Red Course at Royal Dar Es Salam
offering a total of 135 holes within easy drives
of this 11th century walled city. And the final
cluster is comprised of the so-called “sea
courses” near the Atlantic Ocean resort of
Agadir, where morning rounds are followed by
afternoons lazing on sumptuous beaches.
Even after six trips to Morocco, most re-
cently last month, I still have a hard time pick-
ing a favorite course. The best in the country
is the Red Course at the Royal Dar Es Salam.
It boasts a challenging mix of long and short
holes that compel players to work the ball as it
also enchants them with a garden-like setting
and a potpourri of on-course aromas from cop-
pices of orange and mimosa trees as well as
rose and hibiscus bushes. Then, there are the
2,000-year-old columns from the ancient city
of Volubilis that rise between the 11th and 12th
holes, and the flocks of ibises, a bird sacred to
Islamic theology, that frequently fly overhead.
And forget about ever finding a bad lie there;
the greenkeeping staff numbers 400 people.
But I also enjoy the course at Royal Me-
knes. It is not nearly as good from a design or
conditioning standpoint. But what makes it well
worth a visit is its location within the 300-year-
old walls of one of the late King’s palaces. It is
hard not to gawk at the ramparts that rise all
around that layout, or at the Moorish gate by
the fourth tee through which His Majesty used
to walk onto the course from his residence.
I also like the views of the minarets looming
above the medina (old town) in the background,
and the occasional sight of a member of the
grounds staff stopping his work to unfurl a
small rug on the ground and begin praying in
the direction of Mecca. Players may unwind
with a post-round beer in the small restaurant
there and then tour the nearby ruins of the once
prosperous Roman outpost of Volubilis, which
thrived before the time of Christ.
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