Mallorca Golf Trip - Club De Golf Alcanada
I have visited Mallorca with my family before. It is one of the most beautiful places in Europe. I love the Mediterranean climate, offering 300 days of sun a year, the sea, the mountains and amazing food. You can travel from one end of the island to the other in an hour. Another bonus is the daily flight connections from Palma airport. There is something here for everyone, from the nightlife to wonderfully calm and serene beaches.
Temperatures range from 15C in January to a high of 30C in August, so it is the perfect destination for year-round golf.
We flew via Monarch airlines to Palma. Mallorca is a well known tourist and party destination with lots of our fellow passengers heading towards Magalluf and Palma Nova, while families set off towards the superb beaches and hotel complexes that cover the island.
I had not previously considered Mallorca to be a premium golfing location but I know different now. The courses we played stand comparison with any on mainland Europe, and the standards of accommodation and food wildly exceeded my expectations. Mallorcan cuisine and wine is excellent and provides great value.
There is exceptional capacity for this area to become a “go to” venue for UK golfers wanting some winter golf. The infrastructure is already in place and I can see this market developing strongly in the next few years. My personal advice? Get in early as you will not be disappointed with the quality of the golf, cuisine and accommodation or the value on offer.
Club De Golf Alcanada
The course is 60km north of Palma on a stretch of land which slopes gently down to the edge of the sea. It is covered with pine, olive and oak trees, and offers glorious views of the island and its famous lighthouse. It is located in a prime position to the north of the Badia d’Alcudia. Over the water are the mountains of the Sierra de Levante.
This is an exceptionally scenic location for a golf course. The designers must have drooled when shown the natural terrain from which they were tasked to fashion an exceptional course. They have followed the natural flow of the mountains and terrain on a layout that features exquisite views and panoramas
It measures 7,108 yards and was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr in the late 1990s and opened for business in 2003.
It is adjacent to beautiful sandy beaches and clear waters. It has long been a favourite with locals and travellers alike, thanks in part to its iconic views of the lighthouse situated 150 metres offshore that can be seen from most of the holes. The lighthouse features as part of the club's logo.
Alcanada is an old-style course that feels as if it is a natural part of the land. Beautiful, challenging holes, great greens and some excellent modern touches enhance the golfing experience.
My favourite course architect, Dr Alister MacKenzie , said the best golf courses have a flow and rhythm and this one has it in spades. It meanders naturally across the terrain and when you add the spectacular climate then you have a course that has the wow factor.
I liked the feel on entering the drive to the clubhouse and changing areas. It oozes quality. The course is owned by Hans Peter Porsche, the major shareholder for Volkswagen Cars. I was chatting to a staff member who told the following story about his reaction to finding litter on the course. Many hundreds of workmen smoked during construction and some discarded cigarette butts on the floor. In the weeks after this Mr Porsche had bags fitted to his golf buggy and would travel the course himself to pick up discarded cigarette butts. The workmen soon got the message and the place quickly became litter free.
On the drive near the buggy bay is a beautiful Porsche 911 Carrera, which serves as a clear reminder of the nature of the Porsche family influence on this layout.
This is a place that is all about “attention to detail”. The multilingual staff are incredibly helpful and are clearly well briefed on the needs of the travelling golfer. Another example of the attention to detail is the fitting of steering wheel covers to the buggies when the sun is at its height. Little touches like this typify what this venue is all about.
We used buggies but the course lends itself to carrying or use of a trolley. There are regular water stops and the halfway house is an absolute gem.
The food is superb and is to be recommended. This is no surprise as the clubhouse restaurant has an excellent reputation and many locals use it. The views from this external restaurant is stunning.
I like the three-way fold scorecard. As a visitor, having an easy to access visual aid to prepare for shots is very helpful. Being able to fold the card over and have a diagram of the hole is a great idea. With the usual attention to detail, these are provided in a multilingual format.
Buggies are all fitted with GPS screens giving distances and hole layouts, so these cards are designed for use by those carrying or pushing trolleys.
Pace of play is a concern for many courses and Alcanada have developed an innovative approach to tackle it. All groups are issued with a GPS tracker that highlights their position on the course and highlights those who are very slow but also flags those who have just played a difficult hole but have not been slowing down the overall pace. It means action can be taken by the course marshal and helps the whole field by getting interventions to the right people at the right time.
