Golf News

Golfweek’s Best raters go for the courses, fall for the flavors


MOROCCO – “You’re going where to play golf?”

That was a frequent response when a lucky group of Golfweek’s Best raters told friends about their next golf trip. The surprise was due to the fact that people just don’t think about going to Morocco for golf – at least not most Americans. But they’re oh so wrong. The country known for minarets and tagines, camels and Rick’s Café also has some incredible golf courses.

Near the end of 2023, 26 Golfweek’s Best raters from across the United States disembarked in Casablanca and headed to Rabat, the garden city of Morocco and home to King Mohammed VI. After a welcome dinner at the sumptuous Villa Mandarine set in an orange grove and a good night’s sleep, the group headed to the famous Royal Dar Es Salam golf courses to play the Blue the first day and the Red the second.

The Blue course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. in 1974, offers a variety of hole designs. Trees and brambles narrow the fairway, and the greens are often behind doglegs and fairway turns.

A bus tour of the city followed golf and provided a glimpse of the Royal Palace, the Mausoleum of Mohammed V and the Kasbah of the Udayas. Delicious tagine dinners awaited the group at various local restaurants.


Royal Dar Es Salam’s Red Course in Morocco (Special to Golfweek)

The Red course at Royal Dar Es Salam, located in the heart of a cork oak forest, meanders through more than a thousand acres of trees, flowers and water. This Jones Sr. masterpiece is a par 73, and almost all holes are surrounded by bunkers from mid-fairway to the greens. The ninth hole is located in the center of a large lake topped with water lilies.

After our tour bus loaded up all the golf bags and luggage, we were off to Marrakech – a four-hour ride. The Sofitel Marrakech hotel in the heart of the city offered breathtaking views of the indoor pool and garden, palm trees, bougainvillea and the Atlas Mountains. Our welcome dinner of tagines and other Moroccan dishes concluded with a beautiful and delicious chocolate dessert while we listened to a Moroccan musical group.

The Al Maaden Golf Resort hosted the group for our first of three Marrakech golf rounds. American architect Kyle Phillips combined the spirit of a Moroccan oasis with a Scottish touch. The course is inside the Al Maaden Sculpture Park, and 12 sculptures are positioned on and around the course. The unique artistic water feature on two of the holes blends into the terrain and…


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