Son Muntaner is one of three 18-hole layouts at the Arabella Golf and Spa Resort in Palma, Mallorca. Son Vida is the senior of the three courses, constructed by Fred Hawtree in 1964, followed by Son Muntaner in 2001. Finally the Ramón Espinosa-designed Son Quint was opened in 2007.
Kurt Rossknecht has been the architect behind many of the top courses in Germany for a long time now (Motzener See, Gut Thailing and Am Alten Fliess spring to mind) and he not only laid out the 18 holes at Son Muntaner in 2001, he also upgraded the neighbouring Son Vida course at the same time.
The course measures a whopping 7,000 yards from the back markers, with a par of 72. Surprisingly lush for a Mediterranean layout, it is routed over rolling terrain in two loops of nine, with ponds coming into play at several of the holes on the front nine. Stone dykes have been incorporated into the design (the par four 10th features a delightful ha-ha wall) and many of the greens are pleasantly hourglass-shaped.
My 2nd round of the day having played one of the duster courses in the morning. Given the heat was circa 37 degrees I nearly had the course to myself which made the experience even more impressive. The course is much more rural than others in the resort. There had been a competition in the morning before I went round and the course was showing it, the greens and tee boxes were really worn. Despite this the course played really well and offered some really attractive and memorable holes especially where water was in play.
Son Muntaner is a course designed to exceed your expectations. I was played at middle of June 2021 (was very hot) and was really satisfied. My opinion it is one of the best course in island. I prefer to choose Alcanada as the first but Son Muntaner can fight with T-golf concering second place. Actually they are very diferent but Son Muntaner have some adventages as more attractive and visual better looking than T-golf, more acceptable green fee and also value for price. Other hand T-golf more look like to championship course. The maintenance is very similar of both fields.
First of all I touched at arrival that everywhere was careful maintenanced and staff more than players. Of course global pandemic and carantine concerning Covid-19 makes the own job but for players I guess its no bad chance to get friendly prices and comfortable game – slow or fast for your choose. Everything is well arranged and maintained – from entrance to golf club, large driving range, practice green, clubhouse, restaurant and first tee. Concerning architecture and picturesque this golf course is pretty nice and not boring with many of attractive views, hazards and hilly landscape. In general condition of fields and surroundings were pretty good, greens was soft, fast and unpredictable. Golf course is challenging (from yellow tee also), with some long par 5 and par 4 holes, especially at front nine. There you can find a lot of hazards, out of bounds and other difficulties. Accuracy and distance from tee is the key to success. For long hitters some par 5 greens are reachable by two (2nd, 15th & 16th with favorable wind). My favorite holes was No. 6, 7, 8 at front nine and 11, 14, 15 at back nine. My opinion back nine is easier than front nine. I guess many golfers have better results in back nine. Concerning picturable views is very pleasant to play here. Game success depends on wind also. Cozy clubhouse and restaurant with memorable views to golf course. Definitely buggy is recommended in hot conditions. I had chosen trolley and was in trouble after front nine when sun comes higher and stay really hot. I‘m not old man and can walk a lot, but quality of game stay worse and worse. Buggy is comfortable and good equipped (GPS, cooler and etc.).
Value for price I found high here. Staff is customer focused and courtesy are in high level.
No doubt every golf course rating is always a subject with a lot of subjectivity, depending on various criteria. I always rating by the following criteria: course complexity or challenging, fields condition (especially greens & fairways), service (only what you can get: buggie, clubs rent, condition of clubs, the amount of choice and etc. except staff and other subjective things that depends on your or staff mood), surrounding views or pleasure to the eyes and definitely value for the price. All criteries will be rating from 1 to 5 stars. Concerning Son Muntaner my personal opinion is follow:
1. Challenging – 4*+
2. Condition – 5*
3. Service - 5*
4. Surroundings - 5*
5. Value for the price - 5*
I look forward to coming back here for the next round.
