9 of the Best Courses in Morocco

This week’s blog is a guide to the top nine courses in Morocco. These courses are all excellent with brilliant facilities. Nearby to the courses, you can find luxurious and brilliant resorts for you to stay within whilst you explore the best golf, culture and food that this country has to offer.

 

Mazagan is a world-class golf club and despite only opening in 2009, has already established itself as one of the most prestigious courses in Morocco. The course was designed by Gary Player and is definitely not a disappointment. A round of golf here is unforgettable and is an exciting challenge for golfers of all handicaps as there are multiple tee boxes for players to choose from. The course boasts a stunning layout which lies across the coast next to the Mazagan Hotel and adjacent to a stretch of beautiful, golden sands. You can enjoy fantastic, panoramic views from most points along the course.

The signature hole of the Mazagan is arguably the 6th hole which is a par 4, 440-yard hole. You play a majority of the hole uphill where you must dedicate all of your attention to the hole if you are to score well. You must not be distracted by the stunning views of the ocean as the ocean breeze can take you by surprise on this hole. Your tee shot must be carried across sand dunes in order to reach the fairway where you must navigate your way around four strategically placed bunkers. Your approach shot is a long one to a raised green which is lined with three deep bunkers! Many of the holes around the course are as challenging as this one but for those with higher handicaps, they can enjoy the fact that many of the fairways are very wide! This is an excellent holiday course and paired with the Mazagan Beach Resort it makes the ideal golf escape to Morocco.

 

The 36-hole complex of Golf du Soleil was designed by Fernando Muella and Gerard Courbin and sits deep within the heart of a eucalyptus forest. The course boasts a range of hard to navigate hazards including large water features and many strategically placed bunkers. This is a very prestigious golf course which is evident from the course due to its perfectly manicured greens and beautiful setting. The complex boasts the Tikida course and the Championship course.

The Tikida course boasts a parkland feel and boasts much African vegetation. The course features many water hazards and unique holes making a round here very memorable. The 7th and 8th holes are particularly impressive due to their strategically placed water hazards!

 

The Championship course has played host to many tournaments including the Ladies European Tour in 2011 and EPD Tour. With spacious bunkers, large water hazards and stunning views, this is a challenging but scenic course! This is the more challenging of the two courses and measures an impressive 5,976 metres from the back tees. Whichever of the courses you choose to take on at the Golf du Soleil complex, you will not be disappointed as either of these courses would make the perfect addition to a golf break to Morocco.

 

Situated just 10km from the city of Agadir lies Golf Les Dunes. This course was created in 1991 by Cabell Robinson who has created an impressive golf course here with each and every one of the holes boasting its own character and unique layout. The course comprises of 27 holes and extends over 250 acres of stunning, hilly terrain. The course lies at over 6,000 metres from the back tees and its fairways are lined with eucalyptus and palm trees. Along the course, you will find four different lakes and other hazards which are all lying in wait for any errant shots. There are three loops of nine holes for you to enjoy here and each of them is special in its own way. The Oued nine have narrow fairways and this set of holes poses the sternest challenge to golfers of all abilities. The Tamaris nine boast many strategically placed water hazards and the Eucalyptus nine feature wider fairways and make a perfect round for those with higher handicaps. Whichever route of holes you choose, you will not be disappointed by taking the time to play a round on this brilliant course.

Assoufid Golf Club only opened in October 2014 but has already gained. Stellar reputation for being one of the best courses in Morocco, if not THE best. The course is set against the backdrop of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. This course is such an exciting round of golf both skill-wise and visually. The course sits at just over 7,000 yards from the back tees and blends effortlessly into its surroundings of the desert. You can find olive, cacti and palm trees here as well as many hazards waiting to catch any of your errant shots.

The par 4 5th hole is arguably one of the toughest holes on the course. You play from an elevated tee and the fairway is flanked on either side by desert as it rises directly towards the Atlas Mountains. If you can play your tee shot to the left, you will be able to see the flag for your approach shot much better. The tee for the par 3 17th hole is situated at the highest point on the course, from here you can enjoy panoramic views of each of the back nine holes. This hole is undoubtedly the signature hole of the course. You must carry your tee shot over a natural dry stream which runs through the course before you can reach the wide but shallow and well-protected green. This is such an impressive course and we would highly recommend that you add this to your itinerary for your next golf break to Morocco.

 

Noria Golf Club opened in early 204 and was designed by Steve Forrest. His vision was that the course would celebrate traditional Moroccan landscape and architecture and he definitely didn’t disappoint. This unique course plays with the stunning backdrop of the Atlas Mountains much like Assoufid. You can enjoy three different landscapes during your round here: the orchards, the gardens and the dunes of rural Marrakech. The course runs at just over 6,500 yards from the back tees and boasts a memorable and exciting challenge of golf for those of all handicaps. The complex consists of two par-36 nine-hole loops which wind through the course’s original landscape.

