The 27-hole facility at Golf de l’Ocean in Agadir opened for play in 2010 and the following year it hosted both the 38th Trophée Hassan II for men and the 17th Coupe Lalla Meryem for women on the respective European professional tours. In 2012, the men’s event was played exclusively at the Palais Royal d’Agadir whilst the Dunes and Garden nines at Golf de l’Ocean were used for the women’s competition.
The Dunes nine plays to a par of 35 and it’s laid out over rather undulating terrain with water coming into play at only one hole, the par three 9th. The Garden nine is a flatter, more typical resort layout with a large fountained water hazard shared by the par three holes at 3 and 7. The Desert nine occupies the northernmost portion of the property, culminating in a strong uphill par four that plays back to the clubhouse.
The arrival of the Ocean complex brought the number of accessible golf holes in Agadir to a remarkable ninety-nine, spread over four sites situated close to the Royal palace – the other seventy-two holes can be played at Agadir Royal (9 holes opened in 1950), the Dunes Golf Club (27 holes constructed in 1991) and Soleil Golf Club (36 holes unveiled in 1991).Plans are firmly in place to expand Agadir’s golf facilities even further by opening new courses along the coast to the north at Taghazout and to the south in the direction of Ait Melloul.
I played the Ocean course during the pro-am that preceded the 2012 Coup Lalla Meryem competition so, as you might expect, it was in pristine condition for a Ladies European Tour event.
I tackled the Dunes nine (starting at the tournament 10th hole) followed by the Desert nine (starting at the 1st) and much preferred the former to the latter.
The Dunes circuit sits closest to the Bensergao forest and its tree-lined fairways roll across a very pleasant sandy landscape until the customary pond hole (stroke index 1) is played at the 9th hole.
The Garden loop drops down from the clubhouse to a lower level where holes are played out on flatter, less interesting terrain.
Toughest hole by far on this nine is the par five 6th situated alongside the Souss River which plays to every one of its 575 yards into a strong wind.
Beautifully presented, the Ocean course is a fine golf facility but I’d like to be able to return some time to compare it to the nearby Royal, Dunes and Soleil complexes.