Course Review Son Vida Course at Arabella Golf

By: Kevin Paver | Wed 14 Jun 2017 | Comments

Son Vida is part of the 63-hole Arabella Golf Resort, which is just five minutes from the Centre of Palma de Mallorca

It’s the oldest golf course in Mallorca, and was first opened in 1964. In 2001, German course architect Kurt Rossknecht remodeled some of the holes as well as adding a new irrigation system.

Son Vida has twice hosted European Tour events. The Open de Baleares was won in 1990 by Seve Ballesteros, and in 1994 by Barry Lane.

6th Son Vida

Pre Round Thoughts

As is often the case with complexes such as Arabella Golf, on arrival you are very much catered for with exceptional customer service. As with Son Muntaner, before you’ve had chance to get your sunglasses on and retrieve your clubs from the taxi, a caddy master is already welcoming you and taking them to a safe place.

Oh… and if you take a buggy, make sure you remember to set the GPS to the correct metric.

Par 3’s

Firstly, the par 3’s. I have to say, they are all really enjoyable to play… and all offering their own challenges. It’s not long from starting the round you reach the first of the par 3’s.

The 2nd plays 190 yards from an elevated tee, and you must choose your club wisely. There is some bail out right if the bunker on the front left gives you the fear.

You only have to wait until the 4th before you get to the next one. Again, playing from a high-elevated tee and at just 142 yards, it’s another thinker. Out of bounds to the left and two bunkers guarding the green mean you need to be accurate. A very good chance of par though, if you choose the right club.

16th Son Vida

The 16th was my favourite of the par 3’s. It is 126 yards and again from an elevated tee. This time, you also have water to contend with, as there is a small lake guarding the green. To add further hazards, there are bunkers left and right to a big green. A really beautiful hole.

Par 4’s

Starting on the 1st – a short but tricky start awaits. It is just 288-yards, dogleg right with Out of Bounds along the right hand side.  If you’re a big hitter, and brave, you could attempt to drive the green but just remember any wayward shots could go OB, which would not make for a pleasant start. Play safe and make sure you don’t over club with your second, as there’s a road at the back of the large green.

The toughest hole on the course comes early on at the 3rd. Not a long hole, measuring 390 yards, but a very, very tight one and uphill all the way to the green.  Dense trees run all the way along the left, and there are bunkers placed strategically to pick up your tee shots. If you do hit one down the tight fairway, you have an equally tight second into a green that invites you to hit it left, into the trees.

With the 360-yard 14th, the fairway takes a wider turn than some on the front 9. However, water is introduced running along the left, and you have strategically placed bunkers right and left which both come into play. A shot to the right of the fairway will give you a better shot into the green.

Par 5’s

The 6th is LONG and NARROW. At 492 yards, there is danger everywhere. Out of Bounds is on both sides, meaning you need to play this strategically to score.  This is a green most will find difficult to reach in two as it’s tucked away and protected by three narrow bunkers.

11th Son Vida

The 11th is the second hardest hole on the golf course, at 527-yards with a dogleg left, oh, and another narrow fairway. You’ll need a big tee shot to keep to the right of the trees, which is ideal for the second shot. Watch out for the old gated well, which appears just around the corner as you get towards your tee shot.

Whether you go for the green in two or three, be wary of the approach shot as the elevated green has deep bunkers short right and left of the green.

The 18th is some finishing hole and is 514-yards of golfing bliss. The three separate areas of water are certainly intimidating. Off the tee, you need to be right of centre and avoid the bunker to the left. You then need to navigate via a zig-zag to reach the green.

If you place your tee shot well enough, you could try for it in two, but it’s all carry to the green, with the clubhouse balcony all watching you. Take a par and be very pleased with how you finished, regardless of how the previous 17 holes went. A brilliant way to end your round.

Post Round

Son Vida is a fabulous course that is immaculately presented with superb greens. Despite it’s moderate length in comparison with lots of modern courses, it is supremely challenging, regardless of your handicap. Of the courses owned by Arabella Golf, this was my favourite.

The clubhouse is fantastic, and a brilliant place to relax once you’ve finished your round. The restaurant balcony provides spectacular views overlooking the course.

If you’re planning a trip to Mallorca, Son Vida must go on the list. 

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