Marrakech is undergoing something of a sporting boom as the Moroccan government encourages the development of golf facilities to the south of the city. The Al Madden course from Kyle Phillips debuted in 2010 and the 18-hole Samanah layout from Nicklaus Design was unveiled a year later.
Both these modern designs preceded the 2014 opening of the impressive Assoufid golf course – designed by former European Tour player Niall Cameron – and its fairways have been routed in such a way that most of the holes lie in a north-south orientation.
The par four 5th is one of the toughest holes on the card. Played from an elevated tee, its fairway is flanked on either side by desert as it rises directly towards the Atlas Mountains. Tee shots played to the left will afford golfers a better view of the flag for an approach whilst a drive up the right side will leave more of a blind shot into the pin.The tee for the par three 17th is located at the highest point on the course – offering panoramic views of all the holes on the back nine – and it’s the starting point for the signature hole at Assoufid. Tee shots must carry a natural dry stream (called a shaaba) that runs through the course before reaching a wide but shallow green protected by bunkers to the front and rear.
Whilst in Morocco I really struggled getting any accurate information of the quality of the golf courses... but I have to say this goes down as one of those rare times when you are surprised but in a good way when you play a course. I try to keep my 6 balls to the very top courses and its only because this one caught me out a little that I am reluctant to give it 6 balls.
To me the true test of a great course is how memorable each hole is say a month after you have played it, and Assoufid didn't disappoint , I can honestly say fo the first time in a long time I remembered the majority of the holes in detail and the variety was excellent. I remember the first being ordinary dont let this throw you and also somewhere around 14th ?? a couple of quirky holes that were very narrow and felt a bit crowbarred into the corner of the course but other than that this really is a very very good course with lots of memorable holes.
I played Assoufid on hot late September morning. Unfortunately the hazy weather meant visibility was poor and I couldn't enjoy the views of the Atlas mountains. The course itself is carved out of rolling desert scrub with waste areas lining most fairways to catch wayward shots, it has its fair share of elevation change using the landscape well. On my visit the condition of the course was very disappointing, I understand summer is the time in Morocco when maintenance is performed and wouldn't expect perfect conditions so early in the season but it was very poor, fairways on the front nine only had a thin covering of grass, the rest being sand and worm casts. The greens were equally poor as well with too many dead patches making putting a lottery. In my opinion the course shouldn't have been open or offering at least a reduced green fee. That said it is an attractive layout with the chance to use most clubs in the bag, service is good with a great practice area and free balls. Overall a 3 ball course, just check the conditions before you play.
A fantastic golf course with stunning views of the Atlas Mountains in the background. A new course but you would not know as the course has used all the nature available to its great advantage.
Friendly welcome and a great practice area off the grass.
The changing rooms are from a 5 star hotel with everything you require.
Assoufid has a creek or dried river that runs through the golf course, a very deceptive water hazard, its there but not there as you do not see water. If you enter the hazard it is not permissible to retrieve your ball except on the 10th.
The Golf club itself is in pristine condition and is very looked after. The staff are very courteous/well trained who are aware of the players on the course and stop all machinery well before you are taking your shot which I found very special, I know it is common courtesy but it is nice to see that they adhere to this courtesy.
The 10th hole for me was fantastic, not only needs a good tee but also requires a good second shot. Tee is protected by that creek.
The 17th par 3, is just awesome. Played from an elevated tee and very well protected by that creek, it there but not there :-)) Needs thought with the club selection.
I could carry on as there is some enjoyment on every hole.
I played 3 courses while in Marrakech and I would make Assoufid a must visit every time I am in Marrakech.
A job well done Guy, congratulations.