We had a family holiday in Mallorca last month and during it I managed to fit in a couple of rounds with my sons. First up was the Pula Golf Resort, in the northeast of the island, where the original 1995 layout has been redesigned by José Maria Olazábal, since when it has hosted tournaments on the European Tour.
Mature trees and vineyards adorn the site, which occupies considerably tumbling terrain close to the Mediterranean. The sea is in view on some holes although never in play; man-made water hazards serve that purpose instead. A par-72 design which stretches to nearly 7,000 yards off the back markers, Pula is one of the best courses on the island. The closing hole is a par-three towards the clubhouse and two-tier driving range followed by a meal in the restaurant or glass of wine in the bar.
The whole resort is pretty stylish. The accompanying hotel and country club are located in a late-16th century chateau. For alternative entertainment to the golf, there’s a spa, swimming pool, jacuzzi and sauna, with massages also available. If you’re into a different form of exercise involving water, the beach is no more than two miles away and the sea was splendidly warm in September, so much so that even I could swim in it!
Our other round was played at the East Course of the Marriott’s Club Son Antem, about 12 miles east of the island’s capital, Palma. (You won’t be shocked to know the other course here is called the West.) It wasn’t in the best condition when we were there – and with a climate like the one Mallorca enjoys, there is really no excuse for the irrigation and drainage to be iffy – but it was fun to play and, in contrast to Pula, an easy course for walking. In fact, given the restrictions as to where one can drive a cart, I’d give a buggy a miss here. Also measuring 7,000 yards off the back, the surrounding scenery is attractive and, from a golfing perspective, the practice facilities are among the largest in Europe.
Robert Green’s ‘Seve: Golf’s Flawed Genius’ is available on Amazon. You can follow him on Twitter @robrtgreen