Without a doubt, the signature hole of Noria Golf Club is the 175-metre 8th which is played from an elevated tee position across a reflecting pool to a rectangular Biarritz green which sits between the water and an authentic Moroccan bell tower. This simple but visual hole will create memories for golfers that will last long after they have left Marrakech. The round of golf ends in brilliant style with the 18th hole returning to the 9th’s long water channel. You can find a traditional Moroccan irrigation system with open pits which lead to an abandoned underground canal by the tee box. This is a challenging hole with a diagonal line of bunker protecting the green and there is a lot of water to the left of the fairway! When in Marrakech, make sure to take the time out of your break to play this magnificent and authentic course.

Next up, we have Samanah Golf and Country Club which is one of the newest courses to open in Marrakech. The course runs at 6,800 metres from the back tees which makes it the longest course in the area but there are five tee boxes for you to choose from making this course suitable for those with higher handicaps as well. This course provides golfers with a brilliant test of golf right from the first tee shot. You can enjoy breath-taking views of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains whilst you take on the challenge.

There are a few stand-out holes along the course including the short par 4 6th hole which offers you a decent birdie opportunity if you are able to avoid the water which sits on the right-hand side of the green. The 8th which is a par 3 is another special hole on the course. You play this hole across an area of scrub and sandy waste to reach the green which gently tilts from back left to front right. However, the signature hole of the course is the 15th where you must carry your approach shot over a wide gully which is situated just 100 yards short of the green. There are a few courses within this blog located in the Marrakech area including Samanah Golf and Country Club, we highly recommend that you take a look at them and start planning your next golf escape now…

 

Royal Palm Golf and Country Club is considered to be one of the most spectacular courses in Morocco and it isn’t hard to see why. The course was designed by Cabell Robinson and is the newest addition to the growing golfing portfolio that you can find in Marrakech. The course extends to 6,608 metres from the back tees and plays to a par of 72. The holes of the course are routed around five sparkling lakes with Bermuda fairways and tees and A4 bentgrass greens in play. This course only opened for play in 2013 but you can’t tell that so much earth was moved during the construction of this course as it blends so effortlessly into its surroundings now. You can find a variety of different shrubs, flowers and trees along the course which all bloom at different times of the year.

There are many feature holes along this brilliant course including the short par 4s at the right dog-legged 3rd and the left dog-legged 14th. The favourite hole of the course is the long par 4 15th which veers off to the left and then downhill to the large, long green which is heavily guarded by bunkers on three out of its four sides. This course lies to the south of Marrakech, next door to Samanah Golf Club and nearby to Noria and Assoufid. A perfect golf break would be to stay within the Movenpick Mansour Eddahbi Marrakech and enjoy rounds on all of these special courses…

 

Our eighth course that we recommend is Palm Golf Ourika which is situated to the south of Marrakech, close to the Atlas Mountains. This course opened for play in 2015 and has built up a good reputation for itself. The course measures a very long 6,692 metres from the back tees and the holes wind their way around a 180-acre residential estate. You can find wide and generous fairways which are bounded by large, sandy waste areas. There are also six lakes which come into play during the round. Despite these lakes, the course still boasts a desert-like feel. This luxurious golf course is playable all year round and boasts stunning views of the Atlas Mountains. This is another very special course located in Marrakech, there are some brilliant hotels in the area which you must check out as there is something for everyone.

Last, but certainly not least, Al Maaden Golf Course. The course was designed by the famous American architect Kyle Philips and opened in 2010. Since then, it has developed a brilliant reputation as a course which boasts a great challenge for players of all abilities due to its assortment of hazards and multiple tee options. The course measures an impressive 6,644 metres from the back tees which may seem daunting to those with a higher handicap, but they can always choose a further forward tee box. You will find undulating fairways, strategically placed bunkers (104 to be exact!) and plenty of water hazards coming into play during your round here. Al Maaden has a distinct Scottish links feel which is unusual for a Marrakech golf course.

You will find some brilliant holes whilst you are enjoying your round here but the concluding 18th hole which will stay in your mind for long after you leave this golf club. The 18th is a long par 4 at 444 metres long. You must drive accurately over one of the largest lakes of the course if you are to give yourself a good second shot. Another very special hole situated in Morocco – it is time to start planning your next golfing getaway!

 

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that you are excited by the thought of a round at one or more of these superb golf courses. Give us a ring today to discuss your options for your next golf break to Marrakech where you can find warm weather for most of the year along with luxurious hotels and brilliant golf.

