Jacklin to design two Moroccan courses

By Robert J. Vasilak

One of Morocco’s biggest residential developers has selected Tony Jacklin to design the centerpieces of two U.S.-style golf communities.

The first of Jacklin’s 18-hole “signature” golf courses will take shape just outside Casablanca, at a 550-acre planned community called Bouskoura Golf City. The course began construction earlier this year. Its front nine is scheduled to open next summer, the full 18 sometime in 2013.

Waiting in the wings is Argan Golf Resort in Marrakech, which will feature an 18-hole course that its marketers promise will be “a jewel on par with the most prestigious professional golf courses.” No word yet on when construction begins.

Despite the exotic settings, the master plans for Bouskoura and Argan follow a familiar model. At build-out, both communities will feature villas (at Bouskoura, some will have their own swimming pools), apartments, a hotel, a spa, and a shopping area. Bouskoura will also have a golf academy.

The communities are being developed by an affiliate of Groupe Addoha, a publicly traded company founded and majority owned by Anas Sefioui, one of Morocco’s richest people. (Bloomberg estimates that he’s worth $2.7 billion.) Groupe Addoha has reportedly built something like 190,000 houses all over Morocco.

Groupe Addoha has already developed an upscale golf community in Morocco, Plage des Nations Golf Resort in suburban Rabat, and it’s building another, Marrakech Golf City in Marrakech. The 18-hole course at Marrakech Golf City, which could open next year, will wear the “signature” of Colin Montgomerie, who’s getting design assistance from Gary Johnson of European Golf Design.

For those too young to remember Jacklin’s professional career, he won both a British and a U.S. open championship and was a member of seven Ryder Cup teams. He and Jack Nicklaus shared one of the best-remembered moments in Ryder Cup history, the famous “concession” putt that ended the 1969 matches in a draw. To commemorate this expression of sportsmanship, Jacklin and Nicklaus later co-designed Concession Golf Club in Sarasota, Florida.

Jacklin, who’s based in Bradenton, Florida, has also designed or co-designed courses in Spain (San Roque Club in Cadiz), Turkey (Klassis Golf & Country Club in Istanbul), and the Channel Islands (St. Pierre Park Golf Club in L’Ancresse).

The golf course at Bouskoura will stretch to 7,024 yards. Jacklin is co-designing it with a pair of Spanish architects, Blake Stirling and Marco Martin, who operate as Madrid-based Global Golf Company.

This story originally appeared in the World Edition of the Golf Course Report, in a slightly different form. For a sample copy of the World Edition, call 301/680-9460 or write to WorldEdition@aol.com.


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