In the first of this three part blog, Glencor Golf’s Golf Sales Executive Oliver Chalkley talks about his recent trip in December 2015 to the Algarve to discover what makes this region such a great golf holiday destination.
In early December we were lucky enough to venture out to the Algarve for a spot of product research. This was my first trip away since joining the company in mid-September, and I was certainly looking forward to getting out there and seeing what the area had to offer. With over a dozen courses to see over 3 days, whilst also squeezing a couple of rounds in here and there it looked set to be a busy few days.
An early start on Thursday morning as we left York at around 4AM to make our way to Leeds-Bradford Airport. A few hours later and we were touching down into Faro, temperature just under 20 degrees, very nice for a December morning. Our first port of call was to get our hire car (Bit of local knowledge, for ‘on-site’ car hire turn right out of the terminal, for ‘off-site’ turn left). We then loaded our luggage and golf clubs and headed to Vilamoura.
Pestana Vila Sol was the first resort we arrived at. A great 27 hole complex with an array of different rooms and villas, a real gem. We were treated to a tour of the resort itself, which included a venture into the presidential suite, standard rooms and the various villas to the rear of the resort. We were really impressed with the villas, very reasonably priced and it would certainly be our recommended choice of accommodation here at Vila Sol, with the ones furthest away having a lovely terrace that backs onto the resorts lake. This is a resort that has definitely gone up in my estimations and one you should consider during your golf holiday in the Algarve.
Our next stop was the Old Course, run and managed by Oceanico Golf. Oceanico Golf have a total of 8 golf courses in the Algarve with 5 in the Vilamoura area and 3 others located at the Amendoeira Golf Resort. We were first treated to a spot of lunch with the manager of Oceanico where we learned some interesting facts about the courses. The Old Course as the name suggest was the first course, and was originally called Vilamoura 1. Pinhal was the second course and was originally called Vilamoura 2 (very inventive). Oceanico then set about building more courses and decided the names needed to be changed, and the Old Course name was born. The other courses owned by the group are O’Connor and Faldo, which along with academy course are based at Amendoeira, Laguna, Millennium and the jewel in the crown that is Victoria.
The course itself is a great tree lined golf course that oozes class and will not disappoint in the slightest, even with its hefty price tag it is well worth a round here. If you’re a golfing connoisseur then this is definitely one you will want to tick off your bucket list. The stunning luscious green grass set amongst golden bunkers and carpet like greens make this a course you just have to play during your golf holiday in Portugal.
After the Old Course we headed to Millennium and Laguna. These 2 courses share a clubhouse and are spread over many acres of luscious green grass that is littered with tricky water hazards, beautiful sandy bunkers. We felt that the Laguna course was the best of the two and offered exciting play for golfers of all abilities.
The final course we visited on our first day was Victoria. Located just across the road from Laguna and Millennium (although sat-nav issues meant for a 10 minute trip) and home to the Portuguese Masters, this course has been played by the likes of Lee Westwood, Darren Clarke and Miguel Angel Jimenez, and it is absolutely spectacular. As with the old course a round here does come with a premium but it is certainly worth it and disappointed you will not be.
From here we retired to Albufeira for the night, staying in the old town. A few beers and a bite to eat and off to bed we went.
To speak to Oliver or any other member of the Glencor Golf team about a golf holiday to the Algarve call 01904 406550 now!