Guest Author: Chris Holt
The Algarve, Portugal’s southernmost region, is known for its sunny Mediterranean climate and its beach and golf resorts. Whitewashed fishing villages on low cliffs overlooking sandy coves were transformed in the 1960s tourism boom, and nowadays its central coast between Lagos and Faro is lined with villas, hotels, bars and restaurants.
The Monte Rei North course is perhaps the pick of the bunch, regularly rated as not only the best in the Algarve but the best in Portugal and inside the top ten of Europe. High praise indeed and it’s easy to see why. Located in the hills northeast of Tavira, close to the Spanish border, the setting is wonderful, with great views throughout and a layout to match. There are plenty of hazards and the bunkering is excellent, with no weak holes throughout the round. The off-course facilities, match that of the tremendous golf course itself.
Oceanic Old Course
The Oceanic Old course also deserves a place in the top five golf course in the Algarve. This is the second oldest course in the Algarve and makes great use of the existing natural terrain and vegetation. The tree lined fairways and small greens are always in superb condition, with hazards perfectly placed throughout, making the Oceanic Old course a must visit.
San Lorenzo, in Vale do Lobo, is a cracking golf course, located alongside the Atlantic, on undulating, sandy terrain. The views are incredible, stretching across to the beach and the sea. Some of the holes play alongside the marshland of the Ria Formosa, including the 6th and 7th and coming down the other side, the 17th and 18th holes. The 18th in particular is a special hole, with water all the way up the left side of the fairway and an island green.
Quinta do Lago
The Quinta do Lago South course, features imported American standard greens, bunkers and tees. The Portuguese Open championship has been played on this course many times, with Colin Montgomerie among the previous winners of the event. The fairways are on the generous side and the holes run perfectly together, making a round of golf at Quinta do Lago South really come together. From the opening tee shot, this is a golf course which invites visitors to open up and play.
Quinta de Cima Golf Club
Situated within the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve is Quinta de Cima Golf Club. This 7,200-yard course, is truly set within nature, away from modern developments and resort style properties. The course is a real test of ability and attracts top amateurs and professionals alike, with long par-4’s and water hazards causing much of the difficulty. The course winds pleasantly through old olive trees, with wide fairways and well kept, true running greens.
These are the pick of the golf courses in the Algarve but with so many to choose from, it’s little wonder golfers find themselves returning again and again.
Guest Author: Chris Holt, owner of 360 Golf Holidays, is a keen golfer. “I combine my passion for golf and travel; aiming to play as many golf courses as I can whilst enjoying travelling and visiting new places whereby I can share my experiences.”
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– Pat Mullaly, Editor