With a mild climate that allows a round of golf all year round and a large variety of almost forty places, the Algarve region is a paradise for the golfers worldwide. Most of the courses are in protected areas but with beautiful views. The courses offer a high standard of the facilities and are internationally acclaimed, with the architecture carrying the hallmarks of famous players and legendary winners such as Sir Henry Cotton, Rocky Roquemore, Arnold Palmer and Ronald Fream. The places can be found from one to the other end of the region. At the seashore or inland, flat or hilly, the choice is enormous, but any place can give you birdies or eagles anytime, and who knows, maybe even a hole in one. However, the Algarve is also something for beginners. Throughout the region, there is a wide range of internationally renowned golf academies where you can take your first steps or improve techniques.
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With superb views towards the hills of Serra de Monchique, lakes and farmland, this course produces relaxation and peacefulness. More than just a golf test, this course embodies the harmony that can be achieved between humanity and nature.
Located in a valley in the inland Algarve, between Portimão and Monchique, the Morgado Golf Course is challenging both to amateurs who are just starting out in the game and to highly-experienced golfers seeking to put their technique to the test. It is a par 73 course, but its length is attenuated by the generous width of the fairways. However, you may be penalized if your less successful strokes happen to land in one of the bunkers scattered around the course.
The 18-hole Salgados Golf Course (1994) was designed by Pedro Vasconcelos. It is located near Albufeira, within a protected, Natural Wildlife Reserve. This setting provides golfers with a unique experience since the course gives shelter to some bird species. The beach is within walking distance, and the sea view from the course adds to this scenic golfing experience.
Edifício Old Course, Algarve
Laid out over low lying coastal terrain, this course, with its many water hazards and few trees, is considerably different from the other ones at the resort and many of its holes convey a links atmosphere. U.S. golf architect Joseph Lee designed this course which was opened in 1990 and many previous visitors will recognise it as part of the former 27th hole Vilamoura III course. It has been subject to continual improvements over the years.
The 18-hole course of Oceânico Pinhal Golf (1976) was the second golf course built in Vilamoura and originally designed by Frank Pennink, the architect of the nearby Oceanico Old Course. In 1985 Robert Trent Jones Sr. gave the course a new character. The course runs through the beautiful villa resort of Vilamoura and offers beautiful sea views. It is typified by rolling parkland terrain covered with numerous umbrella and Atlantic pines that line many of the fairways. Ponds and a stream come into play on five holes but are no serious threats to golfers with higher handicaps.
Conceicao de Tavira, Algarve
The course was designed by Sir Henry Cotton and offers different fairways and requires very precise strokes, so that the ball does not get lost in the uneven areas of the site. The landscape in Benamor is characterized by the hills in the north and the sea to the south.
Vila Nova De Cacela, Algarve
The 18-holes of Monte Rei Golf & Country Club (2007) were designed by the famous Jack Nicklaus. The magnificent course is laid out in rolling hills and offers everything a player would expect. Each hole offers not only visual challenge but a variety of factors to ensure that golfers of most standards can play the course with enjoyment.
The 9 hole Oceanico Academy course located between the Oceanico Faldo Course and the Oceanico O'Connor Jnr. course is ideally suited to beginners and those who wish to sharpen up their short game. It has been built to the same high standards as the Oceanico Faldo Course and Oceanico O'Connor Jnr. course.
The 18-hole championship course of the Amendoeira Golf Resort was designed by the famous player Nick Faldo. It has an Arizona desert feel, especially with the beautiful terracotta colour of the earth. This championship course demands careful positioning to score well and fulfills Nick Faldo's design objective of being a challenging course.
The Resort also offers the Oceanico Academy - 9 hole, PAR 3 floodlit course.
The 18-hole course of Oceanico Millennium Golf (2000) formerly part of the 27-hole Laguna Course, was designed by the well-established UK golf Architects Hawtree & Sons. The refurbishment to the existing nine holes included the complete rebuilding of the tees, greens and bunkers, particularly for holes 8 and 9, the only ones on this loop with water hazards, with the aim to simplify the strategy of the course to make it more golfer-friendly. Some holes wind between pine trees. Here the fairways are narrower and require greater accuracy - while the rest of the course has a more open landscape enriched by some lakes.
The 18 holes of Oceanico Old Course (1969) were designed by Frank Pennink. The course is situated in the heart of Vilamoura, 20 minutes from Faro airport. The parkland style layout is one of the oldest in the region and renowned all over the golfing world. Often described as the Grande Dame of Algarve courses, it meanders throughout impressive pine trees - the principal hazard - over gently undulating natural terrain. The course was completely renovated and modernised in 1996 without any major changes to the magnificent layout.
