Address – Sidi Youssef Ben Ali, Marrakech
Par – 72
Rating – 72
Length – 6342m
The course was opened in February 2010, after being designed by American Kyle Phillips, who is more well-known for his work on the famous Scottish links course, Kingsbarns. Other notable designs of Phillips include The Grove in the UK and Yas Links in Abu Dhabi. The Al Maaden philosophy is simple – they see their property as “the marriage of an authentic, modern Moroccan environment, with a world class golf course of outstanding design and quality.” Those two aspects are complemented by a wide range of amenities, a high level of customer service, and a clubhouse that provides for a relaxing environment in which to enjoy a post-round drink, whilst enjoying a beautiful view of the Atlas Mountains.
Al Maaden is a bit of a Moroccan oasis, with a touch of Scottish links golf, which is not surprising, considering the designer’s pedigree. The course was designed on grand rolling terrain, placed at the foothills of the nearby Atlas Mountains. Strategically placed bunkers give players multiple lines of play from the tee and tightly-cut spill-off areas around the greens gather errant shots, providing a variety of exciting recovery opportunities. Keeping with the old traditions of golf, AI Maaden was designed as a ‘walker friendly’ course, with the surrounding landscape and geometric water features giving the feeling of playing through a Moroccan garden. The course is usually in great condition, with bent grass greens, collars and tees, along with the bermuda fairways, which get over-seeded with rye for the colder winter season. There is plenty of plant life on the course, specific to Moroccan vegetation, with olive trees, lemon trees, almond trees, palm trees, orange trees, pistachio trees and cypress trees, among others.
The par-four 18th is a true risk-reward finishing hole, where friendly matches can be won with birdies and lost with bogeys, or even double bogeys. The tee shot plays over the large central lake on the left which creates a diagonal carry, where one can be tempted to bite off a bit too much, as one searches for more distance off the tee, in order to leave oneself with a shorter, more manageable second. The fairway is dotted with a series of low “pew” bunkers, which clearly define the strategy of the hole from the tee, and present the golfer with something else to think about, instead of just bombing one’s ball down there. The second shot must carry a Scottish “Burn”-like channel, which is located approximately 50 metres from the front edge of the green, which is guarded by bunkers and water on the right, but is open in front, thus making a run-in approach shot an inviting option.
Rates (18 holes)
Adults – 600 dirhams
Caddie – 150
Cart – 350
Club Hire – 400
Where Is It?
Al Maaden is conveniently located, a short drive from both the city centre and the airport, which is 10 kilometres away.
Tel: +212 (0) 5244 04000, golfalmaaden.com