Whether you go in summer or winter, this stunning North African country offers superb value for money
For golfers, variety really is the spice of life. Chances are you and your pals always look for a golfing holiday that involves playing on a selection of courses, each with its own character and in different environments but with the minimum amount of travel involved.
The Kingdom of Morocco fits the bill perfectly. With its choice of courses in exotic Marrakech and in beach resorts along its Atlantic coastline, it offers a heady combination that gives you every option from short golf breaks to long stays and multi-destination tours.
No journey takes more than three hours, whether it is on the many flights from airports around Europe or transfers by road between its main golfing centres.
The ancient royal city of Marrakech is Morocco’s golf hub, with 10 of the country’s 30-plus venues to choose from. All are in close proximity to each other and some are minutes from the airport, allowing a round to be comfortably played straight after you land and pick up your luggage and a stress-free nine or 18 holes on the morning of your departure followed by a relaxing lunch (if you have a PM flight).
Even within Marrakech, the courses offer a tremendous variety of settings and ambience, from the arid, desert scrub setting of one of its newest facilities, Assoufid, to the lush fairways of the venerable Royal Golf Marrakech course, lined by mature cypress, palm, eucalyptus, olive and fruit trees that provide a haven for birds.
Yet all courses in Marrakech share one thing in common; the nearby, majestic High Atlas Mountains form an impressive backcloth for golfers – a spectacle even more striking in winter when the snow-capped peaks contrast the verdant hues of the greens, tees and fairways and the blue skies of a typical winter’s day in the Red City.
For golfers who like to ski, Marrakech is one of the few places in the world where it is possible to do both on the same day. Located 2,600 metres up in the High Atlas Mountains, Africa’s highest ski resort, Oukaimeden, is just a 90-minute drive from Marrakech.
Skiing is possible from December until March, depending on snow conditions.
Agadir has three courses in very close proximity to each other just a short drive from its beach-front, all-inclusive hotels, plus another just to the north in surfing hotspot Taghazout Bay where a new Hyatt hotel has just opened there next to the Tazegzout Golf Course, which itself only opened in late 2014.
A desert links-style course with a cliff-top layout that gives golfers commanding views of the Atlantic from many holes, Tazegzout’s fairways are dotted by argan trees, the nuts of which produce an essential oil that is now found in top beauty and healthcare products worldwide as well as being used in spa treatments of local hotels.
The main argan-growing area is between Agadir and Essaouira, another beach holiday resort two hours to the north with a Gary Player golf course and adjacent Sofitel hotel. Essaouira is also just two hours from Marrakech by road, making it eminently possible to enjoy a three-centre golf holiday incorporating beaches and desert, all the while in the shadow of Morocco’s soaring Atlas Mountains.
Contact your favourite golf tour operator to learn more about golf packages and the latest deals on where to stay, plus flight times and travel info.