9 of the Best Courses on the Costa del Sol

This week’s blog is a guide to nine of the best courses situated on the Costa del Sol. Whether you are looking for courses to base your next golf escape around or for inspiration for a golf break, look no further than one of these superb courses.

 

Santana is one of the newest golf courses on the Costa del Sol and has been constructed to a very high standard by Cabell Robinson. The course has been built on an avocado plantation and boasts the backdrop of the majestic Mijas Mountains. Despite the fact that this is one of the newest courses to have opened on the Costa del Sol, you wouldn’t know it as the course blends so beautifully into its surroundings – it could have been here for years and years.

The course is not the longest course in the area at just over 6,200 metres from the back tees, but it still poses a stern challenge to golfers of all abilities. There are many strategically placed bunkers and unusually-shaped, deep greens to contend with along your route round the course. There are also a few water carry-overs required as well. One of the most special holes on the course is the par 5 4th which is an incredibly long and spectacular hole with sophisticated bunkering, a little stream which lies in wait for your errant shots and a treacherous sloping green. With its unique ground, stunning scenery and an impressive layout has meant that this course will be on many players’ itinerary in the coming years. Make sure that this course is one you look out for an opportunity to play; the course is situated between Mijas and Fuengirola where you can find an abundance of brilliant properties to base yourself.

 

Next up, we have Real Club Valderrama which has been home to many prestigious golfing tournaments including the Ryder Cup in 1997 and the World Golf Championships in 1999 to 2002. This club regularly ranks within the top 10 courses in Europe and it really isn’t hard to see why. The club is an elite private members club, but you can still play during the set tee times for outside players. The green fee is not cheap but if you can justify it, definitely take your chance to play this incredible golf course as you really will remember the experience forever.  

The course is beautifully in tune with its surroundings and it is always in perfect condition as the course is never over-played. The closing holes are considered to be the most difficult holes of the round but if you choose your tee option correctly, the whole course is playable for golfers of most abilities. The 17th is particularly special and it boasts water situated just in front of the green. This special course is one that should be on every discerning golfer’s bucket list so make sure that when you can, you grab the opportunity to book a tee time here.

 

A superbly challenging course; San Roque Old is a challenge for those of all abilities and boasts gently undulating, narrow fairways, large greens and many water hazards. The San Roque Club lies nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Bermeja Mountains and the Old course is set within a 340-acre estate where a luxury hotel and spa once sat. The course was designed by Dave Thomas and Tony Jacklin and opened for play in 1990. From the moment that the course opened, it has been regarded as a great test of golf, even for those with the lowest of handicaps. The course measures just under 6,500 metres from the back tees and has been the home to many professional tournaments in the past.

Although the course is considered to be undulating rather than hilly, there are some shocking elevation changes which mean that you must make your club selection correctly. The front nine of the course meander their way through mature forests of cork oak which means that your drive must be accurate to avoid the trees which are all lying in wait to catch any errant shots. There are new bunkers and water hazards which make it that bit more challenging. The back nine holes are less undulating but there are deep ravines and many bunkers lying in wait for errant shots. On some courses, once you reach the greens, your work is pretty much over but on this course, the greens are superbly contoured, always fast and generous in size. This is another very special course and is close to Valderrama so you can plan a golf break around these superb golf courses.

 

Torrequebrada golf course was designed by Jose Gancedo and was actually one of his first designs back in the mid-70s. The course isn’t overly long at 6,400 yards from the back tees but do not let its length fool you into thinking that this course is an easy round of golf. The course hugs the contours of its hilly landscape and tests golfers of the lowest handicaps with strategically positioned water hazards, doglegged fairways and deep, greenside bunkers.

The fairways are all tree-lined and they rise and fall over the hilly terrain, twisting and dipping in all directions making this a fun, challenging and exciting round of golf for all players. There are some particularly scenic and unusual holes situated along the course including the 7th which boasts an elevated tee, you must take the tee shot over a city street to a very narrow fairway. We would advise you not to use the driver as there is a lake guarding the hole which is tucked into the left corner. Like many brilliant courses, the 18th is a superb finishing hole. It boasts a grand view from the tee which is situated to the left of the fairway at the top of a hill, from which you can see both the 18th and the 6th fairways, the clubhouse and the stunning mountain backdrop. The tee shot is across a ravine and if you miss the fairway you are in trouble as there are sharp slopes to the left and bunkers to the right. Your approach shot must also be accurate as you have the same steep hill to the left and a large bunker to the right – this hole can ruin many scorecards. This course is definitely worth the green fee and is one that you should take a look at when you are planning your next golf escape to the Costa del Sol…

 

Chaparral Golf Club is one of the most recognisable golf courses in the Costa del Sol. It is a superb parkland course situated just 700 metres from the beach and enclosed by a forest of pine trees. The course follows the beautiful coastline of Mijas Costa which is just a short drive from the centre of Malaga and each of the holes along the course boasts stunning sea views. It is no surprise that this course is one of the most requested courses and regularly ranks as one of the top courses in Spain due to its stunning layout and beautiful location.

