Mesmeric views, a lively layout and a clubhouse of refined elegance. Golf at Alcanada offers a gourd full of Mediterranean magic in Mallorca.
Alcanada, a 40-minute drive north east from Palma, is the only course on Mallorca next to the sea and the magnetic vista - to the small island of Alcanada with its lighthouse and the Bay of Alcudia beyond – will pull your head back time and again, like a divining rod attracted to water.
Owned by Hans-Peter Porsche of the legendary car-making family, Alcanada was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr, son of legendary course architect Robert Trent Jones, in the late 1990s and opened for play in October 2003.
Trent Jones Jr, who also laid out tracks such as Poppy Hills, The Wisley and US Open venue Chambers Bay, flowed the 7,108-yard par-72 course through pine, olive groves and old oak trees on the flanks of the hills overlooking Port d’Alcudia.
Alcanada is a masterpiece of conversion and sits naturally in its environment, complemented by the centuries-old clubhouse, which has been developed in some style from traditional Mallorcan farm buildings.
The red tape and wrangling Porsche and his team went through to get permission is to the visitors’ benefit – forbidden to extend the existing development means Alcanada retains a class and charm.
The cavernous pro shop, all exposed Mallorcan stone, looks like an ancient wine cellar and sets up the experience as you climb through the property to the clubhouse.
The course is a gem, too, with warm-season paspalum grass offering a lush carpet on which to play and those stunning sea views available on 17 holes.
The par-five first gets you thinking from the off. Do you try to fly the gaping ravine before the green or lay up and play safe? From then the course winds further inland for four holes before turning back towards the majesty of the Med in a succession of attractive and testing holes.
If technology is your thing, you can even film yourself driving on the long downhill seventh courtesy of the innovative me@golf techology. Scan your bar code into the machine and you can watch your drive back in the clubhouse or get it sent to you via email.
Plentiful buggies are available if the heat and hills are a disincentive to walk. And although they are not souped-up Porsche carts, they do offer some funky technology. A video screen gives full hole information and GPS distances in yards or metres. You can even order food from the bar.
But beware the “drive of shame”. The GPS keeps the buggies to a prescribed route around the course – stray too far, and the forward gear will cut out, forcing a slow crawl backwards across the fairway until you regain the correct path.
The natural slope of the site offers several glorious drives off lofty tees – the seventh, 11th and 13th – back towards the sparkling big blue. The heart of the course is fairly open, so wayward drives are not overly punished although there is still plenty of woodland to avoid. The greens run true and the course is kept is immaculate condition.
Several holes late in the back nine skirt the shore to give you a full salty sniff of what your eyes have been revelling in. Shouts and chatter from beachgoers let your ears in, too.
Post-round, the stunning bar and restaurant terrace offers a sumptuous setting in which to savour the full Balearic beauty.
There might be more outright challenging tracks, but at Alcanada the whole is bigger than the sum of the parts.
For golf in glorious surroundings and hospitality in a heavenly setting, a trip to Alcanada is a Mallorcan must.
Monarch operates year round flights to Mallorca from Birmingham, East Midlands Airport, London Gatwick, London Luton, Leeds Bradford and Manchester airports with fares, including taxes, starting from £41.99 one way (£68.98 return).
The author stayed at the five-star Viva Zafiro Alcudia offering stylish, luxury accommodation just 300m from Alcudia beach.