To many people’s surprise golf is not a new sport in Morocco. Since the beginning of the past century in the 1920s several courses have lent their exotic lush vegetation and rolling greens to the world’s powerful, rich and famous. The first of a series of Royal Golf Clubs was originally created in Tangiers in 1914. It is one of the first courses on the African continent that offers stunning views of the European coastline starting from hole 7. (18 holes-Par 70 designed by Cotton & Penning).
In 1923 Marrakesh became home to the mythical Royal Golf Club Marrakech. This course has for years enchanted players like Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George, and Ike Eisenhower thanks to the unique climate of the city and the mesmerizing view of the snow covered Atlas Mountains. In 2008, it was redesigned by A. Massy, G. Gollas, B. Stitou,T.Spretcher; and G. Watine (3×9 holes-Par 36).
Mohammédia’s Royal Golf opened in 1927 as a 9 holes and in 1947 as an 18 holes- Par 72 designed by Pierre Hirigoyen). Hardly one hour away Casablanca Anfa course open in 1936 (9 holes Par 35 designed by Nessim Kouhen).
In 1971, Robert Trent Jones designed the Royal Golf of Dar Essalam: the House of Peace. A perfect name for a course located in the hinterland of peaceful Morocco’s capital city Rabat. This course has for decades been acclaimed by world professionals as one of the best in the world. It hosted the professional tournament Hassan II Golf Trophy (45 holes Par 73).
In addition to these courses which are all open to the public a large number have been developed all over the country. In fact, some people do spend weeks combining round-trips to explore the country with golf playing. They can do this in historical cities that are classified World Heritage Sites such as :
– Marrakech Atlas Golf (9 holes-Par 32 designed by Alain Prat in 2010)
– Al Maaden (18 holes- Par 72 by Kyle Philips in 2010), Amelkis (27 holes (9×3)-Par 36 by Cabell Robinson. in 1995).
– Palemeraie Golf Club awarded best golf resort in Africa in 2006 during the World Travel Awards (18 holes-Par72+9 Par 36 by Robert Trent Jones in 1993).
– Samanah (18 holes- Par 72 by Nicklaus Design opened in 2009), Assoufid ((18 holes- Par 72 by Niall Cameron in 2011).
Fes (18 holes Par 72 by Cabell B. Robinson).
Meknes (9 holes Par 36 open to public in 1969).
Isly Oujda (9 holes Par 36 by A. Saadi).
Benslimane (27 holes Par 72 by Robert Von Hagge in 1993).
Settat University Golf (9 holes Par 37 in 1995.
Other courses are located either along the Atlantic coast in :
– Larache Port Lixus (18 holes-Par 72 by Enrique Saenger).
– Bouznika Bay (9 holes Par 35 by Robert Von Hagge in 1999).
– El Jadida (18 holes- Par 72 by Cabell B. Robinson opened in 1993).
– El Jadida Mazagan (18 holes- Par 72 “Championship Course” designed by Gary Player open in 2009 managed by Troon Golf and located in a resort operated by the Kerzner hospitality group.
– Mogador (18 holes- Par 72 designed by Gary Player open in 2009).
– Royal Golf Club Agadir (9 holes Par 36 by Wilson in 1951), L’Océan (27holes (9×3)- Par 36 by Belt Collins in 2009).
– Golf du Soleil (18 holes- Par 72 +2×9 holes- Par 36 by Fernando Muella in 1999 and Gérard Courbin in 2005), Golf des Dunes (27holes (9×3)- Par 36 by Cabell Robinson in 1991.
Or the Mediterranean coast in :
– Al Houara Tangiers (18+9 holes designed by Graham Marsh & Vijay Singh).
– Tetouan Cabo Négro (18 holes- Par 72 by Hawtree &Sons and Cabell B. Robinson).
– Saidia (18 designed by Francisco Segalés).
Morocco is definitely committed to making golf accessible to all categories of players’ touristic interests as more courses are being developed at the edge of the Sahara desert in Errachidia, Ouarzazate, and Oued Chbika.