RABAT, MOROCCO – Morocco has a much longer history with golf than you might expect. It’s famous neighbor to the north, Spain, generally receives most of the ink, but many Europeans spend their golf holidays in Morocco, too. They don’t have the sheer quantity like Costa del Sol and Portugal’s Algarve, but there are a handful of solid resort courses. Casablanca doesn’t have much, but Marrakech is a popular holiday town with a couple solid courses (even Hillary Clinton goes there often, though I’m not sure if Bill tags along with her to hack it around on some courses himself). The coastal town of Agadir has two that overlook the ocean.
In Morocco’s capital, Rabat, there is one, 45-hole golf club, which is hosting the 36th King Hassan II Trophy this week. The Red Course is by far the best course here. It’s a beautiful Robert Trent Jones Sr. design from the 1960s and it’s shaping reminds me a lot of the Dunes Club in Myrtle Beach, with raised greens and large bunkers dotted around the fairways and splashed around the greens. It’s also got a bit of a lowcountry feel to with some modest undulation, some large ponds and trees that look a little like mossy oaks draped along the fairways. And there’s no real estate in sight either, aside from some old column ruins that remain on the back nine.
Suffice to say I’m getting a little antsy walking the course for the third day of Pro-Ams before the pros take to the course on Saturday and Sunday. Here’s a couple shots of the Royal Dar es Salam’s Red Course: