Son Gual – The Course
Hole 1 – PAR 4 – 420 m
“Long and often into the wind”
An ideal par 4 as a starting hole. You should place your downhill drive on the right-hand side of the fairway to avoid the set of bunkers on the left and to safeguard your chance of reaching the green with a middle or short iron. You will experience most head wind at this hole.
Overview #1 (klick to enlarge)
Hole 2 – PAR 4 – 344 m
Also known as “Sandy Lane”
The second hole is a short par 4 as a warm-up. You tee off over the largest and most spectacular set of bunkers on the course. Long-hitters should lay up to avoid the deep bunker in the middle of the fairway. The depression in front of the green gives the impression that it requires a short second chip. Do not allow yourself to be fooled; choose the correct club!
Overview #2 (klick to enlarge)
Hole 3 – PAR 4 – 318 m
“Golf is a game of precision”
At 301 metres, the third fairway is the shortest par 4 hole. Here your tactical skills will be put to the test as you try to avoid the giant set of bunkers to the right and also in front of the green. With a following wind, you can get to the green with a drive – if you are willing to take the risk. With the approach shot, you are aiming at the most difficult green of the course. Here you need to reach the correct plateau in order to avoid a three-putt.
Overview #3 (klick to enlarge)
Hole 4 – PAR 5 – 507 m
“It all depends on the third stroke”
This first par 5 hole is easily reachable with your second shot, wind permitting. The tee shot should be placed between the two bunkers to the left and right. If you are aiming for the green, which lies on a peninsula, you need to ensure your ball lands on the right … and don’t be too long.
Overview #4 (klick to enlarge)
Hole 5 – PAR 3 – 147 m
“Virtuoso club selection is required”
Wind is the greatest factor influencing play at this, the shortest hole of the course. A par 3 at 147 metres from the rear tees. The choice of club is important if you want to aim directly for the flag. The deep furrow on the right hand side of the green catches every ball that has not been played boldly enough. Then, only an exacting and perfectly played chip can save the par on the green which slopes away towards the water.
Overview #5 (klick to enlarge)
Hole 6 – PAR 5 – 492 m
“Recovery is indispensable”
The sixth is a par 5 of 492 metres, a gentle dogleg to the left that requires some tactical play. Crossing the lake that lies between the tee and the fairway can either be riskily shortened or you can choose the short direct route. Do not underestimate the distance to the safety of dry land. At the shortest point from the Champions Tee, your ball needs to traverse roughly 194 metres. The second shot needs to be deposited between the deep fairway bunkers. Knowledge of the length of a shot is essential here. The approach shot must be played onto a green that lies diagonal to the direction of play and has a ripple running across its middle.
Overview #6 (klick to enlarge)
Hole 7 – PAR 4 – 433 m
“Narrow,uphill and difficult”
The seventh fairway is perhaps the most difficult par 4 of the first nine holes: 433 metres uphill and then a dogleg to the right. Only really long-hitters manage to take a shortcut over the giant set of bunkers on the right. You should choose a well-placed long iron or even a wood so that you can land on the raised and well defended green with your second shot. This is not a certainty, even for top players. The long sloping false front unerringly causes balls that fall short to roll backwards.
Overview #7 (klick to enlarge)
Hole 8 – PAR 4 – 354 m
“Par is a good score”
At first glance, this 354-metre par 4 appears to be a relaxing hole with absolutely no sand traps. The fairway runs straight through a small dip in the terrain. However, the whole fairway is surrounded by established trees with the boundary of the course to the right. The slightly raised green must be approached with precision. If the flag is on the front part of the green, then an inaccurately played chip could well roll off the green again.
Overview #8 (klick to enlarge)
Hole 9 – PAR 3 – 200 m
“It depends on the teeing area”
A long and demanding hole awaits the player at the end of the first half round. At 200 metres from the rear tees, the ninth is the longest par 3 of the course. Depending on the position of the flag and the courage of each of the players, a long shot needs to be played over the water hazard lying to the left of the green. Weaker players should lay up onto the huge false front some 80 metres deep and try to play their par with chip and putt. And all this under the gaze of the spectators on the clubhouse terrace.