The course boasts undulating fairways which meander through dense, tree-lined fairways, if you manage to successfully navigate your way through the trees, avoiding the strategically placed bunkers then you will reach big greens with big borrows! One of the standout holes is the 477-metre long, 3rd hole which looks like a straightforward par-5 but it actually doglegs left and your tee shot must be placed down the right-hand side of the fairway in order to see what you must do for your second shot. The green is very long and narrow and there is a ditch which cuts diagonally across the fairway 100 metres from the green. This is a very special course and it is no surprise that is one of our most requested courses.

 

Next, we have the Marbella Club which is a very impressive and exclusive golf course situated just a few miles west of Marbella, nestled in the foothills of the mountains. The course opened in 1999 and was designed by Dave Thomas. One of the great things about this course is that the club only allows 75-80 players to play the course each day in order to keep it in good condition and to make sure that you can enjoy your round at your own pace. The course was designed to test golfers of all abilities with its strategically placed bunkers, well-manicured greens and sloping fairways.

The course measured just over 6,900 yards from the back tees and has a hefty par of 73 to match the course’s yardage. The two loops of nine holes are routed over hilly terrain and both return to the impressive clubhouse at the lowest points on the course. A round on Marbella Club is a great, exciting one and due to its location, you can find other brilliant golf courses and some superb resorts to base your golf break from.

 

Alcaidesa Links is one of the best links courses in Spain. The course was opened in 1990 and then remodelled in 1999 where its playability was improved, fairways were widened and some of the more severe undulations of the greens were ironed out. This undulating, cliff-top seaside course boasts stunning views over the Mediterranean, the Straits of Gibraltar and the Atlas Mountains in North Africa in the distance.

The course boasts a classic out-and-back routing, the first four holes head towards the shoreline and the mile-long beach, holes five to 14 play out along the coast where the wind will challenge you. The fairways then head back inland to finish the round in front of the clubhouse. If you are looking for an impressive course with stunning views, an interesting layout and one that poses a challenge to golfers of all abilities then look no further than Alcaidesa Links for your next golf break.

 

Finca Cortesin was designed by the world-famous architect, Cabell Robinson. The layout of this course is simply spectacular, it is a long one at 6,808 metres and boasts a variety of natural vegetation like olive trees and corks around the course. It opened for play in 2007 and has since built up a great reputation and the course has played host to European Tour events including the Volvo World Matchplay Championship.

There are many great holes within the course but there are a few very special ones. The 3rd hole is a delightful par-5 which boasts a difficult approach shot over water. There is the 10th which is a long, down-hill par-3 which has far-reaching views of the Estepona Mountains. This brilliant hole is followed by the 11th which is a double doglegged par-5 which is a stern test of golf and an exciting hole to play. The club boasts excellent practice facilities and a lovely clubhouse. In 2008, the five-star Finca Cortesin Hotel, Golf and Spa opened which is a perfect place for you to base your next golf escape from. Although a tee time at Finca Cortesin is not cheap, it is well worth it, and you will not be disappointed.

 

Last, but certainly not least, we have Rio Real which is one of the oldest courses in the area as it opened in 1965. This course is one of the coast’s most requested courses due to its superb condition, excellent value and very convenient location just north-east of Marbella. This is a delightful, walkable golf course as the terrain is just gently undulating. The course has retained much of its original charm with its pine and palm tree-lined fairways, well-bunkered green sites and a few water hazards for you to contend with along the way.

One of the most memorable holes along the course is the par-4 4th hole which doglegs left from the background sound of the traffic on the tee to the crashing of waves on the seafront. The green is located right on the coastline. You can find another long, par-4 at the 8th hole which is a brilliant hole that veers left from an elevated tee position and ends with a downhill approach to a very small green that is situated into the hillside. This is a very special course and boasts the great Rio Real Golf Hotel from which you can easily play this stunning course and those in the local area.

 

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that you will think about one, or hopefully more, of these courses next time you are booking a golf escape to the Costa del Sol. Make sure to give us a call to discuss these courses and the brilliant hotels in the area.

