Played by NCG: Minthis Hills
Reason for a Minthis Hills Golf Club review
I was invited to play Minthis Hills as part of a press tour of Cyprus.
Where is Minthis Hills?
Minthis Hills, the oldest course in Cyprus having been opened in 1994, is situated high up in the hills 10 minutes outside of the popular city of Paphos.
The course, which was designed by Donald Steel and enhanced recently by Mackenzie & Ebert, boasts spectacular views overlooking the Troodos Mountains.
What to expect:
A testing, heavily tree-lined course set in a stunning location.
The drive up to Minthis, which includes passing through tiny hillside villages, helps build the anticipation.
Then the magnificent clubhouse comes into view. Its tall glass windows provide uninterrupted views across the course.
Mackenzie & Ebert are firm believers that courses should fit into the landscape and be in keeping with their setting, and Minthis Hills definitely falls into this category.
Located in the grounds of a 12th-century monastery, the parkland layout makes excellent use of the ravines, water features, rolling hills and vast of array trees, which include walnut, almond and olive, to present golfers with many natural obstacles.
The par-3 13th is outstanding and is probably the closest thing to the 17th at TPC Sawgrass I will experience in my lifetime.
OK, the tee box isn’t as far back as it is at TPC – it’s roughly 130 yards from the yellows – but the shot over a large expanse of water to an island green still requires a great deal of nerve.
My heart was in my mouth as my sweetly struck iron got caught in the wind, however, to my great relief, it just caught the right edge of the green and I was in business.
Two putts later I was happily walking off with a par.
My best bit:
I wasn’t prepared for the tee shot on the par-4 12th.
The tee boxes are cut into the hillside with futuristic looking villas towering above. Out-of-bounds scrubland runs all down the left side and the fairway, which looks like a mere dot far below, slopes slightly towards the dreaded white sticks.
My score on the hole was shocking; it may as well have been a blob after finding the out-of-bounds from the tee and then losing another ball in the scrubland behind the green.
But looking at the breathtaking scene below from the elevated tee box was just spectacular.
What to look out for:
The 12th-century monastery, from which the course took it name, can be found near the 4th and 6th holes.
It stands in stark contrast to the modern clubhouse and futuristic villas dotted around the course, providing a welcome reminder of the area’s rich history.
When I go back:
I will definitely leave my driver in the car boot.
Minthis Hills is heavily tree-lined and the fairways are narrow so there is very little margin for error off the tee.
I will also make sure to practise my putting beforehand as the immaculate greens were fast and true when I visited.