Overview #9 (klick to enlarge)
Hole 10 – PAR 4 – 367 m
“The green wants to be conquered”
The tee for the 367-metre par 4 hole 10 can be found immediately in front of the clubhouse terrace. Success here also depends on the direction of the wind. The tee shot needs to be placed on the safe, left-hand side of the fairway over the course of the stream. A long extended bunker on the right-hand side catches every slice. The second shot needs to be played with a middle iron high over a big bunker so that the ball comes to a halt.
Overview #10 (klick to enlarge)
Hole 11 – PAR 4 – 423 m
“Only the longest survive”
From a raised tee, this 423-metre par 4 should be played with a drive into the left-hand bend. The large baobab tree at the end of the fairway is the perfect target to aim at. Higher ground can make the long second shot over the water to the green even more difficult.
Overview #11 (klick to enlarge)
Hole 12 – PAR 5 – 500 m
“Enjoy Chipping and Putting”
A stream runs alongside the fairway at this par 5 hole. Deep bunkers on the left await every spoiled drive. You need to carefully consider whether you tackle the 42-metre-long green with the second shot. It is protected by plenty of bunkers on the right and a large lake on the left-hand side. Here, defensive play usually results in a better score!
Overview #12 (klick to enlarge)
Hole 13 – PAR 4 – 429 m
“The direct route is good, but difficult”
On this 429-metre par 4 hole, the direct line over the right-hand side is protected by an elongated set of bunkers. Further over to the right, there is water to contend with. You should attempt to place your tee shot on the fairway, so that you can aim at the green with an iron over the deep greenside bunker. Depending on the position of the flag, a lot of break lies in wait for players on the green.
Overview #13 (klick to enlarge)
Hole 14 – PAR 4 – 360 m
“Two paths lead to the green”
Hole 14, a gently climbing par 4 of 360 metres, brings out the aggression in every player. Here, you can choose to keep to the safer left-hand side of the fairway or to try to play over the bunker with the tee shot – the ball needs to fly at least 247 metres from the ‘Black Tee’. Then you have an easier second shot with the green and flag in your sights. Otherwise, you’ll need to take a half-blind shot over the bunker onto the very extensive raised green.
Overview #14 (klick to enlarge)
Hole 15 – PAR 3 – 175 m
“The Monster awaits”
Hole 15 is one the most spectacular holes at Son Gual, with the huge tee offering a view of the old Palacio behind the green and a breathtaking panoramic view over the whole course. At only par 3, this ‘back nine’ hole demands the player’s full concentration. Only a precisely placed tee shot onto the rippling green lays the foundation for a par.
Overview #15 (klick to enlarge)
Hole 16 – PAR 4 – 433m
“A good drive is worth its weight in gold”
Hole 16 is a demanding prelude to the home run. Here you can win everything – but lose it just as quickly again. The only thing that gives the player a little more length is the gently downward sloping fairway. Beware of taking risks with a shot to the green of this long par 4. Water on the right and a deep greenside bunker on the left will punish every bad shot.
Overview #16 (klick to enlarge)
Hole 17 – PAR 3 – 187 m
“A fade is the best shot”
This last par 3 of over 187 metres is one of the best holes. Here, the tee shot has to be hit onto the green over water and a bunker zone to the front right. Watch out for the wind! Those with a high handicap will prefer the left-hand side and aim for the flag with a good pitch. Shots that are too long will end up in two deep bunkers. Here, even a bogey is not a bad result!
Overview #17 (klick to enlarge)
Hole 18 – PAR 5 – 532 m
“Only the bold get onto the green in two”
At 532 metres, the 18th is the longest hole at Son Gual and provides a worthy finale to your round. You play your drive gently uphill over the course of a stream that winds along the entire fairway. To the right, the landing zone is constricted by a fairway bunker. Nevertheless, the right-hand side is the better choice every time. With your second stroke, you need to negotiate the criss-crossing stream and place the ball in such a manner that you have an easy third shot onto the green which lies behind a lake. And you can be sure that guests on the clubhouse terrace will applaud any good shot.
Overview #18 (klick to enlarge)