Another round at Muntaner, the premier course at the Arabella resort close to Palma. I first played here back in November 2016 (player review below dated 28/12/16) and this was just after some major work on the course to burn the old grass off and replace with Bermuda. I wrote then that the course was not ready for play, even though it was open, so it was important to see the course again and to assess progress and to see how the new grass has settled. Very happy to report that the course is looking good, the new grasses are maturing nicely and plenty of strong presentation all around. I did mention a few of my favourite holes on the earlier review and here I’ll cover a few more; the 6th is a tough par-4 and a good looking hole – an elevated tee to a dog-leg to the right, with decent bunkering on both left and right of the fairway, add in some water further right on the elbow and a stroke index of 5 is obvious – the approach to the green is a little uphill too. Another hole I like is the 10th; two areas of fairway that are separated by an old wall, a heavily bunkered slim green awaits around 130 yards from the wall. I’ll gloss over the 11th, just to say still not a hole that I like and it needs a re-think. I always like short par-4’s, especially the good looking ones; the 14th hole at around 330 yards is very good indeed – the sensible play is to hit to around 200 yards from the tee and then attack the green – a tough green too, water on three sides and bunkers on the remaining side.
Great to have played the course again and also managed to play on Arabella’s second course, (of three) Son Vida too, not quite as good as Muntaner but great fun. I am a fan of Mallorca especially the Palma area and the Sheraton Hotel at the Arabella resort is a perfect place to stay for golf and much more.
Feel it is appropriate to come back with another review on Son Muntaner after the course was completely regrassed in 2016 and holes 5 and 6 rerouted back to their original design.
First, both changes are clearly for the better. Conditioning is one step up on the previous situation now that the grow-in phase is complete (unlike the situation last year which Alex refers to) and the new Bermuda grass has been firmly established. It is great to see that they are able and willing to maintain the course in a drier, firmer condition than before.
For me, Son Muntaner is now clearly in the top five on the island. Value-for-money is still a big issue (the standard high-season guest rate at €150 is not competitive as Son Gual costs less and still is a lot better). Pace of play can also be a problem, but if you know when and with whom to play (members can apparently buy a limited number of tickets for €50...) it gets an unequivocal thumbs up, albeit clearly below Son Gual and Alcanada.
I agree with the most recent review (April ’16) for the course, this doesn’t feel like the #3 course on the island. In saying that there has been big changes recently and the course has been closed for around five months. The old grass has been burnt off and has been over seeded with new Bermuda and the course re-opened in late October 2016. Playing in mid-November, it was clear that the course has been re-opened far too early – I understand the need to generate green fee revenue but the course was not ready in November. I worry that opening ahead of time may cause issues that could be avoided. Current conditions aside, the design is pretty good with a number of strong holes; starting at the opener. An elevated tee to a dog-legging to the right fairway with sand and water trouble short and left of the green – a good start. The 2nd and 3rd holes are little ‘up and down’ ; the 2nd is long par-5 with a very slim fairway and water on the right and then the par-4 3rd comes back with the water on the right again – so watch the cut tee shot on both holes. The 4th is my favourite hole in the first few – here is a big par-4 with great bunkering at landing point and a barranca to cross around 80 yards short of the long green. The best looking par-3 on the front nine comes at the 7th – a mid-iron, downhill and a tree amphitheatre. The (stronger) back 9 starts with a long par-4 with an old wall crossing the fairway at driving point – nice to see. Not a big fan of the par-3 11th as it is just too long – close to 250 yards and will need your Sunday best to get close to the green. The 13th is the next par-3 and so much better, 150 yards at most, slightly uphill and with trees behind, strong bunkering and a step in the green makes this probably the best short hole at Son Muntaner. The 15th and 16th holes are par-5’s – both obviously have the length but what I like about the holes is the bunkering at the greens and also more bunkering around 60 yards short – these are made to catch many second shots for the better players trying to hit the green from way back. The final hole is strong; around 400 yards with a drive coming out of a funnel of trees (think 18th at Augusta National) to a narrowing fairway; the approach is slightly uphill to a long green, pointing slightly right, with bunkers in just the right spot (short and right) – this hole is certainly one of the best on the course.
Son Muntaner’s clubhouse is in the perfect position above the 9th and 18th greens and a great place to eat and drink. The course is worth a visit but as I said earlier, I worry that the course condition will be an issue – I hope not and will take another look in a couple of years … 3rd on Mallorca? probably not for me – I think I would have Puntiro (to the east of Palma) ahead, although it was around five years since I was last there.
Why is this course ranked no 3 on the island? It certainly gets a lot of play as both hotel guests and members have a choice between Son Vida, Son Muntaner and Son Quint and there is no contest there. But is it worth the 120-odd euro greenfee for the rest of us who belong to neither category? No way! Not even by Mallorcan standards (mediocre courses priced as championship layouts elsewhere) can it ever be regarded as value for money. I would rather play Alcanada or Son Gual for the same money or play Puntiró for quite a bit less. All those courses are better than Son Muntaner in my opinion.