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Top Holidays

Golfer's guide to the Algarve

  • Sport
  • By Guy Humphrey
  • Published 04 April 2018
  • Revised

Golfer's guide to the Algarve

  • Sport
  • By Guy Humphrey
  • Published 04 April 2018
  • Revised

Golfer's guide to the Algarve

  • Sport
  • By Guy Humphrey
  • Published 04 April 2018
  • Revised

The Algarve to golfers is like afternoon tea at The Ritz – perfect in every way. With acres of pristine fairways matched with gorgeous views of the ocean, even if you’re just an amateur you’ll be wanting to lower your handicap here. It’s time to get your head in the game and see for yourself just why many golfers enjoy a stay in this Portuguese region.

Beginner

Vila Sol Golf Course

Best for: Those in the Algarve for a business trip
 
Boasting three difficulty levels to choose from and a par of 72, it’s easy to see why Vila Sol Golf Course is well-loved with both amateur and pro players alike. The 27 holes are split into three circuits of nine making this a memorable day trip or weekend for all the right reasons. Lush fairways, panoramic views of Portugal and a challenging game are all guaranteed. The short tee distances help ease beginners into the game making this choice ideal for families and those here on business after a relaxing round or two.
 
The course is just 10-minutes by car from the resort of Vilamoura. You can spend your downtime walking along the marina or sunbathing on the beachfront before tucking into gorgeous cuisine at the many restaurants found littered around.
  
Where to stay: Tivoli Marina Vilamoura
 
Tivoli Marina is a lavish and chic hotel that features a whole host of leisure facilities and world-class accommodation to aid the ultimate unwind after adventuring on the fairways. Each room comes complete with extensive views of the Atlantic Ocean too. A plethora of five-star amenities are also on hand including restaurants that offer guests plenty of international and Mediterranean cuisine.

Vale de Milho
 

Best for: A weekend break

Designed with short trips in mind thanks to the smaller course, Vale de Milho is also great for beginners. The reason? Due to there only being nine holes, games are played at a more leisurely pace, ensuring a relaxed atmosphere throughout. A restaurant, bar and club house give you the best place to take five in-between holes or post-game, and the tremendous views of Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean are a brilliant accompaniment.
 
Equipment can be hired including clubs and trolleys once you arrive. Tuesday and Friday mornings are also the busiest due to member competitions being held. Lessons are available upon request.
 
Where to stay: Conrad Algarve Hotel
 
Expect opulence and exuberance from the moment you arrive at Conrad Algarve Hotel, home to a fantastic spa and four swimming pools . Choose to stay in any of the 154 guest rooms, with the top choice being the Roof Garden Suite which boasts a private sauna, steam bath and a tub complete with a built-in LCD TV. The five restaurants found within the hotel’s walls are great if you’re after a delicious dinner after a day on the fairways, and the spa is just the ticket to relieve aching muscles.

Intermediate

Dom Pedro Pinhal Golf Course
 

Best for: Golfers wanting a little challenge to their afternoon with friends

Dom Pedro Pinhal Golf Course is great for holiday makers in the need of a challenge during their putt. Aiming to showcase your accuracy and club choice, those playing at an intermediate level will see their skills tested. The 18 holes are spread throughout pine trees and greenery of Vilamoura, each needing skill to finish either on or under par. The fourth hole is a prime example which features a lake, two bunkers and plenty of trees blocking the otherwise straight shot to success. No doubt you’ll be feeling on top of the world if you manage to score par with this one.
 
Where to stay: Anantara Vilamoura
 
A magnificent spa and a choice of four swimming pools makes rest and relaxation top of the agenda at Anantara Vilamoura. What can be better than taking a dip or having a facial at the end of a day on the green? The accommodation is varied to suit all travellers with interconnecting rooms available for families and larger groups.

Pine Cliffs Resort

Best for: Holiday-makers after a skill-perfecting game
 
Perched 200 feet above golden sands and the blue water of the Atlantic Ocean, the golf course at Pine Cliffs Resort is brilliant for a memorable game or two while in Portugal. The nine holes cover more than 160 acres so there’s plenty to give both beginners and pros a challenge. Lessons are available, found in the form of an on-site Academy team who will show you the ropes. The training here is also high tech with an indoor video swing analysis room on hand so you can practise your technique in style. Once you’ve gotten into the swing the holes are certain to give you a run for your money. The Devil’s Parlous Hole is built over a ravine. Requiring a long shot over the cliffs to reach par, it’s quite often a deal breaker.
 
