all levels of golfers. Its hole 15, a par 5, is a 517m long uphill hole, probably the toughest on the course.

Specification:

Built 2000 // Designed by K. Rossknecht

Type: 18 Holes // Par 72

Location: Son Vida

Green Fees: €117-€150 (low-high season)

Visit Website – Son Muntaner

3. Real Bendinat Golf Mallorca

This course west of Palma is a pure joy for the good golfer, thanks to its magnificent sea views and situation against the backdrop of Bendinat Castle. It has wide and open fairways and is relatively short in distance, though several dog-legs present a challenge. The finishing hole with 454m to the pin calls for a long drive.

Specification:

Built 1986 // Designed by HawtreeType: 18 Holes // Par 70

Location: Real Bendinat

Green Fees: €91-€97 (low-high season)

Our Hotel Suggestion: Sant Francesc – a sophisticated luxury hotel in Palma´s historic city centre perfect for golf and cultural escapes.

Visit Website – Real Bendinat Golf

4. Golf de Poniente

With majestic mountain views of the Tramuntana, this course is fun to play for all handicaps. Several lakes influence play and bunkers are well-placed obstacles making it tough but fair. The par-3 hole number 12 stands out with its 210 yard length.

Specification: Built 1978 // Designed by John Harris

Type: 18 Holes // Par 72

Location: Cala Figuera

Green Fees: from €59 (*9 holes)

Our Hotel Suggestion Gran Hotel Son Net – a picture perfect 5 star countryside hotel ideal to enjoy the Tramuntana mountains in style.*Note: At the moment, 18 holes are closed and only 9 holes golf course is open.

Visit Website – Golf de Poniente

5. Golf Santa Ponsa I

Golf Santa Ponsa consists of a total of three courses, although only Santa Ponsa I is a public course. Beautifully set and fairly flat it is the perfect leisure course, although there‘s a challenge for long hitters: it boasts probably the longest hole on the island , number 10, at 590 yards long.

Specification:

Built 1977 // Designed by Pepe GancedoType: 18 Holes // Par 72

Location: Santa Ponsa

Green Fees: €93- €99 (low-high season)

Visit Website – Golf Santa Ponsa

6. Golf de Andratx

This course opened in 2000 and is definitely one of the top courses on Mallorca. Not only is it one of the most difficult ones, it also boasts breathtaking views. Relatively hilly, it requires great accuracy; raised tees and plenty of lakes contribute to the challenge. Tip: it gets busy, so reserve your tee-time well ahead of time!

Specification:

Built 2000 // Designed by David Kidd

Type: 18 Holes // Par 72

Location: Camp de Mar

Green Fees: €80- €110 (low-high season)

Our Hotel Suggestion: Castell Son Claret – a 5 star hotel with delicious Michelin starred cuisine.

Visit Website – Golf de Andratx

7. Son Termens Golf

A fairly short course and not too difficult it is designed to be a pleasure to play for the visitor. Undulating fairways meander over what was originally a hunting estate, and the course is rich in fauna and flora. The scenic Tramuntana adds to the charm of the area.

Specification:

Built 1998 // Designed by Harris Group

Type: 18 Holes // Par 70

Location: North of Palma

Green Fees: €84-€95 (high-low season)

Our Hotel Suggestion: Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa or Boutique Hotel & Restaurant Ca‘s Xorc – romantic luxury hotels with unique settings.

Visit Website – Son Termens Golf

8. Son Antem Golf

Both courses belong to the nearby Marriott Son Antem, and will remind you of an American-type course as they are fairly open and mostly with water hazards. While Son Antem East is characterized by wide fairways and flat greens, easy to play for beginners and intermediates, Son Antem West is more demanding with undulating greens and much narrower fairways.

Specification:

Built: 1994 East + 2001 West

Designed: Francisco Lopez Segales

Type: 18 holes // Par 72

Location: Son Antem, east of Palma

Green Fees: €68-€99 (East-West course, low-high season)

Our Hotel Suggestion: Fontsanta Hotel Thermal Spa & Wellness – fantastic seaside adult´s only hotel near the natural reserve of Es Trenc.

Visit Website – Son Antem Golf Club

9. Golf Pollensa

This 9-hole course is a good alternative when staying at the luxury boutique hotel Son Brull, in the northern part of the island. Joyful to play, with magnificent views of the Tramuntana mountain range and the Bay of Pollensa. You can enjoy 18-hole course too.

Specification :

Built: 1986, renovated 2000Type: 9 holes

Location: Northwest, close to Pollensa

Green Fees: €40-€45 (low-high season)

Visit Website – Golf Pollensa

10. Club de Golf Alcanada

Named after a little island just off the coast, this course offers a great variety of holes, making it interesting for all skill levels. Challenging greens with hidden breaks along with a generally hilly setting require accuracy in woods and irons. It is beautiful to play, running consistently by the sea and framed by pines & olives.

Specification:

Built: 2003 // Designed Robert Trent Jones Jr

Type: 18 holes // Par 72

Location: Northwest

Green Fees: €105-€150 (low-high season)

Our Hotel Suggestion: Hotel Can Mostatxins – boutique hotel that offers a harmonious balance between stylish accommodation and old world charm and ambience in the heart of Alcúdia.

Visit Website – Club de Golf Alcanada

11. Golf Park Mallorca Puntiró

Designed to follow the original landscape pine and olive trees are a common sight around the course. Lakes come into play on four of the holes, and although fairways are wide, accuracy is required throughout the round.

Specification Built: 2006 // Designed Nicklaus Design

Type: 18 holes // Par 71

Location: Marratxi

Green Fees: €79-€99 (low-high season)

Our Hotel Suggestion: Hotel Convent de la Missió – a luxury designer hotel in the heart of Palma´s Old Town.

Visit Website – Golf Park Mallorca Puntiró

12. Golf Son Gual

Situated on gently rolling landscape, this course is only a short distance north of Palma and is reminiscent of a true links course. Olive trees and the estate’s own vineyard frame the course that is attractive to all level of players. Water hazards along with a good number of bunkers, as well as large greens with subtle breaks are its main characteristics.

Specification:

Built: 2007 // Designer: Thomas Himmel

Type: 18 holes

Location: North of Palma

Green Fees: €85-€135 (low-high season)

Our Hotel Suggestion: Hotel Cap Rocat – stunning luxury seaside hotel with private beach overlooking the bay of Palma.

Visit Website – Golf Son Gual

 

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Golf Santa Ponsa

Golf Santa Ponsa

Opened in 1977, Golf Santa Ponsa I has 18 holes (Par 72) with a total lenght of 6.543 meters, being hole 10th one of the longest Par 5 ‘s in Europe.

Designed by Folco Nardi (together with Pepe Gancedo), Golf Santa Ponsa I covers an area of 73 hectares and is a long course with lakes and a great variety of trees (olive, pine, almond etc). It appeals to all kinds of players thanks to the wide fairways and the tees where long hitters will enjoy themselves without forgetting the short game tuned to a good result.

Best Transfers for the best trips! Let us show you the island in its utmost beauty! Sightseeing, beautiful landscapes, kitchen, winery – everything you need to see from Mallorca!

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