Son Gual - Balearic Islands - Spain

Golf Son Gual,
Finca Son Gual,
Ma 15 - Palma - Manacor,
Km 11,
5,
07199 Palma de Mallorca


  • +34 (0) 971 7858 88

  • Andreas Pamer

  • Thomas Himmel

  • Michel Monnard


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Son Gual

Mallorca or Majorca as it’s known in the UK, is one of the most popular holiday destinations for tourists from Germany, Ireland and the UK and now with the recent opening of Son Gual, there’s a genuine reason for serious golfers to visit Spain’s largest Balearic Island.

With around 20 Mallorcan courses to choose from, there’s no shortage of layouts on the island, but there was no real tempting “must-play” course until three-time German Amateur Champion, Thomas Himmel, moulded the dramatic Son Gual into the landscape, thereby raising the bar to a significantly higher level. In doing so, Himmel has created a likely future venue for the Mallorcan Classic, a regular European Tour event, which is usually hosted at Pula Golf Club.

Son Gual is the realisation of Adam Pamer’s dream. After purchasing a holiday home on Majorca, Pamer, a golf mad double-glazing magnate, grew frustrated by the poor condition of the island’s courses and decided he’d remedy the problem by building his own. The earth definitely moved for Pamer – 1.4 million cubic metres to be precise – and soon afterwards a bland 175-acre slice of former agricultural land was transformed into an imaginative, sweeping golf course. Throw in a few acres of vibrant wild flowers, 800 mature olive trees, expansive bunkering, acres of water – including a waterfall – impeccable tee to green conditioning and two of the most dramatic closing holes in golf and voilà a cocktail of undiluted enjoyment.

The entire Son Gual project is reputed to have cost a cool €30m but given the challenges faced, especially those surrounding irrigation water supply, the budget has been spent wisely. Apart from the colourful wild flowers, on-course vineyards and those other points mentioned above, the overriding memories from Son Gual would certainly include, the size and quality of the tees, which are double the average tee size (averaging 900 square metres) and bigger than Son Gual’s greens. The greens themselves are pretty big, but the putting surfaces appear much larger as they incorporate massive elongated fringes and run-off areas. Naturally, such attention to detail only adds to what is surely a hefty annual course maintenance budget.

Measuring a substantial 7,250 yards from the back (black) markers, Son Gual is a challenging test, especially when the fickle Mediterranean breezes stiffen. The whole design is captivating and, with bent grass from tee to green, the whole experience is polished to absolute perfection. Numerous holes, including 7, 14 and 15 will stick in the memory but none more so than the closing hole which is a serious contender for Europe’s best par five and Spain’s most dramatic 18th.

Golf Son Gual hosted the Son Gual Mallorca Senior Open from May 8-10, 2009, underlining the club’s growing reputation as one of Europe’s finest golfing venues. Englishman Mark James defeated former Irish Ryder Cup teammate Eamonn Darcy in a play-off to claim the title.
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Reviews for Son Gual

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Description: Thomas Himmel's design is captivating and with bent grass from tee to green the whole Son Gual experience is polished to absolute perfection. Rating: 8.1 out of 10 Reviews: 17
TaylorMade
David Grahame
Located in a relatively flat part of the island Son Gual is only a 9 - iron from the airport on Mallorca making it an ideal first or last stop for your golf holiday. Any reviews you may have read stating aircraft noise as a distraction have clearly been made by golfers who had a bad day on the course as if your concentration is grabbed by anything else other than the sheer beauty of this place then you're doing something wrong. Every tee box, fairway and green has been manicured to within an inch of it's life and the result is quite staggering. Higher handicaps need not fear as although the course is very cleverly proportioned it's not too long although some of the carries may concern shorter hitters. I've read reviews comparing to Valderrama but to be honest there isn't one to be drawn here. Whilst on a par in terms of preparation and presentation the relatively open landscape doesn't quite match the meandering menace of Spains No.1 track but this does make it more playable (its also half the price). Weirdly there's not really a signature hole at Son Gual but thats more down to practically every hole being a great test rather than a lack of effort to impress.Water does play it's part but is not overdone and the rough is more than bearable. Think Arcos Gardens without the mountains and in better shape and you wont be too far off the mark. Definatley a must play (even at those prices) a deal can often be done for a day ticket but don't try to walk this course twice as what you save in buggy costs will be eaten up by the cost of some new shoes!
December 10, 2010
8 / 10
Son Gual
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David Jones
We played Son Gual following rounds at Puntiro, Son Vida and Son Muntaner and this was head and shoulders above the others and a real quality course. That no money has been spared on the course is obvious from the moment you get there. The opulent clubhouse (with great staff) and good practice facilities are an excellent introduction but it is on the golf course that the quality really comes into its own.

The course is fantastically manicured with an amazing attention to detail. There are numerous features like sculpted waterfalls next to tees which add to the experience. The course was in great condition – when we played it on a Sunday in May there was hardly anyone on the golf course which makes you worry about the cashflow but only adds to the experience. We played off the second back tees (6900 yards) and it was probably a little too tough for my 13 handicap. Shots off the fairways led to real difficulties getting back in play sometimes and the par 3 9th at 220 yards over water was a hole I was delighted to get a 4 on! The 18th is the signature hole with its amazing par 5 finish with water coming into play on at least 3 occasions.

