Marrakech, one of the world’s premier international tourist destinations, is home to a dozen golf courses spread around 10 clubs, and has become a hugely popular area for golfers. The reasons are varied: an excellent climate most of the year, very competitive prices and top courses in an exotic environment – with the added attraction of being able to visit the stunning imperial capital and its surroundings.
Merging both tradition and modernity, Marrakech offers the promise of a memorable experience. Known as the “Red City” and also as the “Pearl of the South”, the city satisfies a traveller’s desire for disconnection, whether it is strolling through the famous Jemaa El-Fna Square (declared by UNESCO as representing “Intangible Cultural Heritage”) or visiting the souks with their striking oriental colours and aromas. Carriage rides, relaxing moments on sunny terraces, travelling artists and other daytime and evening activities… these are the leitmotif of your stay in Morocco, a country whose name actually derives from that of Marrakech.
You can contemplate the great architectural wealth of the medina (the city’s old quarter) by visiting one of its many riads (small oriental palaces organised around a central courtyard), or restore your energy in the Menara, an immense garden with its iconic pond. Marrakech offers visitors an extensive range of options thanks to its incredible diversity. All you need to do is depart the walled enclosures and plunge deep into contemporary Morocco. The districts of Guéliz and Hivernage offer the most modern infrastructure, international fashion and luxury shops and wide avenues, all with the distinctive Marrakech hallmark.
Another symbol of the city’s economic boom is highlighted by its cultural and festive venues, including the Convention Centre and magnificent Royal Theatre. To enjoy Marrakech by night, there are numerous themed areas, trendy nightclubs and traditional evenings that reflect its inhabitants’ cheerful character.
Marrakech’s golf amenities also blend the classic with the modern. Located here is one of Morocco’s oldest clubs, as well as others created more recently.
Royal Golf of Marrakech
This historic golf club was created in 1927 by the Pacha of Marrakech, Hadj Thami El Glaoui Mezouari, and is the second oldest in the country. It has all key services and a legendary clubhouse, which has been visited by such famous characters as Winston Churchill and President Eisenhower. It stands out for the spectacular beauty of its layout, is populated with more than 15,000 trees featuring different species (palm, orange, eucalyptus and pine), and offers an unforgettable walk in an exceptionally attractive parkland that enhances your golfing pleasure.
Located not far from the city centre, at the foot of the High Atlas mountain range, it comprises 27 holes. The 18-hole Old Course, a par-72 extending 5,937 metres, is complemented by a nine-hole, 3,672-metre course called Menara, which opened in 2008.
The green fee for 18 holes is 650 dinhares, about €59.
This is probably the most spectacular and exclusive club in Marrakech, and was the first course designed by Jack Nicklaus in Morocco. The 18-hole, par-72 course flows between olive trees, cactus gardens, three large lakes, waterfalls and a stream, with the impressive peaks of the nearby Atlas Mountains as a backdrop. The clubhouse extends over more than 2,000 square metres, and the club has a second course of nine short holes.
Al Maaden Golf Resort
This 18-hole, par-72 and 6,569 metre course is the work of renowned American designer Kyle Phillips. Nestled in front of the Atlas Mountains, the layout is framed in a fabulous setting: elevated tees, water hazards and undulating greens – all surrounded by the area’s typical vegetation of palm trees, cypresses and almond trees.
This complex has three 18-hole courses designed by another prestigious golf architect and American, Cabell B. Robinson, and also enjoys stunning views of the Atlas. The clubhouse, built as an imitation of a traditional kasbah, adds an exotic touch to the course and is an ideal place to relax after a round of golf.
The layout is dotted with numerous bunkers and lakes surrounded by palm groves and small buildings featuring a Moroccan architectural style, and is integrated into the "khettaras", an irrigation system built by the Almoravids during the 11th century.
Palmeraie Golf Club
This exclusive golf club is located about 10 kilometres from the centre of Marrakech within the La Palmeraie Golf Palace hotel complex.
The 27 holes (one 18-hole course and another nine-hole layout) were designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones Sr. and feature numerous bunkers and lakes that extend around a 77-hectare plot nestled between the desert and palm grove.
In 2006, Palmeraie Golf Club was chosen as the best golf resort in Africa.
Atlas Golf Marrakech
Just 10 minutes from the city centre, this nine-hole, par-36 course is located within a holiday resort and has a spectacular clubhouse. The design of the course, opened in 2013, is the work of architect Alain Prat.
Assoufid Golf Resort
Considered one of the most exclusive golf clubs in Morocco, this 18-hole course designed by Niall Cameron takes advantage of the undulating terrain to create a course of exceptional beauty, surrounded by cactus, olive and palm trees and the ever-present desert. It is immersed in a spectacularly luxurious residence complex. The green fee for 18 holes is €76.
Noria Golf Club Marrakech
El Noria Golf Club Marrakech es un campo de 18 hoyos par 72 al pie de las montañas del Atlas que se inauguró a principios de 2014.
Noria Golf Club Marrakech
Noria Golf Club Marrakech is an 18-hole, par 72 course at the foot of the Atlas Mountains that opened in early 2014.
The layout, 6,116 metres long and designed by Steve Forrest, has three parts with distinctive vegetation: one comprising olive groves and lavender fields from holes 1 to 7; another desert-style from holes 11 to 13; and a third where water predominates.
The originality of this 18-hole course lies in its exceptional landscaping and rectangular-shaped greens.
Montgomerie Golf Marrakech
Montgomerie Golf Marrakech is a par-71 with 18 holes and 6,230 metres long, inaugurated in 2014. With its elevated tees, water hazards and varied greens, at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, the course offers remarkably attractive features and is a challenge for players of any handicap.
5 THINGS ABOUT MARRAKECH
The origin of the word Morocco is from "Marrakech", or “Mraksch” (the city). This word progressively became Morocco and was used throughout the country.
Marrakech was founded in 1062 by the Almoravids and, as a caravan (nomadic) camp, it became an important cultural, commercial, and religious centre and the capital of the Islamic empire.
Marrakech is one of the four imperial cities of Morocco, together with Mekinez, Fez and Rabat. Its current population is about 900,000 inhabitants, behind Casablanca, Rabat and Fez.
Marrakech is nicknamed the Red City because of the reddish colour of its land, transferred to its buildings. It is the colour that gives it its identity. The exterior of all the buildings has to be red-ochre in accordance with local regulations
Sultan Ismail of Morocco, who reigned between 1672 and 1727, was nicknamed "The Bloodthirsty", although perhaps instead he should have been called "The Vigorous": he had four wives and 500 concubines, and fathered more than 1,000 children.