Where to stay: Pine Cliffs Hotel, A Luxury Collection Resort, Algarve
 
What can be better than staying in the hotel found in the grounds of the very golf course you’re playing on? Equipped with fantastic facilities such as a spa, swimming pools and access to Falesia Beach, this choice is brilliant for keen golfers to not only tee off in style, but glamorously relax too.

Pro

Quinta Do Lago South Course
 

Best for: Sun-parched golf enthusiasts
 
Known as one of the top golf courses in the world Quinta Do Lago South Course will guarantee a good game from the moment you step onto the fairways. Having previously been the home to eight Portuguese Open Championship tournaments, you’ll be walking in the footsteps of the greats here.
 
Sean Moriarty, chief executive of Quinta do Lago, said: “We are very lucky to have three championship courses here and each of them offers a different challenge. The South Course is certainly one of the most popular and has golfers regularly coming back to play it again. It is one of those courses that never seems to get boring and boasts spectacular views with its varied scenery of both land and water.”
 
Comprising 6,500-metres of lush greenery overlooking Rio Formosa Natural Park, this course has plenty of umbrella pine trees, lakes and tropical flora and fauna to play through which gives an extra challenging element to proceedings. With a par of 72 this course will definitely test even a seasoned pro, with the 15th and 16th holes being memorable thanks to the lake location of them both.
 
Where to stay: Hotel Quinta Do Lago
 
Prepare to be lapping up the Portuguese sun when staying at Hotel Quinta Do Lago. With Atlantic Ocean views and close proximity to Ria Formosa Natural Park, you can experience all that the Algarve has to offer here. For the ultimate luxury, the penthouse Royal Suite is a must. Boasting a private heated pool and whirlpool Jacuzzi, you’ll be taking a dip into paradise every day of your stay.
 
The golf course is also partnered with Magnolia Hotel. Complete with 1950s décor and holistic rooms for some rest and relaxation, the hotel can be found a five-minute drive from the fairways.

San Lorenzo Golf Course
 

Best for: Ultra luxury travellers
 
If you’re after an exclusive game of golf you’ve hit the jackpot with San Lorenzo Golf Course. With access to all guests of the Dona Filipa Hotel and Amarante Formosa Park Hotel, Sandra Matos, regional sales and marketing director for JJW Hotels & Resorts says that this particular course is one of the finest. “San Lorenzo has been consistently voted one of the best golf courses in Europe for the past 30 years; most golfers come here expecting to experience something truly magical. And that's exactly what we give them...”
 
This can be seen with the glorious fairways that have been designed by architect Joseph Lee, interweaving the nature of the area wonderfully. “The first thing you'll see on arrival is how the course works in complete harmony with the breath-taking Ria Formosa Nature reserve in which it sits,” Sandra says.  “Here fairways run alongside a range of saltwater marshes, freshwater lagoons and the cooling Atlantic Ocean; with the course laid out in two nine-hole groupings, positioned in a figure of eight with the clubhouse at the centre,” she adds.
 
“Professionals come here all year round for the stunning weather, championship play and idyllic surroundings; which, to be fair, is why everybody else comes here too.” Sandra explains. The legendary holes are another reason with a fair few challenging ones guaranteed. “Hole 7 plays from a beautifully elevated tee, with the Ria Formosa estuary creating havoc all around and the green almost completely surrounded by water. Similarly, the 18th, offers no respite from the water, demanding a perfect drive and faultless approach play to a tiny targeted green nestled in one of the Algarve's most stunning water hazards.” 
 
But the biggest reason why this particular course brings people back? The fact that’s it’s fun for all levels. Sandra finishes by saying: “It's not uncommon to have golfers playing two rounds a day, for a week or more at a time... which, when you consider how many golf courses there are here in the Algarve, is a pretty endearing endorsement."
 
Where to stay: Dona Filipa Hotel
 
Luxury is redefined with a stay at Dona Filipa Hotel. Located on the beachfront and home to more than 70 species of bird, a lot more than a regular golfing holiday in the sun is on the cards. With a 24-hour concierge service, a kids’ club, tennis courts and two restaurants you have everything you need for a monumental stay in the Algarve.
 
If you fancy teeing off in style and fancy making the Algarve the next place to tick off on your scratch map, enquire here or call one of our personal travel managers now on 0203 816 0985

Tagged: Portugal, Pine Cliffs Resort, Conrad Algarve, Hotel Quinta Do Lago
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