Playing Golf in Portugal: Oceanico Pinhal Course Review

A moderately difficult course to play but challenges are there to make the most of this course

Oceanic Pinhal course is a wonderful golf course meandering through the paramount residential area and you can have brilliant views of graceful villas of Vilamoura. Precision of the course lies between the flat and undulating curves of the course. You will find most fairways lined by shady trees, and the other fairways give a mesmerizing view over the sea. Originally designed by Frank Pennink, Trent Jones modified this course in 1985, a while after its inauguration in 1976 to give it a better outlook. The former also designed the neighboring Oceanico Old Course.

The main features of Pinhal include rolling terrains designed in parkland style, covered with several Atlantic pines, some of which also line the fairways.

Five holes also exhibit a stream and some ponds, but they do not pose serious threats to the above average golfers. In order to sustain technical advances of the modern times regarding balls and clubs, many of the holes are lengthened. The previously par 72 course has now attained an area of 6353 meters.

When the millennium was taking a new turn, the clubhouse was also renovated. You can take pleasure in the panoramic view over the driving range as well as practice facilities. You can get world class facilities at Oceanico Pinhal such as putting greens, driving range, golf shop, clubhouse, restaurant and bar, buggy bar and valet service.

Tip from experts

The course, unusually, opens with a moderately long 498 meters, par 5 hole from the back tee. Since the fairway goes up to the point of half way, you will not see the green until you arrive at the crest. You can favor the left side for your drive. Here, you will find that the line for second shot seems gaping to a mild downward slope. The split level, raised green is defended well with a bunker and a tree inset into a large mound on the front left, a bank on your right side, and also a shallow bunker at the back. The fourth hole is par 4, but has water hazard waiting for you to make an error. The eighth hole is par 3 and is trickier than you may judge it at first.

The bunkers are well positioned to let you enjoy your game with a streak of challenge. The course is moderately difficult to play, but minor difficulties at some levels on its 18- beautiful holes. You will find most of the terrain is flat, but water hazards are there.

Other things to be kept in mind

You can visit Oceanico Pinhal any day of the week. If you want to play, you are required to carry a valid handicap certificate from your home club. The handicap limit for men is 28, while the same for women is 36. You have to wear soft spikes for playing the game. And you are not allowed to take your dog on the course, it is quite obvious though.