Currently listed 14 out of 14 in the Canary Islands regional chart on this site, the Old course at Salobre – formerly known as the South course – deserves a far better ranking position! I was told that Dave Thomas was involved here when the original three Swiss investors were developing the property in the 1990s before the design was eventually awarded to Roland Favrat, an architect I’d never heard of before. I’m really surprised he’s not better known if this is a typical example of his work.
The on-site hotel was operated by the Sheraton hotel group until a few years ago. Following the withdrawal of the hotel, the clubhouse was closed and holes re-sequenced to start and finish closer to the hotel, which is now operated in-house. This unfortunately means there’s quite a buggy ride to and from the 1st and 18th, holes, though this is a minor inconvenience.
It’s resort golf all the way on the Old course, where the holes are set out in a couple of valleys with fairways largely routed along the sides of these big canyons. There’s nothing flat or uninteresting here as every hole rises or falls according to the gradient of the ever-changing terrain. Residential elements overlook the golfing action but they’re located at higher elevation levels so they never interfere with play.
Because of the recent hole re-sequencing, there are strong back-to-back par fives played on the front nine at the 5th and 6th (the old 9th and 10th) and the steep uphill 9th (the old 4th) now concludes the front nine. All four of the par fours on the outward half measure less than 320 metres so there’s really no excuse for not being on the green in regulation at these holes.
The longer back nine features water to the left of the green on the par four 12th and because the fairway slopes right to left on this hole extra care must be taken to ensure your golf ball doesn’t get wet. The downhill par three 11th is regarded as the “signature hole” on the card but I liked the drop shot par three 8th even more, with the tee shot played to a cracking Biarritz green that sits at an angle behind a very attractive pond.
Salobre is the only Canarian resort with thirty-six holes in play and it would be foolish to come here and just play the Old course. I suggest doing what our group did which was play “proper” golf on the Old in the morning, have some lunch, then head out for a fun round on the New in the afternoon – just remember to keep an open mind as you tee it up on the 1st…
Date: June 12, 2019