Would be great to see a Mallorcan Open here on the tour – the players would love the set-up and it would be a real challenge for them. Martin Kaymer was practising there when we were there and said he thought this was the best course on the island and of that there can be no doubt. The only thing I would say is the the greens were rolling at 10 on the stimpmeter but could have done with being a little faster to really get the full experience as they looked faster than they played. It would be an even better place to play golf were you not under the flight-path to the very busy Palma airport but frankly that is only a mild distraction. Great place, great people, great golf.
May 25, 2010
10 / 10
Son Gual
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Joerg H Goeke
I think this course is a tad overrated.Yes, the setting is impeccable and well maintained, the condition of the course nearly imacculate and the food in the resataurant delicious.But, and this is significant but, the course is directly in the flight path to Mallorca's Airport and thus very noisy. I fact, the planes are flying so low over the course you can see the spilled tomato juice on the aircraft passengers' laps. Also many of the holes' layout is very similar with a long and narrow green, slightly diagonal to direction of the hole with a big bunker right in front of it. I've played the course twice now and I still can't remember all the holes because you just mix them up. Birng enough to drink because there were no carts with refreshments going round the course and the dispensing machines were all broken. Beware of the course if it had a couple of days of rain before - the mosquitos will eat you alive. On my left shoulder only I had 50+ bites and normally I'm not affected a lot by insects. My wife reacts quite allergic to insect bites so this proved to be a real problem. Which made matters worse in this case was that the club officials were well aware of the problem but didn't tell you before you paid 125 EUR and left for the course and when we complained after a couple of holes the gave us a nearly empty bottle of mosquito repellant.So, all in all, a very mixed bag. We decided not play it again for the foreseeable future.
May 17, 2010
2 / 10
Son Gual
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Hugh
May 17, 2010
I agree that the planes are noisy but you can't mark a course down due to the mozzies. When you go to Spain you need to take your own precautions and that includes your own drinks. I'm ignoring this rating as it is not relevant.
David
May 25, 2010
Wow - 2 stars is the harshest score I have ever seen on here. Clearly the mosquitos annoyed you and of course that is something to take into account but this course must be in the top few in mainland Europe now I would have thought.
Javier Pintos
Son Gual - photo by JavierThis course is underrated! It is not less good than Valderrama or Finca Cortesin or San Roque. Playing this course is a really top golf experience. I was invited by Gonzalo and Sabine, the Son Gual Management team, to organize a Tournament last week. I played the course 4 times so I got to know it very well. The design is nice and challenging, the course is in great shape, greens rolls at 9 feet in normal days (in Tournaments they can get to 13 easily), the views are fantastic and that Castle gives a touch to be admired by all players. Design is varied and very creative: hole 8 without bunkers and tricky green reminds me of 13 at Valderrama, 7 a long par 4 that reminds me of 11 at Punta Espada, par 3s are all different and with very tough greens and par 5 18 is something different, a hole to be thought 100 times before played. I cannot chose a favourite hole as all of them have something special, but 8 got all my attention as a simple par 4, with no bunkers, but were getting a birdie is a big job. This course has taken Mallorca standards to a higher level, all the other courses will need to do some work to get just close to Son Gual, but I really believe this one will still remain as the best.
March 02, 2010
10 / 10
Son Gual
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peter swain
When I played it the day after Mark James won the Mallorca Senior Open, the condition of the course was quite breathtaking. Take a bow, Mr Pamer. Set in 156 hectares, the two year-old Son Gual club, 15 minutes northeast of Palma, is long and varied, with water, 800 newly planted olive trees and aggressive bunkering providing the first challenge. The second is the cleverly angled greens, which Ian Woosnam likened to Augusta’s. Huge and heavily contoured – my fourball greeted two-putts as fist pumping triumphs. A revolutionary €2 million water treatment plant guarantees no water shortage will ever compromise the green keeper’s stratospherically high standards.
June 01, 2009
10 / 10
Son Gual
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Andy
One of the very best new European courses to open in recent years. The evidence of an un-limited budget to get this course and club to the very best standard is obvious and being at Son Gual is a real pleasure (I cannot wait to return). Mallorca slipped behind mainland Spain, Portugal and newer destinations like Turkey as choices for a golfing trip but now there is a reason to return. All 18 holes are immaculate and the standout holes (and there are many), are the par-3 5th (short but so tricky to judge) and the par-5 6th on the front nine. The back 9 highlights have be a wicked par-3 at the 15th and the glorious 18th - without a doubt the best closing hole I have played in Europe (non GB&I), ever - a par 5 with water at the green and a split fairway for the tee shot and then the approach. I have raved in recent years about Monte Rei (Portugal), Cornelia (Turkey), Finca Cortesin (Spain) - well now add Son Gual to this list of new greats in Europe. Do not be surprised if the European Tour use this course for an event in the near future - it is that good already.
May 04, 2008
8 / 10
Son Gual
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Philip Brown
November 14, 2008
Looks like the tour is on it's way - Euro Seniors using Son Gual in May 2009.
Keith Baxter

Played Son Gual recently and it will run Valderrama close as a contender for the best conditioned golf course in Spain. The attention to detail is stunning from beginning to end and surely this will only improve as this new course matures and settles. A varied selection of holes make for entertaining golf and here there’s a fine mixture. Dig deep and experience Son Gual as a treat and take your time and perhaps enjoy tapas on the balcony which I can honestly say is delicious. Solid finish from 15 through to 18 and I’m sure they will host the Mallorcan Open at some point in the not too distant future. A good new course but it played a little too softly for my liking, negating the ground game option. I didn't enjoy the close proximity to the main road and being under the Palma airport flight path, not my idea of relaxation. The huge lush green aprons in front of many of the greens detracted from the target to my eyes. I understand that at least another nine holes are in the offing so this is sure to become a popular place for those serious golfers who are willing to part with around €150 for the privilege.

April 21, 2008
6 / 10
Son Gual
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