Every Thing You Need To Know About Algarve Golf Clubs
At the time of writing there are roughly 87 golf courses in Portugal (new ones being built all the time) and about 2/3 of these are in the Algarve. To further narrow down the golf hotspots geographically, most of these golf courses and resorts are set in the South West region of the Algarve. Of course, there are a few exceptions such as the Jack Nicklaus designed Monte Rei in the mountains near the Spanish border.
These courses don't stand alone and isolated in the middle of desert; many of these golfing tracks are in clusters. For example, the Oceanico complex is home to a handful of courses. The Pestana resort boasts more than 5 courses at its site so you can play many different courses during your vacation (especially if your hotel is centrally located).
The Birth of Algarve Golf
Golf in the Algarve all started in the mid 1960s when the greatest golfer to grace the British Isles (before Sir Nick Faldo came along) Sir Henry Cotton decided he wanted to retire and play golf in the Sun. Penina was Cotton's first creation and remains the most famous and historical resort in the area (it now boasts x3 courses).
Algarve Golf Idiosyncrasies
With many courses lying alongside the Atlantic coast, you will get plenty of chance to play links golf while the courses further inland are typical parklands courses. Some courses, such as Onyria, are a mix of the two. Speaking of Onyria, like many courses in the Algarve, it has 27 holes allowing you to choose your own 9 holes going out and coming home. Most Algarve clubs try to keep the pace of the play up, so buggies are a must. Some courses, for example Monte Rei, ensure 30 minutes between groups to avoid bottlenecks on the course.
The Lure Of The Algarve
One striking feature of the Algarve golf scene is the amount of returnee visitors every year. Unlike at many other resorts, which are nothing more than a collection of strangers, you'll see people renewing old friendships every summer. The area not only has a special attraction for regular players, many great players have designed golf courses in the Algarve: Sir Nick Faldo, Paul McGinley and Arnold Palmer to name just a few.
The Future of Algarve Golf
The Lisbon golfing scene is growing in popularity and is trying to compete with the South of the country. Lisbon has the history and the financial clout of a capital city but it doesn’t have the weather, the history and the golf-knowledgeable locals like the Algarve has.