Golf in Morocco is hot stuff in every way - glorious weather, glorious courses, glorious food, glorious people - and all this a mere three hours from London - less time than it takes to play nine holes at some of the overcrowded Spanish and Portuguese courses, and a good deal less expensive.
Take the golfing road to Morocco - the courses are easy to get on, a round takes four hours on a busy day, the greens are beautifully manicured, and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg to play. Green fees are from about the £19 mark, and caddies, all shrewd and knowledgeable, only charge about £6. Bordering the North Atlantic and boasting an annual 300 days of sunshine and year-long golfing weather, Morocco is a welcome breath of fresh air that for the time being remains unspoilt and totally worthy of your attention.
The Palmeraie Golf : By any criteria an outstanding course (6,214 yards, par 72). Designed by Robert Trent Jones, this classical US-style course with its seven lakes is an ideal place for holiday golfers of all abilities, offering a gentle start and a tough finish with some adventures in between. The clubhouse has a restaurant and bar, lessons can be arranged, and clubs can be rented. It is part of the Marrakech Palmeraie Palace hotel, but is open to you, regardless of the riads/hotels you are staying in.
The Amelkis : Possibly the most visually striking course in Morocco, this is a typical Cabell B Robinson creation, (6,657m, par 72). Punctuated by palm groves and water traps, golfers of all levels cannot fail to be enthralled.
The Royal Golf : Created in the early twenties and situated less than three miles from the city centre. The course, designed by Cabell Robinson in 1994 is set in a dense forest of cypress, eucalyptus and palm trees, and is overlooked by the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. Although flat, this is an interesting and challenging course, and there is a bar serving light refreshments. 45ha of ground includes three 9-hole courses (108par).
The El Jadida Royal Golf Course : Another of Robinson's gems (6,003m, par 72). The course overlooks the Atlantic coast between Casablanca and Oualidia, and several holes are close to the ocean. A glorious course with an impressive clubhouse.
The Royal Dar Es-Salam Golf Club : Robert Trent Jones' most notable Moroccan creation. Set in a 1,000 acre forest of cork trees, this 45-hole complex is only 15-20 minutes from Rabat and comprises three courses. Firstly, the Red course (7,462 yards, par 73) - no lover of great golf courses (and I mean great) should go to his grave without having first tested his skills against this magnificent monster. Long, yes, but never, never boring and, from the front tees, it's a perfectly fair, if strenuous test. The shelf-like greens surrounded by daunting bunkers make every approach shot a high test of nerve, the superb Bermuda grass fairways, true, fattish greens and a finishing hole at No.18 that must rank as one of the toughest finales in the world.
For the lesser mortals there is the Blue course (around 6,600 yards but without the unforgiving Red courses plethora of fairway bunkers) which has a number of excellent holes. And lastly, the little Green course with its 9 charming holes set in wooded surrounds with plenty of shade on a steamy day.
The clubhouse is splendid - you feel pampered from the moment you arrive. There are excellent changing facilities, practice ground and putting green of the highest class, a swimming pool and superb French-influenced cuisine.
The Royal Country Club : Designed by Frank Pennink in around 1952 and situated less than three miles south-west of Tangier, this is a typically English course of valleys and woods with quite deep roughs and narrow fairways (6,046 yards, par 72) .
Royal Golf Club : A 18 Hole course with pine tree lined fairways and deep bunkers.
Soleil Golf Course : Two nine-hole and an 18 hole course situated 4km from the city-center in 85ha of ground planted with tamarisk and mimosas and having various lakes .
Golf Mogador : An 18-hole course designed by Garry Player and opened in 2009. Cars and caddies are available .