Advice On How To Select A Good Golf Course In Algarve
Up until 1966, the beautiful Algarve region of Portugal did not have one single golf course. During the course of the last 50 years, that has certainly changed and now the region is quickly becoming a favorite of European and American golfers alike.
The first course, designed by golf architect Henry Cotton, is located at Penina and remains very popular to this day. It has many other rivals with over 42 9-hole or 18-hole courses found throughout the region.
With so much on offer, how do you decide which courses to play? Well, follow this little checklist to help you narrow down your options.
9-hole or 18-hole
Perhaps the best place to start is to decide if you want to play a 9-hole or 18-hole course. The Algarve has a fine selection of both shorter and full-length courses. Certainly the most famous of the 9-hole courses is Pine Cliffs, found on the spectacular cliffs surrounding Albufeira. It concludes with the world famous ‘Devils Parlor’, a difficult par 3 with a tee shot over a ravine into a deep-lying green.
As for an 18-hole course, few are more impressive than the Jack Nicklaus designed Monte Rei (North), opened in 2007. It is situated away from the majority of courses in the region, and can be found north-east of Tavira. It features a number of water hazards and tricky bunker locations, but you will struggle to find a better golf experience in Portugal.
Golf resort or other accommodation
Are you just taking your golf clubs along to get a round of golf in or are you purposely going on a golfing holiday? The popular town of Albufeira is surrounded by golf courses, so even if you are on holiday with your family, it won’t hurt to take your clubs along.
That said, many golfers choose a full golfing holiday, basing themselves at a golf resort such as Dom Pedro, Vale do Lobo, Penina, Vilar do Golf, Pestana or Four Seasons Fairways. Not only do these have excellent golfing facilities, but they offer a range of activities for the whole family.
Research/Word of mouth/Reviews
A bit of pre-trip research can be a great way to narrow down the sheer number of golf courses found in the Algarve region. Online you will find plenty of information regarding each course. Alternatively, ask fellow golfers which courses they have played or would suggest. Finally, read reviews of the courses you have narrowed down to pick the ones you want to play on your holiday.