In the final part of his three blogs, Glencor Golf’s Golf Sales Executive Oliver Chalkley gives an insight into the final day of his trip to the Algarve in December 2015 where he discovered what makes this region such a great golf holiday destination.
After a very comfortable night in Pestana Dom Jaoa II we headed off for a round of golf at Palmares Golf Club. It is safe to say we were very excited for this one. This course is regularly voted as the top course in Portugal and it also regularly ranks in Europes top 50 courses. And it certainly didn’t disappoint.
The course itself comprises of three loops of nine, Alvor, which is primarily a parkland type 9, Lagos, which includes the complexes only 2 bodies of water, and Praia, Portuguese for Beach. We had the pleasure of playing Lagos and Praia.
Although I may not have had the round of my life, with driving the green on hole 24 being my highlight of the round (we can forget about the three putt that followed), we were well and truly blown away by this course. Designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones Jr, who described this course as a ‘warmer Scotland’, any golfer would be more than happy to play this course again and again. The weather was again kind to us and even with the ‘links-like’ conditions bringing wind into us from the ocean we were playing with short sleeved shirts on.
Our next stop was Morgado and Alamos, under the same ownership as Salgados, under the banner of NAU Hotels. Any residents who stay at the likes of Rafael Suites, Salgados Dunas Suites and onsite here at Morgado Golf & Country Club, can play as much golf as they like across the 3 courses. We were more than impressed with these two course, Morgado is a beautiful course set in stunning Portuguese countryside and seemed the easier of the two courses here. Alamos, in our opinion was the best course out of the 3 NAU Hotels courses. Although very challenging this course provided a stunning setting that all golfers will be sure to love. We thought felt Alamos gave golfers the feeling that they were the only ones on the course and this is reflected in the fact that most holes are well protected by surrounding hills and undulations. Very impressive indeed.
For our next tour we headed back towards Vilamoura, to Vale Do Lobo and Qunita Do Lago. The best way I can describe this area is a ‘millionaire’s playground’. Many famous names have visited and have residences here, including the Beckhams, Duncan Bannantyne, Rubens Barichello and Ronan Keating, and it is clear to see why they flock to here.
Vale do Lobo is home to 2 fantastic 18 hole golf courses, Royal and Ocean. The Royal is home to one of the most photographed holes in the world, the par 3 16th (Pictured). But pictures really don’t do this hole justice, it is absolutely breath-taking. However if my form was akin to my early morning performance at Palmares, then I think I would have lost a couple here. The Ocean, whilst still a very good course was not as exciting as the Royal in our opinion, and with both courses costing the same to play we believe the Royal is a bit of a ‘luxury-bargain’.
We then visited San Lorenzo, one of the most exclusive golf courses in the Algarve, the scenery here was, like a lot of this region, absolutely awe-inspiring. Located close to a wildlife sanctuary, this tranquil and peaceful golf course, combines stunning elevated tees and beautiful woodland with a real golfing feast that all connoisseurs should enjoy during their golf holiday in Portugal.
As we were losing light we headed to our residences for the night, Vila Gale Ampalius. We were greeted by a junior sweet each and a stunning sea view, it’s a tough job. After a shower we ventured into Vilamoura Marina or more product research in the local bars. Our favourites were Figo’s Bar and 19th hole. After a bite to eat and a bit more research we headed to our junior suites.
Another early start followed as we made our way back to Leeds, a greeting of -1c was waiting for us. ‘I’m off back to Faro I thought’.
To speak to Oliver or any other member of the Glencor Golf team about a golf holiday to the Algarve call 01904 406550 now!