Played by NCG: Aphrodite Hills
Reason for a Aphrodite Hills Golf Club review
I was invited to play Aphrodite Hills as part of a press trip of Cyprus.
Where is Aphrodite Hills Golf Club?
The Aphrodite Hills golf course is located within the colossal Aphrodite Hills Resort on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, in the southern half of the country.
The resort can be found in Kouklia, around 20 minutes’ drive down the coast from Paphos.
What to expect
Aphrodite hits your senses from the off and doesn’t let up throughout the entire 18 holes.
The sweeping views of Paphos and the azure-blue sea grab your attention but it’s the bold and distinctive layout of the holes that will keep it.
I played the course prior to the €2.5m upgrade work that took place over the 2017 winter months. The course was in immaculate condition when I teed it up, so I would be interested to see what it’s like now with all of the greens and bunkers having been reconstructed.
It has to be the spectacular par-3 7th.
Use of GPS buggies is included in the green fee and with mammoth journeys in between some of the holes, it is easy to understand why.
There is in fact a speed limit enforced on the hairy drive from the 6th hole down to the 7th. Think of San Francisco’s Lombard Street, with its hairpin turns, and you get the idea.
The wait to get to the tee box is well worth it. Cut into the side of the hill, your opening shot must clear a huge gorge in order to find the green.
My pulse was racing as I weighed up my options. I chose a 7-iron and must have been concentrating too hard on clearing the ravine as I ended up hitting the top of the bank just above a bunker at the back of the green. A bad chip and a poor approach putt later and I was walking away with a double-bogey five.
It took all of my strength of will not to turn my buggy around and head straight back to the tee for another crack.
My best bit
It was another par 3 where I managed to produce my greatest moment of the day, although it only resulted in a par.
The 12th green is surrounded by bunkers and anything short or to the right will be lost down the giant slope.
But perhaps the biggest distraction comes in the form of the jaw-dropping views of the Mediterranean Sea in the distance.
Concerned about hitting it too long, I landed my ball on the left on the fringe between a giant bunker and the putting surface.
With a deft stroke of my wedge, I had a tap-in for par and could happily soak up the views as I made my way to the next tee.
What to look for
Keep your wits about you after the 7th hole as course designer Cabell Robinson hits you immediately with another stunner.
The 8th is a beautiful par 4 that slopes down towards the coast, leaving you with an azure blue horizon as you attempt to escape with a good score on the long, undulating green.
But you might consider yourself lucky if you manage to find the green without the use of a provisional. For the narrow fairway is littered with bunkers – and an ancient olive press in the centre of the fairway – while there is out of bounds down both the left and right.
If you manage a par here then you should be ecstatic.
When I go back
I will be brave and hit a 9-iron on the 7th hole. I will then have everything crossed that my ball doesn’t end up short in the ravine.