At Leadingcourses.com we’re big fans of Morocco. It has great culture, delicious food and a number of outstanding golf courses. What’s not to like?! The good news is: there is a new – undiscovered – golf course that looks truly amazing: The Michlifen Golf & Country Club.
Morocco does not have a very long tradition of being a golf destination. But European golfers have slowly discovered the North African country over the past decades. With its location close to Europe – no more than 3 hour flight from many European airports – the pleasant climate all year round and 44 golf courses to choose from, Morocco has seen golf travelers find their way to The Western Kingdom.
The majority of golf courses in Morocco are situated around Marrakech, Casablanca and Rabat. Some of the best and most well known courses are Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort, Assoufid Golf Club and PalmGolf Marrakech-Ourika. All these courses can be found in the list of best golf courses in Morocco on Leadingcourses. But there is a new kid on the block which might overtake the number one position in due time.
Michlifen Golf & Country Club
That new kid on the block is called The Michlifen Golf & Country Club and it’s located in Ifrane. Ifrane is about one hour south of the city of Fez in the north of Morocco. Whilst Fez is a bustling big city with its old medina and vibrant souks, things in Ifrane are a little different and more laid back. The stylish city is located high up in the Atlas Mountains and is referred to as “Little Switzerland” because of its chalet-type summer homes which are built in Alpine style.
Fes-Saiss Airport offers easy access to the Michlifen Golf & Country Club. There are direct flights from European capitals (such as London, Paris, Rome) and internal flights from Morocco’s major cities.
If you’ve ever played golf in Morocco – especially in Marrakesh – there’s a good chance you remember the magnificent views of the Atlas Mountains that you have on many of the golf courses. Well, at Michlifen you don’t have views of the Atlas Mountains, you’re in the Atlas Mountains!
The course @ Michlifen
The Michlifen Golf & Country Club – part of the IMG Prestige global network – boasts a majestic, preserved natural setting in the heart of the Middle Atlas, a region known for the charm of its Alpine-style architecture. The course is located at an altitude of 1650 meters and is surrounded by beautiful mountain landscapes with oak and cedar forests. The views at Michlifen are exceptional as there are many panoramic views.
The 18-hole course has a Par of 72 and measures 6,698 meters (7,325 yards) from the back tees. The course can be considered as native parkland with lush green fairways and greens and rocky and sandy natural terrain. All tees and greens have Creeping Bent grass and fairways and rough are made of Kentucky Bluegrass.
Although most holes will stay in your memory because of the design variety, holes that stand out are the 9th, 17th and 18th. Undoubtedly this also has to do with the amazing views of the surroundings these holes offer.
Jack Nicklaus Design
No other than Jack Nicklaus was responsible for the design of Michlifen G&GC, making it the first Jack Nicklaus Signature Course in North Africa. The Golden Bear was invited to come to Morocco by Prince Moulay Rachid (who is crazy about golf) to see a number of sights that might be suitable for a new golf course. Nicklaus came back later that year to view the site that the prince had chosen.
The building of the course started in 2014 and the work was finished in 2018 when the course officially opened. The concept Nicklaus had for his design was to design a varied, demanding and sometimes tough course, which is perfectly integrated into and respectful of its natural surroundings. By the looks of it, Jack did just that!
Being asked for his opinion on the result, Nicklaus commented: “The site in Ifrane and for Michlifen is one of the most scenic, beautiful vistas you will find for a golf experience. It is loaded with rock outcroppings and gorgeous trees, which give the golf course much of its personality and character. I just think once you take this very special mountain setting at Ifrane, and combine it with what we believe we have accomplished at Michlifen from a design perspective, it makes for a very unique, exciting and fun golf course to play.”
It’s not just golf at Michlifen
When you come to Michlifen to play golf, you might just want to extend your stay a little longer as there is more to see and do. First of all there is a five-star hotel which is designed and decorated like a luxury chalet. The chalet style hotel was purpose built because of French influences and in winter when the snow falls (Michlifen actually means “snow flake”) it is a popular winter sports destination.
Facilities you may expect are a fitness room, multi-sports room and a swimming pool. But also professional treatments and massages at the Spa, tennis court, and outdoor training options. There are 4 restaurants that serve French gastronomic cuisine but also Moroccan and oriental flavours to feast your appetite on.
Other activities that make Michlifen even more interesitng are excursions and hikes in the nearby Ifrane National Park. Or a daytrip to one of the
regions three UNESCO World Heritage sites. Or one of the many outdoor activities like mountain biking, horse riding or fishing.
Visit Michlifen Golf & Country Club
If you are interested in visiting Michlifen G&CC and its hotel, there are several Stay & Play experiences. They include round trip transfers from the Michlifen Hotel to the Michlifen G&CC and breakfasts at the Chalet Restaurant.
IMG Prestige is an elite network of golf clubs that feature leading golf properties and partners from across the world. They all have a close association with IMG. The network provides a valuable and unique benefit to each participating club’s members. It also delivers green fee revenue to the network clubs.
Members at each participating club are entitled to preferred access, special rates, discounts, benefits and privileges offered by our partners and other clubs in the network through the IMG Prestige Concierge.
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