It is unobtrusive but effective and I can see many other high profile courses adopting a similar system.
This course has a superb practice ground, particularly for short game. The German national teams are regular visitors, including Martin Kaymer.
This is also a winter training ground for the excellent, not for profit charity, Golfing 4 Life that supports elite international junior golfers from the UK. If this facility is good enough for the needs of this next generation of professional stars then it is surely good enough for the average golfer like me!
Most of the holes offer views of the sea and are subject to the vagaries of the winds. We played on a windless day but I imagine that this can become a real factor, adding to the difficulty of the course.
I particularly enjoyed the following holes:
First, 500 yards, par five, SI 11, White tees
The opening hole requires a good opening drive and then a layup short of the wide chasm that cuts across the entire fairway. The green is elevated and the run-offs gather back towards the hazard.
Seventh, 633 yards, par 5, SI 5, White Tees
This hole offers a wonderful view across the course from an elevated tee. It also provides another example of the use of technology as there is video camera permanently fitted to the 7th tee box. When you are allocated a scorecard you are also given a small white card with a bar code on it. When you reach the tee the card is scanned and the next 90 seconds is recorded digitally. It records your beautiful golf swing and resultant shot arcing down the valley. In my case it showed my technological ineptitude as I failed to realise I was being recorded until the very last second, rushing the shot, and then topping it!
At the end of the round the footage can be accessed via a computer in the Pro Shop and the footage then emailed to any part of the world. These images only last 14 days in the computer memory. In my case I am pleased as it was the worst tee shot I hit all day. If they still existed I would have shared them with you but technology, for once, has been my friend.
13th, 496 yards, par five, SI 18, white tees
The hole has superb views from the raised tee, where you hit down and towards the Bay of Alcanada with the mid-19th century lighthouse standing on the small island of Alcanada in the background. If I played here as a member I would never tire of this view. It is the easiest hole on the course but I found myself drawn to the right of the fairway with my tee shot dancing around the bunkers placed exactly for this purpose.
The closing holes from a triangle towards the ocean and are an excellent way to complete a round of golf.
16th, 475 yards, par four, SI 2, white tees
This deserves it stroke index and a good drive is required. I was short of the bunkers on the left of the fairway which left an awkward second shot into a tight fairway requiring more accuracy than I could muster. The green is well guarded and the surface is as true and fast as the rest of the course. I was happy with a bogey.
17th, 232 yards, par three, SI 6, white tees
This is a super short hole framed along its left length by the beach and Mediterranean Sea. Another well protected green. There is plenty of room to lay up and play this as a par 4 if you do not have the length to reach. It is a potential card wrecker. Once again, I was happy with a bogey.
18th, 380 yards, par four, SI 12, white tees
An excellent finishing hole heading back towards the clubhouse. A dog leg left is protected at the shoulder by a tree requiring another accurate drive. The fabulous short game practice area frames the hole to its entire length left.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Alcanada experience. It is a beautiful course in immaculate condition. It is situated in an amazing venue on the coast with fabulous panoramic views. If you visit the island you should play here - you will not be disappointed. I also took the opportunity to play Son Gual which you can read about here.
We stayed at the 5 star Zafiro Palace Alcudia and enjoyed incredible cuisine and hospitality. Head to this venue outside the school holidays and you will find some real golfing bargains including:
LUXURY STAY and PLAY **
3 nights at Zafiro Palace Alcudia 5 star hotel + 2 GF in golf Alcanada
Price: 420 EUR per player and golf package
Modern junior suite in double occupancy.
Free Access to the Spa. Single Use Supplement +30 EUR pppn.
LEADING MALLORCA GOLF **
4 nights at Zafiro Palace Alcudia + 2GF at golf Alcanada and 1GF at golf Son Gual
Price: 595 EUR per player and golf package
Modern junior suite in double occupancy
Breakfast included, Free Access to the Spa. Single Use Supplement: +30 EUR.
All requests must be sent to [email protected]
** For the period 01.03.18 until 30.04.18
Monarch, the scheduled leisure airline, operates year round flights to Majorca from Birmingham, London Gatwick, London Luton, Leeds Bradford and Manchester airports with fares, including taxes, starting from £39 one way (£72 return)
For further information or to book Monarch flights and Monarch Holidays, visit www.monarch.co.uk
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|Club de Golf Alcanada
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