Mallorca is no stranger to tourists with over 6 million visitors from around the world visiting the Balearic Island every year attracted by over 300 days of sunshine a year.
It is an all-year destination and an island with a diverse choice of over 20 golf courses including two that are ranked not only in the top 20 in Spain but regularly in the top 100 in Europe.
Indeed one of your first sights of Mallorca is likely to be Son Gual, as the final flight path on the approach to Palma International airport passes directly overhead the golf course, and a mouthwatering prospect it is.
In little more than 15 minutes from leaving the Arrivals terminal, you can be on the first tee of this layout designed by top amateur and multiple German champion Thomas Himmel which was opened in September 2007.
Over 1.4 million cubic metres of earth on a 175-acre slice of agricultural land was transformed into a spectacular course with 800 newly planted olive trees in a wonderful landscape of gently rolling hills at a reputed cost of 30 million euros.
A huge outlay but this course is manicured to a spectacular condition and that combined with the colourful wild flowers, on-course vineyard, sculpted waterfalls next to tees and an ancient palace building stands on raised ground, make it aesthetically wonderful.
Huge tee boxes, immaculate fairways - bent grass from tee to green - aggressive bunkering, huge aprons in front of cleverly angled greens and heavily contoured putting surfaces are the predominant features of the lay-out.
Despite measuring a substantial 7250 yards from the back (black) markers and 6900 yards off the second back tees, it is a relatively open landscape and the rough is more than bearable so it is more playable than the length suggests.
Water is prevalent but is not overdone - althogh the par-3 9th at 220 yards over water was a hole I was delighted to get a 4 on - and although there are 66 sculpted bunkers, you won't find any on the par-4 8th to underline the variety in design.
A glorious finish is highlighted by the 18th - a par-5 with water at the green and a split fairway for the tee shot and then the approach.
The whole course is polished to absolute perfection and you can see why the European Seniors Tour have come to visit and why comparisons have been drawn with Valderrama. It is well worth parting with around €150 for the privilege of playing this track.
Meanwhile, Alcanada has quite a pedigree - designed by renowned architect Robert Trent Jones Jr and owned by Hans Peter Porsche.
Opened in 2003. this 7108 yard links course is situated in the northern part of the island in an environmentally sensitive area which ensures a peaceful round.
Like Son Gual, this place oozes class from the moment you set foot in it, beginning with the clubhouse, pro shop and lockers hosted in a century-old mansion.
The course itself is up and down, crossing valleys and ravines with pine and olive groves, and with plenty of elevated tee shots which is not too much of a chore when you have a sea view on 17 holes and stunning views across to the lighthouse on Alcanada Island.
Like Son Gual, the course is superbly manicured and fast unduluating greens which normally roll at over 10 on the stimpmeter.
The course is challenging but playable - four good par 3s, a couple over 200 yards, and two reachable par 5s but two over 600 yards including the 7th with an elevated tee that looks over the course and lighthouse.
The par 4s are varied from short and tight holes to 450 yards plus and much depends on the stiff coastal breeze on the flatter section close to the coast.
The 12th is a short par-4 with an elevated green while the 15th and 18th you can get close to the putting surface off the tee if a strong wind is helping.
At 115 Euros, it is not the cheapest round of golf but is the best course on the north of the island.
Son Gual Golf
Finca Son Gual, Ma 15 - Palma - Manacor, Km 11,5
07199 Palma de Mallorca
tel: (+0034) 971785888
fax: (+0034) 971785890
firstname.lastname@example.org / http://www.son-gual.com
Clube de Golf Alcanada
Carreta del Faro s/n
E-07400 Port D'Alcudia
tel: (+0034) 971549560
fax: (+0034) 971897578
email@example.com / http://www.golf-alcanada.com
MONARCH operates year round flights to Majorca from London Gatwick and Manchester and flights during the summer season from Birmingham and London Luton airports with fares, including taxes, starting from £36.99 one way (£59.50 return).
The HILTON SA TORRE is a family-friendly hotel located 15 minutes from Son Sant Joan Airport where you can dine at Zaranda Sa Torre, the hotel's Michelin-starred restaurant
The EUROTEL PUNTA ROTJA HOTEL is a spectacular 4 star hotel located in Costa de los Pinos and ideal for golf lovers with six courses nearby and a putting green in the hotel.