9 of the Best Courses in Belek

This week’s blog is a guide to the seven best courses in Belek. Belek, Turkey is a brilliant golfing destination for several reasons. Firstly, it is widely known for its excellent-value all-inclusive golf holiday options, secondly, you can enjoy an all-year-round warm climate. Lastly, you can find some truly stunning resorts and beaches in the region. Take a look at these courses to see whether they catch your eye as potential bases for your next golf escape…

 

Carya is the most recent golf course to open in Belek. The course stretches over 7,186 yards and is a demanding test of golf with some stunning holes which run between pine and eucalyptus trees and across a dramatic sand ridge. A great thing about this course is that it is independent from any hotel in the area which is rare in Belek, this means that you can book a round here very easily regardless of where you are staying. You can also enjoy a round in the evening as the course has floodlights to allow guests to do so – this may be a great option in the summer months when the heat is stifling during the day.

It is no surprise that this course is rated as one of the best courses in the region. It has a fantastic layout and is always in immaculate condition. The course boasts a very challenging finishing stretch beginning with the 13th which is a dog-leg before the uphill par-3 14th where you will struggle to land and stay on the green. The par-5 15th boasts a blind tee shot and a challenging approach to the green where you must carry the ball over water. You can finish the round with three marvellous par-4s and then go and get a well-deserved drink in the clubhouse! This course is a must-play when you are on your next golf escape to Belek and it isn’t hard to see why.

 

Titanic Golf Club (formerly TAT International) boasts 27 holes of brilliant golf and was one of the first complexes to be developed when Martin Hawtree designed this 27-hole layout on 325 acres in 1997. The club boasts three loops of nine holes – River, Mediterranean and Forest. Each of the loops features two par 3s, five par 4s and two par 5s so that you can play to a par 72 no matter which of the two loops you choose to play.

This course is a beautiful one and is quite different from many of the other courses that are situated in Belek. There are some breath-taking holes which run alongside the beach which are great, especially as they are more open, and you have more room to make a few little errors along the way. The par 3 4th hole on the River loop is played with you facing inland towards the mountains. You tee off from the elevated tee situated in the dunes towards a green which sits behind a lake which you can only reach by hitting to the right. On the Mediterranean loop, the pick is the par 4 12th hole which plays along the coast, out of bounds sits to the right and there is a large pine tree on the left at the landing area so you cannot be overly cautious with your tee shot here! Finally, the 22nd hole on the Forest begins with you having to take a blind tee shot and finishes with the green which is heavily-guarded on three sides by water, your best bet is to lay-up with the second shot and then pitch and putt. This is a fantastic club and one which is well worth a visit during your next golf break to Belek.

Next up we have Sueno Pines which is a fantastic course situated within the grounds of the luxurious Sueno Hotel and Golf Club. Both courses situated here are routed over a 400-acre site and flow through umbrella pines and over the sandy terrain of Belek. This course boasts plenty of pine trees and strategically placed bunkers which are lying in wait to catch any errant shots. There is also a healthy splash of water hazards to cause you some difficulty along the way.

The opening hole of this course is a fairly easy one which is great for a holiday course as it allows you to get into the swing of things before things get a little trickier. Look out for the short, par 4, 12th hole which is situated amongst ancient pine trees and flanked by waste bunkers. The 13th is another tricky one as it is a long par 3 where you travel through a valley in order to reach a difficult tabletop green. The finishing hole is a cleverly designed, par 4 that presents a visual illusion from the tee, it seems as if the drive is impossibly tight but there is more room than first meets the eye. This is arguably a top-notch golf course and can be completed with a perfect stay at the Sueno Golf Hotel.

The Montgomerie Maxx Royal is one of Belek’s most popular golf courses and it isn’t hard to see why. The course boasts a stunning landscape and offers golfers of all abilities a challenging and enjoyable round of golf. The course opened in 2008 and quickly gained a stellar reputation as in 2015, the course played host to the PGA Tour’s Turkish Open.

Stretching over 6,522 metres long, the course is situated within 104 hectares of pine forest, dotted with sandy ridges and due to its coastal location, you can enjoy a cooling breeze during the summer months. The course gets off to a gentle start with a straightforward par 5 but it soon becomes a stern challenge from the 4th which is a difficult but impressive par 5 over water. On the back nine, you will find fewer water hazards but more strategically placed bunkers to catch any of your errant shots. The finishing hole is a special one, it is a spectacular par 5 where you must carry your tee shot through a narrow gap in the pines leaving you to hit your 2nd shot to the raised green which is guarded by a bunker to the front and water to the left. After your round, make sure to enjoy the clubhouse’s facilities and have a few drinks. This is a brilliant golf course and a round here is the perfect addition to any golf escape to Belek.

Designed by David Jones and David Feherty, the National Golf Club was the first course to be built in Belek and not only is it the most established, but it is one of the trickiest courses in the region. There is an abundance of umbrella pines, water hazards and many challenging doglegs for you to contend with if you are hoping to score well on this round. You can tell that this was a very thoughtfully designed course as it is routed across gently rolling terrain, through mature pines and eucalyptus trees. There is beautiful scenery surrounding the course with the snow-capped Taurus Mountains providing the backdrop.

