Just back from my Spring holiday in the Canary Islands and thought I would do a little review of 3 course. Fuerteventura lies off the Moroccan coast in Sub Tropics so at this time of year the temperature is around 70'C or 21'C so is a good golfing temperature. It is about 4.5 hours from Scotland and is a favourite all year round holiday destination for the UK. The 3 course are Fuerteventura Golf Resort, Salinas Golf Resort and Las Playitas. This time of year is regarded as high season and the green fees were pretty similar across the 3 course about €41 for twilight (i.e after 2pm, 4 hours 45 mins before sunset) and €72 any other time. With a comfortable temperature I tended to play twilight and had no problems getting round before the light faded.
Fuerteventura Golf Resort
This course is linked up with the local Sheraton and also the onsite hotel so you may get better rates staying in the hotels. They paired me up with an older couple on the 2 occasions I played there, both couples were on a package at the Sheraton. They were both good company but if you get frustrated playing with high handicapper golfers then it could be an issue. They definitely had some interesting techniques.
The course plays just over 6700 off the whites and 6400 yards off the yellows. Being a bit of a woose and being on holiday I went off the yellows. The course tries to cater for resort golf so there is very little rough but loads of crushed lava rocks if you go off line. It is also pretty flat, except for the 17th and 18th and is palm tree lined fairways. The practise facilities were good with driving range putting green and chipping area. The condition of the course was OK the greens and tees were in good condition but bunkers were hard packed with lots of stones and the fairways were patchy . After the 1st few holes I decided to take preferred lies in the fairways. I walked and carried on both occasions, the hill coming at the end and a long trek between 17 and 18 was a bit tiring but not too bad. In terms of layout the course wasn't particularly memorable. To score well the par 5s are key (2, 5, 10, 17) and are were all reachable for me in 2 The drive at the 2nd is tight and a challenge especially since the prevailing wind blows left to right across the fairway with OB on the right. My bad shot is a high cut so I didn't fair well here. There was also a couple of interesting tee boxes, the 6th is a dogleg left at about 210 yds but the tee is tucked behind 2 palm trees that blocks out the left side of the fairway, similarly 18 again a dogleg left had us teeing up with a housing safety net blocking out he left hand side of the fairway. For me a draw is not a shot I can play unless it is the dreaded double cross, ended up having to play wide right adding 50 to 60 yds to the holes. The course has held the Spanish Open in the past but in its current condition I can't see that happening again soon.
Salinas de Antigua Golf Club
This course is separate from Fuerteventura Golf Resort by a minor road so has some of the same characteristics in terms of condition i.e the greens and tees are are in good nick but fairways and bunkers leave a lot to be desired. It is also easily walkable which I did on all occasions. The one difference I did find was that there are a few patches off deep rough in unexpected places. At the 1st I hit a 4h just to the right of the flag lost sight of it when it pitched only to find it buried on the bank 3 yds thru the back in this long rough. It has a few large water hazards but when I visited they were almost empty. The chipping and putting areas are in good condition but the driving area is in need of some work with the boundary nets flapping in the wind. I was really worried about how they had connected the ball dispenser which was ~ 200 yds away from the club house and was connected with a variety of extension leads and hacked together wiring with insulating tape wound about them. Just as well it doesn't rain much! The balls on the range were in pretty poor condition as well but for a warm up they were OK.
The course is just under 6000 yds off the whites and 5600 off yellows I played 2 games off the yellows and one off the whites and although I scored worse off the whites I didn't feel there was any significant different strategy required i.e. playing off the yellows didn't suddenly bring more bunkers or hazards into play. I like the layout of this course better than Fuerteventura and I can remember more of the holes. The 11th is a short par 4 dogleg on the card at 316 yds but you can try and carry the water which off white is about 220 yds, a classic risk reward hole. The 3rd another dogleg over water is actually shorter at 309 but with a smaller green and again is drivable over water but for me on this I never took it on. The par 5s again were all with in reach in 2 for me especially with the run I was getting off the tee. I usually carry the ball about 230 with my driver and back home in the winter I'm lucky to get 5 yds of run. On the 1st for the 3 rounds I averaged 289 and striped one out to 304 yds. It was down wind.
The layout confused me a couple of times, on the 11th you have to walk back down the fairway by 100 yds to get to the 12th tee and the 13th really confused me and my partners the 1st time we played it the 14th green lies to the right of the fairway about 50yds for the 13th green. We all played onto the wrong green before before realising our mistake.
One last comment the clubhouse restaurant is to be recommended the menu and staff were excellent.
The 3rd course I played was Las Playitas which was recommended to me for the views. It is part of a large sporting complex that caters for training camps and has sporting activities throughout the day. It has an Olympic length swimming pool which was being heavily utilised. This was in the less touristy part of the island and is bordered by a more typical Spanish fishing village.
The course plays about 5300 yds off the whites with 8 pars 3s and is made up of 2 distinct parts. On the clubhouse side of the main road it is relatively flat and has 5 par 3s and a par 4 the holes on this side are pretty straight forward and not very challenging. The other side of the road is built on a hillside so a buggy was pretty much mandatory with a lot of distance from green to tee. With very few direction markers finding your way from green to the next tee was an issue. For the 4th tee we were completely lost and had to be directed there by another group. unlike then other courses I found the par 5s a challenge, not really due to there length but more the layout and the hanging lies. The 5th for example is a left to right dog leg driving down hill nearly impossible to stop short of a lateral about 280 yds off the tee. I was then left with 180 yds off a downhill lie into a small green with lava rock all around. 10th is uphill but no better a good drive left me with a blind 2nd with OB on the left and the ball below my feet with lava stones all the way down the right. Final the 11th again is down hill with a branka at 270, tried to play short with 3w and still ended up in it, then laid up to the wrong place because I couldn't work out where the green was 90' to the left. I was 4 over for the 3 par 5s with 3 penalties. The condition of the course was again similar to the others but the fairways were worse with the 13th in particular having small stones all over it.
Pus quirky with good views and it was my best score of the trip 75 (+8).
Some of the mini Golf as well