Vall d'Or

15th hole at Vall d'Or Golf Course.

Designer: Billy Bendly & Bradford Benz

Vall D’Or is set in a splendid location, close to the sea, in the municipality of Felanitx, about a 30 minute drive from the resorts of Cala Bona and Cala Millor.

It began life as a 9 hole course in 1985, and was redesigned in 1993 by American architect Bradford Benz to make a full 18 hole course. Benz appears to have succeeded in creating the classy standards more often associated with the cars that share his name, for Vall d'Or is a short but wonderfully presented course. The first 9 holes, are set amongst pine trees, and have unrelenting views over the Mediterranean sea. The course opens with a short par 3, and is followed by a difficult par 4 that winds steeply into the hills. These holes give no hint to the first time player of the breathtaking revelation that is the next hole.

The 3rd must rank among the 10 best and most beautiful golf holes on the island. It is a par 5 with an elevated tee that offers spectacular views over the bay of Porto Colom. The hole plays downhill through a valley and turns left to where the green is lofted into a hillside by intricate rock bouldering. A good drive leaves you in range to reach in two, but with a hanging lie that promotes a fade. Ideally placed at the green's front right corner is a tall willow tree, a magnet for the brave who take on this approach.

The next four holes are beautiful, short but tricky and on the tree-lined front 9 it pays to leave the driver in the bag. The back 9, the original 9 hole layout, is more open and here you can really play for a score.

Along the course are three lakes and a good number of bunkers with limestone sand. It cannot be described as either a flat or mountainous course. Undulating is probably the best word, and due to its location it is well known for its cooling afternoon sea-breezes.

The 16th is an intriguing spectacle of the inward half and needs a 40-yard fade from the tee. The par-3 18th is a strong finishing hole. Its raised green, with well mown run offs, sits in front of the stylish Vall d'Or Clubhouse from where you can see the whole of Calas de Mallorca, the south-east coast of the island.

Its Club House has comfortable changing rooms, a sports shop, bar and a restaurant which is renowned for its quality and excellent service.

Its rural setting, its magnificent views and its contrasting holes, means that this course is a firm favourite of golfers visiting the east of the island.

For discounted green fee prices, we recommend Simply Mallorca Golf.

If you're intending to play a couple of rounds of golf at Vall d'Or, then we would recommend that you stay in one of two places. Our first choice would be Cala d'Or which in season is a bustling resort developed around a number of small sandy bays. If you're looking for a village favoured by locals, but with a smattering of excellent bars and restaurants, then our second choice would be Porto Colom.