WHEREVER your client chooses to play, there’s a simple rule of thumb with golf: the higher the handicap the worse the player.


So anyone with a handicap of more than 20 should be steered towards courses with wide fairways that are reasonably forgiving. Anything less and you can start thinking about more devilish challenges.


Extra on-course facilities such as driving ranges and chipping greens are indicators of better courses – as is the price of a round (the higher the better) and whether the venue has hosted significant tournaments.


An increasing number of golf courses on the Spanish islands mean the Balearics and Canaries are a safe bet for most players’ abilities. Booking a holiday to the islands is easy, but what about matching your player to the right course? Here are a few ideas.


6 handicap


Pula Golf Course, Majorca


On par: Pula hosts the PGA European Tour Majorca Classic and is regarded as the most demanding course on the island, thanks to its tight, undulating fairways and fast greens.


Bit of a push: four of the holes feature blind tee shots, which means you can only see the green from your second hit.


19th hole: a large driving-range, two putting greens, plus a short game and pitching area, a bar, café, gourmet restaurant and Italian eaterie.


Sample package: 1st Tee Golfing Holidays offers seven nights’ bed-and-breakfast accommodation at the four-star Palma Nova Hotel, including car hire and rounds of golf at Pula, Cap de Pera, Canyamel and Alcanada for £500, based on two sharing, but excluding flights. For details call 0167 078 9877.


12 handicap


Golf del Sur, Tenerife


On par: tight fairways lined with exotic plants, palm trees and giant cacti wrap around a series of vast black bunkers filled with local volcanic sand.


Bit of a push: the third hole of the north course, which has a huge ochre-coloured ravine on the right and a gaping black-sand bunker on the left.


19th hole: a golf school, practice facilities, tennis court, lawn bowls, restaurant and pro shop.


Sample package: Bill Goff offers seven nights’ bed-and-breakfast accommodation at the four-star Hotel Aguamarina Golf, including rounds at Golf del Sur at Amarilla for £349 per person, based on two sharing but excluding flights. For details call 0870 401 2020.


20 handicap


El Cortijo Club de Golf, Gran Canaria


On par: El Cortijo is near the city of Telde and has huge, lightning-fast greens and some incredibly long fairways. Fabulous ocean views make the course an enjoyable challenge for this level of player.


Bit of a push: the course is laid out in three valleys with six lakes and 600 palm trees.


19th hole: changing facilities, a bar/restaurant, golf shop, driving range, putting green and golf school.


Sample price: Golf Amigos offers seven nights’ half-board accommodation at the four-star Hotel Neptuno, including car hire and golf at El Cortijo, Salobre, Maspalomas and Bandama, for £434 per person, based on two sharing and excluding flights. For details call 0141 644 0999.


28 handicap


golf feature 220606 - son antemMarriott Son Antem Golf Resort, Majorca


On par: located southeast of Palma, this course has 36 holes on two courses: the East, which has long fairways flanked by dense rough, and the West, which is much tighter.


Bit of a push: the elevated greens on the West course make approach shots fiendishly tricky to judge.


19th hole: driving range, putting green, terraces overlooking the course and changing facilities. Marriott’s Holistic Lifestyle Spa is also nearby with a full range of pampering services.


Sample price: Golf Escapes offers three nights’ bed-and-breakfast accommodation at the four-star Marriott Son Antem Resort, including car hire and a round of golf on both the East and West course, but excluding flights, for £344 based on two sharing. For details call 01342 81 777.


36 handicap


Playa de Las Americas, Tenerife


On par: forgiving but still good enough to provide a challenge. The course offers great views of Tenerife’s mountains, and the bars and hotels of Playa de Las Americas are just five minutes away.


Bit of a push: the course is full of streams, lakes and waterfalls, so packing a ball retriever might be a good idea if players aren’t too hot.


19th hole: a large hacienda-style clubhouse with two bars, sun terrace, changing facilities, driving range, golf school and both putting and chipping greens.


Sample package: 3D Golf offers four nights’ bed-and- breakfast accommodation at the four-star Compostella Beach Hotel in Playa de Las Americas, including group B car hire and four rounds of golf but excluding flights, for £386 per person based on two people sharing. For details call 08701 200 300.