Esquire Ultimate Weekends #1: Golf In Majorca

Why the biggest Balearic island should be high up on your trip list 

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As any golfer has long realised – and non-golfers would do well to take on board – one of the game’s great secrets and advantages is how it can act as a bullet-proof excuse for a weekend away. No questions asked. It's almost worth taking up the game for this reason alone.

And there are few better out of season opportunities for some warm weather golf than Majorca. With an average 300 days of sunshine each year, beaches to rival the best in Europe and countless food and drink options, all within a 2 hour easyjet flight from London and you’re probably starting to see what we mean.

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Then there’s the golf. The island has 20 courses offering a variety of tests. Most are clustered in the South Western corner around Palma, with another scattering on the Eastern side.

The ideal weekend would take in the standout course from each of these two regions, which offer very different tests.

Day One - Son Gual

Only opened in 2007, this €30m track is starting to establish itself as one of Spain’s top courses, let alone Majorca’s. Immaculately turned out and featuring championship course grandness, the course has water in abundance, 800 olive trees and 66 bunkers. Trust us, you'd do well to allocate some sand practice before you head to the first tee.

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It’s still a fair course however, with some wiggle room for errant drivers and plenty of scoring opportunities. The par 3s are a highlight but the risk/reward holes of 10, 14 and 18 make it a particularly special matchplay test. The greens, like everything else here, are in great nick, so there'll be no excuses for those missed three-footers.

Some in our group didn’t like the course's proximity to the airport. But they weren’t playing very well and were looking for excuses.

Son Gual is a club that has thought carefully about what goes in to a great golf experience and followed it through. From the friendly welcome through to the impressive practice area, right up to the terrace bar that looks back over the course and where drinks can be ordered by button. It’s the little things. 

Green fees (18 holes) from €100, son-gual.com

 

Day Two - Club de Golf Alcanada

Alcanada's back nine has dramatic views over the Bay of Alcúdia and the Alcanada lighthouse island

Alcanada has a very different feel to the plush Son Gual. Hillier, with secluded holes set into more mature pine and olive groves and a back nine which opens up towards the Bay of Alcudia, it's the only coastal course in Majorca. 

The opening hole sets the tone for the test ahead – a brilliant risk/reward par five, on which longer hitters will have a decision to make on whether to take on the stream in front of a slippery green. Designed by legendary architect Robert Trent Jones, it's a course that makes you think, and the golfer who knows his distances (remember distances are in metres not yardages here) and can plot his way around strategically will be rewarded.

The back nine in particular is a tough physical test on a warm Mallorcan day so book a buggy in advance. And a cold beer on the terrace at the 400 year-old clubhouse is a pretty ideal spot to shake off any four-putt flashbacks. 

Green fees from €100, golf-alcanada.com