In the hillsides beneath Castillo de Bendinat, an imperious fortress, and close to the jet-set Marina at Puerto Portals, is Real Golf de Bendinat.
This is no ordinary golf club.
Open air concerts with orchestras playing classical music are regular events on the social calendar for the 950-plus members, while the President of the Club is none other than the King of Spain, Don Juan Carlos.
Unlike the great British clubs of similar standing, visitors are welcomed with open arms at Real Golf de Bendinat.
It’s an excellent place to enjoy holiday golf and relax at the 19th hole, where according to Jorge Pando, director of Real Golf de Bendinat, there is deliberately no golf memorabilia or decoration, but a contemporary light airy clubhouse, perfect for drinking and dining.
The course is wonderfully manicured and a fun test of golf. It was originally a 9-hole course, built in 1995, but extended to 18 in 1999.
No two holes play the same way, and English architect Martin Hawtree has created a course in two distinct styles.
The first nine winds through a residential area, bordering private villas and exclusive hotels, while parts of the back nine are played in blissful isolation, in a natural and environmentally protected area in the hills.
It is here that you will encounter the club’s mascots, the mountain goats that roam the surrounding hills and are soon to be celebrated with a life-size sculpture by the 14th green.
The goats are golfer friendly, and merely graze while you tackle the club’s signature 12th hole.
A downhill par-three, you play from an elevated tee looking down on the Bay of Palma Nova, to a green guarded by a lake.
It’s a stunning sight, and later complimented by holes played back towards the castle, such as the 14th where a 15th century viaduct flanks the green.
Taking a buggy is sensible as the course winds up and down through hilly terrain, and in the Mallorcan sun, you’ll want to save your legs for a stroll along the nearby marina at Portals Nous.