Designed by Christy O’Connor Jnr., this course complements the neighbouring Oceanico Faldo Course and also takes full advantage of being situated in a fertile valley. Its various water features, both lakes and watercourses that are spread throughout the entire course, demand accuracy and test from all golfers, and the rich topsoil has been skillfully landscaped and planted with mature palm trees, affording a lush, ornamental setting like an extensive oasis.
The 18 holes of Oceanico Victoria (2004) championship golf course were designed by Arnold Palmer. The sophisticated golf courses, that runs through a plain terrain, ensures the preservation of the wetlands and the typical vegetation of carob, olive and almond trees. The course is described by wide, undulated fairways, extensive water hazards and cleverly positioned bunkers. Because of up to six tee boxes golf can be enjoyed by all levels of players.
Oceanico Victoria hosted the PGA World Cup 2005 and the Portugal Masters since 2007.
The 18-holes championship golf course of Quinta do Lago Laranjal (2009) is the newest course of the resort and voted "Best Golf Course" at the Portuguese 2011 Travel Awards. The course is situated in the Ludo valley, just 2km east of the resort. Laranjal offers an abundance of umbrella pines, cork and orange trees as well as beautiful lakes. The course (6,480 meters) is challenging and it demands driving accuracy.
The 18-holes Quinta do Lago North Course (1974) was originally a 9-hole course known as the Ria Formosa Course designed by the American architect William Mitchell (one to five and fifteen to eighteen). Holes six to fourteen followed in 1989, designed by Joseph Lee/Rocky Roquemore. The course settles in a natural woodland with umbrella pines, gorse, heather and wild flowers.
The 18-holes championship course of Quinta do Lago South (1974) was designed by William Mitchell. Being host to the Portuguese Open for eight times the course gained a reputation as one of the foremost courses in Europe. Overlooking the spectacular scenery of the Ria Formosa National Park the course offers American-standard greens and tees, umbrella pines, lakes, bunkers and wild flowers.
The golfer will find testing holes for low handicap players. Accurate tee shots are essential in order to reach many of the greens in regulation and the course is made more challenging by a good variety of doglegs and strategically located hazards. The front nine holes wind their way through parkland while the back nine loop around the lake. Nevertheless the course is playable for golfers of all levels and abilities.
Penina - Portimao, Algarve
The 18-holes Sir Henry Cotton Championship Course (1966) was designed by the great Sir Henry Cotton (British Open Champion). The course stands as a shining example to golfing architecture and one man's passion for the great game of golf. It hosted the Portuguese Open for ten times. The course is as challenging as it is satisfying. Because of the flatness the designer introduced strategically placed water hazards and bunkers to catch the unwary long hitter. The golfer has to be prepared for raised greens.
The 18-hole Ocean Golf Course is the second course of the Vale do Lobo Resort. Based on original concepts by the legendary Sir Henry Cotton and re-developed by the respected American golf architect Rocky Roquemore, the Vale do Lobo courses have twice been host to the Portuguese Open.
The front nine holes of the Ocean course are located on a slightly hilly land. The undulating fairways are surrounded by pine trees with sea view from several holes. The back nine in particular are characterised by spectacular ocean views, with some holes almost stretching down to the beach. The course provides an enjoyable game for golfers of all standards.
The 18-hole Royal Golf Course (1968) of Vale do Lobo features the famous PAR 3 16th hole, with cliff-top carryover, which has become the symbol of golf in the Algarve and one of the most celebrated golfing images at all. Besides of this spectacular hole the course offers rolling fairways set between pine trees and beautiful lakes surrounded by wild flowers. A real highlight for every golfer.
The 18-holes golf course Alto Golf (1997) belongs to the Pestana Golf Resorts. This legendary golf course was designed by golf architect Sir Henry Cotton. Pestana Alto Golf is located on the edge of the picturesque fishing village of Alvor. With its rolling fairways and elevated greens it is a test to every golfer. It features the 600 meter par 5 known as the "Sir Henry challenge". But the classic design allows challenge and playability at the same time for all handicap levels.
The Paço do Lumiar golf course is a unique 9 hole course near the center of Lisbon. The course comprises of 7 par threes and 2 par fours. The tees and greens are of U.S.G.A. standard. Each hole is of a standard that would fit in any full-size golf course. A great place to play a challenging round without losing the whole day.
The 18-hole Espiche Golf is located in the western Algarve just 10 km from the historical city of Lagos. Espiche Golf has been designed to be a unique golfing experience in the Algarve. The course reflects the importance of maintaining the rich heritage of the game, combined with the protection of the unique natural environment.
Vila do Bispo, Algarve
The Santo Antonio Golf Course was designed by Pepe Gancedo, one of Spain’s most famous architects, whose philosophy of golf course construction involves minimal alteration to the existing terrain.
