Salobre is the only resort in the Canary Islands that can boast a 36-hole golf facility. The Old course was first unveiled in 1999 and the New course followed nine years later when Ron Kirby somehow managed to route a spectacular 18-hole layout around the very hilly volcanic landscape that dominates the south coast of Gran Canaria.
The New course isn’t long, measuring only 5,239 metres from the back markers, but the use of a buggy is absolutely essential here because the fairways dogleg up and down little valleys, with serious changes in elevation occurring on a hole-by-hole basis across testing terrain – it’s no exaggeration to say this is a course like no other you will ever play!
The front nine is configured with three par threes, three par fours and three par fives and the best of these holes is reckoned to be the short par five 5th, where an intimidating tee shot must carry a rocky lava field to reach the fairway. The hole then veers right to a green that’s flanked by a large waste bunker on the right side of the putting surface.On the back nine, the white-knuckle ride continues as holes rise and fall, weaving one way then the other. Highlights include the wickedly contoured two-tiered green on the uphill 10th, the cross bunkered fairway on the 14th and the right doglegged 16th, where a long, shallow putting surface green is protected by water to the front of the pulpit green.
This is the 2nd time that I have played this course and whilst there are higher ranked courses in the vicinity (Maspalomas and Anfi) this course is unique as it built in the mountains with the majority of the holes running along gorge edges. The views are stunning and worth an Albatross rating alone. The course is quite short, with easy reachable Par 5’s and probably slightly too many Par 3’s to rank it higher. Also, if you haven’t played it before some of the holes will catch you out. They have shortened the 12th from Par 4 to Par 3 as golfers were advising that it was too hard. The new par 3 is simply too short and more needs to be done on this hole. The finish has also been changed over the last 4 holes in recent years, again to make it easier. Salobre need to advise Garmin as the device still is programmed to the old course route. This is a very enjoyable, if quirky test of golf with some stunning views. My stand out holes are the 3rd, 5th (tee off 200 yards over a ravine), and 11th. Slick greens to boot.