This is a tight track of a course and sometimes, you have to drive through a chute of trees from the tee box or thread an approach shot through a narrow entrance to a green. All in all, it is unlikely that you will need your driver too much on this course. There are some excellent and memorable holes on this course including the 7th which is a right doglegged hole and the 9th which has a split fairway leading up to the green. On the back nine, there is the par 5 12th which requires you to swing left from the tee and avoid the ditch which crosses the fairway before rising steadily to a wickedly sloping double-tiered green which is perched on top of a ridge. After your round, enjoy a few drinks and a snack in the homely clubhouse whilst reminiscing over this fantastic golf course.

 

Lykia Links is situated within the Lykia Estate and boasts 18 brilliant holes of golf. The course sits a little further out from the Belek golf strip by a river estuary that runs into the Mediterranean Sea. The course measures an impressive 7,536 yards from the back tees and is the only links course in Turkey. Each of the 18 holes boasts stunning sea views and holes 13 through to 16 run alongside the ocean as the fairways meander through sand dunes and pot bunkers.

Along the course, you will find greens that are heavily guarded by deep, railway-sleeper bunkers, fairways that are bordered by large waste areas and putting surfaces that are small and sloping. The 10th hole is a superb par 4 but those with higher handicaps will struggle to score well on this hole. The 12th is another brilliant hole where you have a blind tee shot before walking over a dune to discover the beautifully designed green. This is an impressive golf course and it is no surprise that it often ranks in the top five courses in Turkey due to its brilliant layout, wonderful surrounding and the exciting challenges it presents golfers of all abilities.

 

Next up we have the PGA Sultan course which is situated at Antalya Golf Club. Antalya Gol Club is one of Belek’s leading golfing complexes and it isn’t hard to see why. Not only does the club boast two fantastic golf courses, but is attached to the wonderful Sirene Belek Golf Hotel. The course was designed in the late 90s by David Jones and European Golf Design. The course winds its way through woods, up and over sandy banks and around ponds. Water features at around half of the holes and there are many pot bunkers lying in wait to catch any errant shots.

The front nine holes on the PGA Sultan ends with a brilliant risk-reward hole, this par 4 requires you to either take a brave tee shot that may end up in the water to the left but will allow you an easier second shot or a safe drive down to the right adding two clubs to your approach. One of the toughest on the course is the 12th which is a very long and narrow hole on which you should be proud if you manage to score par. The finishing hole is an impressive par 4 where you will find water either side of the island fairway meaning that your drive must be accurate in order to avoid landing in the water. The green is surrounded by five bunkers so your approach shot must be as accurate as your tee shot if you are to score well. Another brilliant course in Belek which will offer you a fantastic and enjoyable round of golf and another course which is linked to a very luxurious hotel.

 

Our penultimate course on this list is the Gloria New course at Gloria Golf Club. This course opened in late 2005 and has since ranked within the top 10 courses in Turkey. A round at this course is one that is firm but fair and the course boasts many memorable holes. Right from the beginning of the round, on the par 5 2nd hole, you can enjoy the course’s undulating fairway which is lined with trees pretty much the whole way around this course.

The course’s 17th hole is a brilliant one; it boasts its own island green, a little wind and a great trade in lake balls around the green. This water theme continues for the last hole where you must tackle a large lake which sits to the left of the entire hole providing every player with a dramatic end which can ruin even the most discerning golfer’s scorecard. Much like other courses within this blog, you can find a brilliant hotel attached to the club, in this case, it is the Gloria Hotel which is a luxurious resort and is the perfect partner to this fantastic golf club. Of course, not only is the Gloria New course situated at Gloria Golf Club, but you can find the Old course and Gloria Verde to enjoy during your stay as well.

 

Last, but certainly not least, the Nick Faldo designed golf course situated at Cornelia Golf Club is on our list of recommended courses for your next golf escape to Turkey. This 27-hole golf complex is an impressive one with some very memorable but challenging holes for you to contend with along the way. Although the course is not yet a decade old, it boasts the maturity of one that is. You will find heavily contoured terrain used to great effect, greens perched on top of little ridges and fairways that blend seamlessly into the surrounding vegetation.

Umbrella pines flank most of the holes and it can be a very tight and tricky round in some places which isn’t necessarily a bad thing for those of you who aren’t big hitters! Holes 1-9 are wonderful, short holes and on many of them, you must carry your ball over small gullies to reach raised greens – the special holes on this nine are the 4th where you dogleg to the right and up to the semi-blind green and the 7th which narrows off the tee before veering right and down to the green. Holes 10-18 boast the short par 3 12th which is a stunning, short hole and the 15th which is beautifully framed by pine trees. The final nine holes boast plenty of water hazards which can destroy your scorecard very easily. You may not even have to choose two loops of nine as you can opt to play the full 27 holes which we would highly recommend! On your next golf break, check out Cornelia Faldo.

