The East course is one of two 18-hole courses at Son Antem (both designed by prolific architect Fransisco Lopez Segales) and it opened for play in 1995, six years before the West came into being. Although the more modern, shorter and tighter West course is placed higher in the Spanish rankings, some golfers prefer to play here instead.
Son Antem East is laid out in two loops that start and end at the resort hotel. The fairways on the front nine of the par-72 layout are mainly bounded by housing but the back nine are routed over more naturally wooded, tranquil former hunting grounds.The best holes are played in the middle section of the round, between the 6th and 14th where some of the understated holes, like the par four 14th, rely on isolated trees instead of bunkers as hazards. Disappointingly, none of the four short holes on the card can be classed as above average, which is a real pity.
The reviews below together with a distinct lack of love elsewhere have kept me away from the East course at Son Antem for four years, but I finally decided to give it a try recently.
Conditioning was indeed not great when I visited, but I was offered both a discount and a chance to switch to the West course in the pro shop. In fact, the state of fairways was not a lot worse than the West course on the two occasions I have played there and the temporary greens I was warned about were actually newly laid and rolled truer than most others on the course!
Design-wise, the East course actually has a better start, with an inviting tee-shot into a benign par 5, followed by a short par 3, whereas the West inexplicably starts with some of the narrowest holes on the course. Although most of the East course is laid out among the houses on the property, these houses are placed away from the line of play and must collect fewer golf balls in their gardens than at Son Vida or Andratx. You will come across non-golfing holiday makers crossing the course on foot en route to their houses in places, however, so do pay attention.
If you choose to stay at Son Antem, I would certainly recommend a round here as well, especially if it is quiet compared to the West as was the case during my visit. I played a walking round in under three hours, a rarity elsewhere on Mallorca. Otherwise, I have played at least ten other courses which are better on the island.