Golf Son Gual, located in the south of Mallorca around 20 minutes east of Palma, is an example of top end golf in every way. The setting, the course, the facilities, the food, the service; they all strive to create perfection and do so very successfully
From the moment I arrived, everything seemed set up to make my experience as enjoyable as it could be. I was welcomed in the striking atrium with all the details about my booking, a course planner – which would later prove to be very important – as well as a complimentary bottle of water and branded golf ball. The driving range and practice areas were immaculately presented and extensive, offering the perfect preparation for your round. Inside, the changing rooms offered a comfortable and luxurious place to change, shower and even sauna should you so wish.
Then there was the course itself, and what a beauty it is. I will be honest at this point and say that it was by no means easy. This course has a reputation for being of championship standard and deservedly so! I had the fortunate opportunity to play from the yellow tees which offered some respite whilst I marvelled at some of the challenges offered by the black (championship) markers. Elevated greens, well placed bunkers, thick rough and various water hazards ensure that golfers of any standard must always be on their guard in order to negotiate their way round.
One consolation was the superb impeccable condition that the course was in. I must give full credit to the green-keepers who keep the course looking and playing at its best. As I made my way round I spotted a number of staff making adjustments, big and small, to keep the place in top condition whilst not disturbing anyone’s round. On one fairway, a sprinkler turned off as I approached and then came back on again once I was out of range! This truly professional outfit ensures that, difficult though it is, finding the fairway is a real reward and the greens run true.
If there was a weak hole on the course, it was certainly difficult to find but there were some particular favourites. The run of holes at 6, 7 and 8 were very strong. The daunting tee shot across the lake at 6- take a look at it from the championship tees!- is followed by the S.I. 1 7th hole, a long uphill drag to a well bunkered green. The 8th then could be mistaken for offering some relief but a dead straight hole, which I played straight into the teeth of a keen wind, with ample trouble on both sides, certainly needs respect as well.
The round is concluded by the icing-on-the-cake 18th hole. Widely recognised as one of the best closing holes in Europe, this hole has it all. A tee shot without a view of the green, water all the way along and a monster green to contend with, all overlooked by the striking clubhouse and hotel, this hole will keep you thinking all the way to the end.
And if the 18th hole is the icing, then the clubhouse is the cherry on top. The restaurant offers an expanse of seating, both inside and out, for dining or relaxing. The menu is extensive, local and exquisite, offering a five star experience for golfers and guests alike. For those not willing to limit their trip here to just one day, and who could blame them, the hotel provides….
Overall, it is the attention to detail which impresses at Son Gual. Everything has been considered, no stone is left unturned, both on and off the course. It was a pleasure to play here and is a must-visit for any true golf enthusiast.