 

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that at least one of these nine brilliant courses has caught your eye…

9 of the Best Courses in the Algarve

This week’s blog is a guide to the courses that we consider as being the top nine courses situated in the Algarve. The Algarve is widely considered as being one of the best golf destinations in Europe due to the brilliant golf courses and luxurious golf resorts that you can find there. Another good thing about choosing the Algarve as your destination for your next golf escape is that the courses are mostly close to one another which means that whilst you are staying at one resort, it is easy for you to play a variety of great courses. With the weather chilly and winter feeling like it may ask forever, make sure to get your next golf break in the diary so that you have something to look forward to.

 

Monte Rei’s Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course opened in 2007 and quickly established itself as one of the finest courses on the Algarve. From the moment that you arrive at the club which is set in the hills to the northeast of Tavira, you will know that you are going to be taking on a stunning course due to the beautiful scenery that greets you. The course boasts five lakes which are all bordered by indigenous trees and plants as well as many strategically placed bunkers which all are lying in wait for any errant shots.

As you play the course, the holes just get better and better but some of the best holes of the course include the 13th which is a downhill par-4 with bunkers situated at the drive landing point and a lakeside green that is treacherously undulating. The prettiest hole of the course is undoubtedly the 14th which is a medium-length par-3 where you must carry your tee short over the lake in order to reach the green, anything off to the left will land right in the water. Of course, a course like Monte Rei has a special finishing hole, the 18th is a brilliant finishing hole, it is a par-5 that is in reach for big hitters, but you must watch out for the lake that can mess up anyone’s 2nd or 3rd shot! If you are looking to play a very special round of golf, look no further than a round at Monte Rei.

 

Next up, we have Palmares which boasts three loops of nine fantastic holes: Lagos, Alvor and Praia. The 27-hole complex is situated above and along the Atlantic coast close to the Meia Praia beach and boasts some of the most beautiful views from different points along the course. The Alvor course starts as you wind through pine tree-lined undulating fairways before dunes and links-style holes come into play, you then finish playing in parkland. The course boasts three fairways which are laid out across a road in a lovely valley in the middle of the loop and the loop’s final two holes face directly uphill towards the clubhouse.

The Lagos loop maintains the same parkland and links characters as Alvor, but also boasts two water hazards that you must contend with along the way. The Praia rolls its way down towards the beach and is mainly a classic links course with four beautiful coastline holes. All 27 brilliant holes of golf are fully matured making Palmares one of the Algarve’s must-play golf courses. It is not really surprising that this club made our list of top nine courses in the Algarve due to its fantastic setting, unique layout and brilliant clubhouse which boasts stunning views over the course.

 

Quinta Da Ria opened for play in 2002 and was designed by the well-known architect, Rocky Roquemore. This brilliant course can be found in the Eastern Algarve and is situated within the beautiful Ria Formosa Nature Reserve which stretches from Faro right along the coast towards the border with Spain. The course measures 6,016 metres from the back tees and is a fairly flat parkland course but there is normally a breeze coming in from the coast which can make your round a little difficult. A round here is a great choice for golfers of all abilities due to its wide landing areas but if you manage to miss these, you will be in trouble. There are five strategically placed lakes, many bunkers and carob and olive trees situated around the course which all lie in wait for any errant shots.

There are some brilliantly-designed, tough holes on the course including the 5th which is an impressive par-3 which has two differing tee areas, but both require you to carry a good tee shot over a lake towards the shallow green which is heavily guarded by bunkers. Another very special hole is the 10th which is a very difficult hole measuring 422 metres from the back tees with out-of-bounds running all down the left-hand side. Then, there is a large lake guarding the green 100-metres out! With an excellent range of holes, beautiful landscape and a superb location, look no further than the Quinta da Ria course for your next golf escape.

 

The coastal town of Vilamoura boasts a wonderful, central location and it is no surprise that it has earned a reputation for being one of Europe’s largest and most successful golfing destinations. The Dom Pedro Old Course is one of the gems situated near to Vilamoura and it is no surprise that this course is on our list of recommendations. The course opened for play in 1969 and has gained a brilliant reputation since partly due to its sympathetic use of the existing natural landscape. The tees and greens are always beautifully kept, and the fairways are lined with trees which means that if your drive isn’t straight, you may struggle to end the round with a good scorecard!