The 18-hole golf course Gramacho (1991) on the Algarve belongs as well as Vale da Pinta to Pestana Golf Resorts. Ronald Fream teamed up with the former world No. 1 Nick Price to create the unique design of Gramacho. With 18 holes and 27 greens, plus numerous different tee points, players are able to enjoy the same course time and time again but always with slightly different challenges. Apart from the special golf design, Ronald and Nick managed to incorporate the traditional landscape by utilizing the natural stone outcrops, historical dry stone walling and existing ancient trees with some artfully sculpted lakes and bunkers.
Having hosted the Portuguese Ladies Open on a number of occasions Pestana Gramacho is recognized as a championship course enjoyable and playable even by those with a higher handicap.
Castro Marim, Algarve
Designed by Severiano Ballesteros, Quinta do Vale Golf Resort features an 18-hole Championship layout including 6 Par-5´s, 6 Par-4´s and 6 Par-3´s.
The 18-holes golf course Silves Golf (2006) in the Algarve belongs to the Pestana Golf Resorts just as Gramacho und Vale da Pinta . Silves Golf is a serene spot at the foot of the Monchique mountain. This course is for players - low handicaps will find it a serious challenge to come in under par while high handicaps will be able to enjoy their round. Most holes offer spectacular mountain views overlooking palm trees and olive groves, the surrounding cork and citrus farms generate a true feeling of authentic Portuguese golf.
The 18-hole championship course of Vale de Pinta 1992) in the Algarve belongs as well as the Golfcourse Gramacho to the Pestana Golf Resorts. Designed by the famous American golf course architect Ronald Fream and inaugurated in 1992 Vale de Pinta has earned its place as one of the best designed courses in the Algarve and in Europe. The fairways offer Bermuda grass, strategically placed sand bunkers, and greens clad in Pen Cross Bent grass, ornamental lakes in a rolling terrain dotted with carob, fig, almond and up to 1200 years old olive trees.
The 8 times consecutive host of the European Seniors Tour Qualifying final, Vale de Pinta golf in the Algarve, is rightly respected not just for its playability and challenging layout but for outstanding levels of beauty and enjoyment.
Praia do Carvoeiro-Lagoa, Algarve
The course is a scaled-down version of a full sized course. It is a high-quality course designed by Dave Thomas, who played in the Ryder Cup 4 times and, besides “The Belfry”, has designed over 40 golf courses.
The impressive 18-hole championship course Boavista Golf offers exceptional conditions for golfers. Howard Swan, the architect has created this space according to the philosophy, so to integrate the space in the area, as he had always been part of the landscape. Not only for the eyes is the place one of the highlights, but also technically he promises some refinements.
CASTRO MARIM, Algarve
This 27-hole course consists of three 9-hole courses "Grouse", "Atlantic" and "Guadiana". The spaces can be extended to two superb 18-hole combinations. The spaces open up breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, the mountains, the National Park and the River Guadiana. They are characterized by large lakes and uneven fairways. They offer all players a sporting challenge.
Onyria Palmares Golf Resort is a unique combination of rolling hills and flat areas with stunning views over the cliffs of the Algarve. The good reputation of the place is due to the fact that it combines almost perfectly two different landscapes with each other. Here you will discover an almost perfect mix of left- and inland fairways. New shine and was built by the conversion and extension of 18 to 27 holes.
The 9-hole course of Pine Cliffs (1990) was designed by Martin Hawtree. Pine Cliffs belongs to the Sheraton Algarve Hotel. It is a popular course located in pine trees on the cliff top to the east of Albufeira. Due to its general charm it attracts mostly the average player.
The 27 hole championship course of Pinheiros Altos Golf (1992, further 9 holes 2007) consists of three 9 hole golf courses: The Pines (Pinheiros), The Corks (Sobreiros), The Olives (Oliveiras). The Pinheiros Altos Pines Course (Pinheiros) is named after the abundance of pine trees, that surround the fairways. The Corks Course (Sobreiros) is the longest of the three courses and regarded as the most demanding. The Olives Course was the original back nine. The fairways meander between olive trees and lakes. The signature hole of Pinheiros Altos (8th) can be found here.
Vila Nova de Cacela, Algarve
The 36-holes Quinta da Ria and Quinta de Cima golf courses stretches along the impressive landscape of the nature reserve Ria Formosa with its centuries-old trees and species-rich lakes. Especially Quinta da Ria offers captivating views of the Atlantic Ocean and the mountains in the hinterland.
The 18-hole of San Lorenzo Golf Club (1988) was designed by the American golf architect Joseph Lee. It is one of the most famous golf courses in the Algarve, available exclusively to guests of Dona Filipa Hotel, Amarante Formosa Park Hotel. The course - bordering the Ria Formosa Estuary and salt water lagoons - underlines the wonderful topography of Quinta do Lago estate, winding its way gently over undulating pine woodland.