No hard physical exercise is necessary – it’s a matter of technique. Women and men have virtually the same game options. Golf is uplifting and healthy – only chronic back pain sufferers should avoid playing. The island is a top-of-the-range European golf destination. An unofficial ranking of attractiveness puts Mallorca in third place behind the Algarve and Costa del Sol; in terms of number of golf courses relative to the region’s size, it’s number one.
German golf expert Elmar Schreiber gives his perspective: “Mallorca as a golf destination has developed considerably over the past ten years. Thanks to growing competition between the golf course owners, marshall service and catering on play are now standard. But the service can still be improved.” Schreiber blames the course owners for a certain presumption – reflected in the whole island´s business mentality: “They rely on the customers coming anyway.”
With the current reduction in consumers, it’s been noted that some standards have slipped. An example is the daily grass-cutting and hole-changing on the greens – now done by only four of the 20 public golf clubs in Mallorca. Schreiber says: “Sometimes we must play on a ground where last night’s blotted tablecloth hasn’t been removed, because the green keepers have the weekend off.” The greens are regarded the carpet of any golf course, the area where games are decided. Alcanada, Son Gual and Son Muntaner are positive exceptions. ”
Experienced golfers should enjoy this spectacular 18-hole course with its stunning views, and challenging bunkers and long drives. […] Club de Golf Alcanada
Ian Woosnam said Son Gual Golf reminded him of Augusta, and this championship course in Mallorca is certainly one of Europe’s finest. […] Golf Son Gual
Popular with celebrity visitors, Son Mutaner is an excellent course in the prestigious Son Vida Estate with superb views overlooking Palma. […] Son Muntaner Golf
European golf players with competitive ambition won’t stand for such neglect. Only by offering immaculate service can these people be strongly attracted to the island,” Schreiber argues. Mallorca’s reputation among golfers has to be improved: “The level of golfers coming here is still as low as the level of Mallorca tourists 20 years ago.” Schreiber also doesn´t understand why course owners refuse to offer a caddy-service. “A certain group of golfers takes caddies for granted, regardless of the price. Refusing it categorically is management failure.” He runs an independent course review website (www.mallorcagolf.info) and has often recommended a caddy service – without success: “During times of crisis, quality must be improved, because the island has important advantages like short flight distances, security, infrastructure and a mix of cultures.”
As a golfing region, Mallorca is in Europe’s top five, confirms Vicente Mulet Traserra, president of the Balearic Golf Federation (FBG). The FBG looks after the concerns of the active golf players on the Balearics – some 8,000 members in all age groups are registered. Traserra: “We don´t sell the golf product, but provide insurances, and we organize tournaments and junior instruction.” More than 450 kids train in nine golf schools here. “Golf may soon become an Olympic sport and we have a responsibility to seek out talented individuals,” the 54-year-old physician Mulet Traserra remarks.
Developing more golf courses on Mallorca
Josep Oliver, president of the Balearic businessmen´s association, makes the case for more than the existing 22 professional golf courses – citing the strengthening of quality tourism. On the other hand, FBG manager Ricardo Moralejo thinks that the current offer is “absolutely satisfactory”. More choice is necessary though in Menorca and Ibiza, which each have only one course. After the inauguration of Son Quint and Son Gual in 2007, the growth in Mallorca decelerated. One reason for this is the law forbidding new golf courses combined with hotel and residential buildings.
Son Quint is the newest of the excellent Arabella Golf Mallorca courses, located on the prestigious Son Vida estate, overlooking Palma de Mallorca. […] Son Quint Golf
The environmentalists of GOB celebrate it as a victory against the building boom, in order to protect the environment. Projects like Son Bosc (Playa de Muro – inauguration scheduled for 2011) or Son Baco are on hold. The Arabella-Starwood group has recently opened the only brand new golf course: Son Quint Executive Par 3. Its nine-hole training ground is unique on the island.
Ralf Meister, Area Director Sales & Marketing of course owners Arabella-Starwood, expects the project (designed by former area director of golf James Arnold) to be an economic stimulus. Another showstopper for the main golf season: From November 1, 2009, the green fees are included in the price of the rooms at the Arabella-Sheraton Golf Hotel Son Vida – free golfing on four different courses for every hotel guest. A bargain offer in difficult times? Meister disagrees: “Golf is and always will be a firm market segment. We calculated this offer over the total volume of revenue. Thus the guest is the winner in the end.”
Along with US hotel chain Marriott Son Antem (2 courses), Golf Santa Ponsa (one of 3 courses open for public playing) and the spectacular golf links Alcanada, owned by German sports car heir Peter Porsche, the Schörghuber-Arabella-Starwood group is the island’s golf big player. However, a newcomer has set a new quality benchmark: Son Gual. The private course of German entrepreneur Adam Pamer, by the Palma-Manacor highway, distinguishes itself with a velvet-smooth lawn of northern European seeded grass, maintained by 30 (!) green keepers and irrigated with potable water from a high-end osmosis system. The dream golf course can be seen from the windows of incoming and outgoing aircraft. There are even vineyards for the production of their own wine.
Sympathetic Swiss golf teacher Michel Monnard gives lessons in Capdepera and Son Gual: “Classiness is important here. The crisis will separate the better ones from the average. The prices in Mallorca must decrease, though. Golf in Spain is generally too expensive.” Lucky tee off!