Each and every hole will remain with you for long after you have finished your round on the Old Course. The round begins with a straightforward set of four holes but the rest of the front nine is tricky and pose a challenge to even the best golfers. The signature hole is arguably the 8th hole which stretches over 400 metres from the medal tees, the hole slopes downhill to a fairway bunker before doglegging gently to the right and then rising back up towards a narrow green which is heavily guarded by trees! If you score a par on this hole, you have played very well. The back nine are also very tricky and you should watch out for the collection of strategically placed bunkers which come into play on the 12th hole and are lying in wait to catch your second shot. After your round, enjoy a few drinks in the well-designed clubhouse. A round here is a spectacular one and no discerning golfer should miss out. 

 

The Penina Championship course opened in 1966 but was then completely rebuilt in 1995 and boasts two loops of nine holes. The sun is often shining during your round here and you can enjoy the smell of eucalyptus trees whilst you tackle this impressive course. The fairways are gently rolling and well-manicured but feature many strategically-placed hazards including deep bunkers and trees. Right from the moment that you tee off here, you will know that you are in for a challenge as the 1st hole is a long dog-leg left towards a heavily-guarded narrow green. Another impressive hole on the front nine is the 5rh which is the only par-5 on the front nine and only measures 451 yards from the back tees. However, this hole is the perfect risk-reward hole as if you place your tee shot well, you may want to try for the green in two shots but there is a large lake and out-of-bounds waiting for any slightly errant shot.

In contrast to the front nine, there are four par-5s, but the two standout holes are considered to be the 12th and the 13th. The 12th is a long par-4 which is a very straight hole with only one bunker but once you arrive for the approach shot, you will find that the small green sits directly behind a lake which goes on to cause further problems for your scorecard on the 13th hole. Lots of golfers fall foul of the lake which guards the 13th hole which is a long par-3 which boasts a narrow and sloped-towards-the-water green. There is no doubting that this is a very impressive course and the Penina Hotel is a fantastic option for your next golf escape…

 

Situated in the Quinta do Lago Estate is the San Lorenzo course which has been ranked in the past as being the second-best course in the whole of Europe. It isn’t hard to see why San Lorenzo was given this title with its beautiful location alongside the Atlantic on sandy, undulating terrain and variety of interesting and challenging holes. The first five holes of the course run through a pine tree forest, you will then find water holes which boast stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. The par-3 5th hole is where you will get your first glance of the Atlantic Ocean and is a delightful short hole with a green perched at the top of a valley which is heavily guarded by trees and bunkers.

At the 8th hole, you will turn back inland and tackle the larger of the course’s two lakes. The finishing holes are particularly strong and entertaining as you head back out to sea. The 18th hole is a difficult and long par-4 at over 400 yards from the back tees. You will find water all the way up the left-hand side and a semi-island green. This is a classic risk-reward finish which tops off the very special round of golf here nicely. After your round, take a visit to the clubhouse and enjoy a few drinks and a bite to eat whilst discussing this impressive course. For any discerning golfer, a trip to San Lorenzo is a must.

 

Quinta do Lago Estate boasts three other courses besides San Lorenzo: North, South and Laranjal. These are all fantastic courses that are different and exciting in their own ways. The North course is one of the Algarve’s most charming courses, many of the holes are framed with umbrella pine trees and some of the greens are nestled in truly magnificent sites.

One of the most beautiful holes on this course is the par-4 12th which measures 361 metres and features a 3-acre lake. The hole doglegs its way around the leg which leaves you to make a treacherous approach shot in order to land on the undulating green. The course was recently redesigned in close collaboration with European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley and is considered to be a very special course indeed. This is a course that golfers can enjoy again and again making it an ideal holiday course.

 

Quinta do Lago South is one of the most requested courses on the Algarve. The course was designed by William Mitchell and opened for play in 1974 and became well-known after it hosted the Portuguese Open on seven occasions. This course is the most famous in the area due to the Portuguese Open and can be enjoyed by golfers of all abilities due to its relatively generous fairways. This eye-catching course is great for big hitters, but accuracy is also required if you want to finish the round with a good scorecard. It is no surprise that the South course made our list of recommendations and if you haven’t played this one already, make sure that you book it in.

Last, but certainly not least, Quinta do Lago Laranjal was originally an orange grove but today, it is a beautiful 18-hole championship golf course which offers its players a fantastic and challenging round of golf. The course is known for its narrow, undulating fairways, five stunning lakes and well-defined greens. The course is the newest of the three on the Estate as it only opened for play in February of 2009, but it is quickly gaining a stellar reputation. This is a fun and exciting course and is the perfect addition to your golf escape to the Algarve.

Whatever you are looking for from your next golf break, the Algarve has it all from luxurious resorts to boutique hotels and self-catering accommodation. Give us a call today to discuss what you are looking for from your next golf break and let us do the work to find you the perfect holiday.