Mallorca has built a reputation as one of the world’s top golf destinations – and it isn’t difficult to see why. The largest of the Balearics, the island welcomes in excess of eight million tourists to its shores every year, with an increasing percentage of those coming for its extensive golf offering.
There are 19 courses to choose from, all within an hour’s drive of one another, with Alcanada, which opened in the far north of the island in 2003, widely regarded as the one of the best in Spain, let alone the island.
With brilliant views across the bay of Alcudia, it is named after a nearby island just off the shore, which is home to a lighthouse that you can see from many holes. The course, owned by the Porsche family and designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr, also has many elevated tees and tight, tree-lined fairways.
Inland from the port of Alcudia is Golf Pollença, a nine-holer that features two of the longest holes in Mallorca. Integrating beautifully within the local environment, the course has two lakes and is well protected by trees on most holes.
Over to the west coast and Son Gual (above), just a ten-minute drive east of Palma airport, is a course that you cannot afford to miss. According to former Masters champion Ian Woosnam, it has shades of Augusta National about it. If the Ryder Cup-winning captain’s comments about the 7,240-yard course don’t have you licking your lips, we don’t know what will.
The west, and around the city of Palma, is where the bulk of Mallorca’s courses are located. Son Vida, which opened in 1964, is the oldest course on the island. After it was extended to 18 holes, it hosted the European Tour’s Balearic Open twice in the 1990s, one of which was won by Seve Ballesteros.
Mairoris is another fun experience with its wide and open fairways, while there’s plenty to enjoy about Son Quint – the youngest course on the island, established in 2007 – and also Son Muntaner (main image), which boasts a unique location between the mountain chain of ‘Na Burguesa’ and the Bay of Palma.
Golf de Andratx in the south west of the island is a fantastic layout that is home to the longest hole in Spain. Its sixth hole, the ‘Green Monster’, measures more than 600 yards.
Golf Park Mallorca Puntiro (above), meanwhile, is one of the elite Jack Nicklaus-designed courses in the world, sticking to the golfing legend’s philosophy of making the most of natural environments to produce the best golf courses. It’s quite magnificent, as are the two courses at both Santa Ponsa and Son Antem. The former, in fact, has staged numerous European Tour events since it opened 40 years ago.
Meanwhile, opened in 1986 as a nine-hole layout and extended in 1995, there is plenty of charm about Real Golf de Bendinat. At 6,190 yards, the par-70 course requires strategy, skill and placement rather than brute force and power to reap your rewards. The course is a feast for the eyes, too, sitting in a wooded valley at the foot of a mountain with some breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
Over in the east, Capdepera possesses some simply stunning holes, while Vall D’Or offers two distinct nines – the front nine with rolling fairways surrounded by pine and olive groves and the back nine with magnificent sea views.
Golf Son Servera (above), meanwhile, is the second oldest club on the island and lies below a range of pine-clad mountains with glorious views over the bay of Cala Millor.
Away from the course, there is plenty to do, too. Palma is a beautiful city to explore, particularly the Old Town, with its narrow, winding streets, peaceful courtyards and beautiful Baroque and Gothic architecture.
If sightseeing isn’t your thing, there are countless award-winning beaches where you can soak up the sun. Cala Llombards, on the south east coast of the island, is arguably the pick of the bunch.
With regular flights operating out of Scottish airports, it is easy to get to and, best of all, extremely affordable. In fact, when you add it all up, it’s pretty much perfect.
For more information, visit mallorcagolfisland.com.