Golf Guide

The Algarve is famous for its golf courses - over 22 of them – and is a truly year round sport here.

The following information is provided to give a bit of background detail on 4 of the nearest courses.

For all courses you will need to provide a recognised handicap certificate. They do vary in formality e.g. in dress code – Benamor is pretty relaxed


Details of 4 courses near to the apartment

BENAMOR

QUINTA DA RIA

QUINTA DE CIMA 

CASTRO MARIM

Other Courses    

BENAMOR

 The first course to open to the east of Faro, it lies between the Tavira coast and the uplands of the Serra do Caldeirão. The course offers views both southward out to the Atlantic Ocean and northward towards the hinterland with its striking hills and fertile valleys. This course is at the entrance to Cabanas and so theoretically you could walk (assuming you left your clubs there!)

 Holes: 18  -  Par (SSS): 71 (69)  -  Length: 5,500m

P R O ' S   P L A Y I N G   T I P S
The par-4 (308m) opening hole provides a gentle introduction to the course. A slight dog-leg to the right leads to an elevated and generous green with bunkers on each side. An accurate second shot will be rewarded with the chance of an early par. Many of the par 4s on this first nine are relatively short and with pleasant views over the undulating terrain. With care and thoughtful club selection, even the higher handicapper can look to reach the greens in regulation. Much careful thought was given in the planning stages to retaining as many of the magnificent trees on the land as possible. These, rather than other hazards, make course management the watchword. The par-5 fifth (466m) has an uphill drive from the tee. The second shot must be a confident high-flier to set up the approach shot to the green. The par-3 eighth - at 195 metres - tests club selection to the full. Depending on the wind direction and playing confidence, it can demand anything from a fairway wood to a mid-iron. The stepped green, an intrusive cork oak and bunkers demand unerring accuracy. It is a wonderful test of golf.
The second nine starts with a tricky par 3 over water, a short uphill par 4, and a further par 3. The par-4 thirteenth, marked 289 metres on the card, does not seem overly long. However, the fairway is dissected by a stone-banked stream. If you feel confident of carrying this from the tee, then all well and good. If you do drive the hazard, there is definitely a birdie chance!. If you must lay-up, then it’s a short or mid-iron shot to reach the elevated green.
The par-5 fifteenth (454 metres) welcomes you on the tee with a spectacular view of the island of Tavira and the sea beyond.
The finishing hole - a long par 5 of 512 metres off the championship tees - begins with an uphill tee shot. The second needs to negotiate encroaching trees and, depending on how you have played these two shots, the third - approach - may demand a wood or a wedge!
Backed by the attractive (now deconsecrated) church, the large green is particularly attractive and remains in the mind’s eye as representative of all that is Benamor.
This is definitely a user-friendly course to visit.

QUINTA DA RIA 

There are two 18-hole courses on the Quinta da Ria estate located near the coast between Tavira and Monte Gordo. The first to open was named after the estate Quinta da Ria. This is around 3-5 miles East of Cabanas

Holes: 18  -  Par 72  - 

Length: 6,110 (championship)


P R O ' S   P L A Y I N G   T I P S
The opening par-5 (475 metres) sets the tone for architect ‘Rocky’ Roquemore’s overall design concept with the generous use of visually stunning bunkers. Literally thousands of trees have been introduced to the site – olives, almonds and carobs – not simply to enhance this already beautiful location but, by their positioning, to provide natural ‘hazards’ between tee and green. The course is further typified by its generous, marginally undulating greens, which are always testing.
A gentle introduction, therefore, until the par-3 fifth, which curves like a boomerang around a small lake. Here you can choose from one of two teeing-off positions, although both require a shot over the water to reach the green. The flexibility is in the overall distance – 170 or 115 metres from the Championship tees.
The seventh – a par-4 of 357 metres - is stroke index 2 as you stand on the elevated back tee; the potential problems become individually identifiable. The drive is out over a tongue of water from the adjacent lake to a wide, undulating fairway which dips away to the right. The approach to an elevated, relatively narrow green must carry more of those scattered trees and a deep, kidney-shaped bunker protecting it to the front, not to mention the wall of a small, picturesque well which doesn’t come into play – until you’ve hit it!
The signature hole here is probably the par-4 tenth. At 425 metres the brain must be focused before teeing off. The line looks to be left of centre, towards the bunker. Low handicappers may even carry it. But trees and lie may complicate your second shot, particularly the huge, ancient olive standing guard to the front of the green. If you favour the wide-open space of the fairway, down the right towards the lake, the second shot must take on the water and, while the green is generous in width, it seems to have no depth to it to receive the ball.
The back nine encircle the perimeter of the course and are in complete contrast to those you have just played. They offer not only more spectacular views, but much more contrast in the golf holes themselves; more in the way of course management.

QUINTA DE CIMA 

Quinta de Cima is a championship-style course of great character. Running thematically through the stunning layout is a series of lakes connected by a stream which architect William ‘Rocky’ Roquemore has skilfully incorporated as an added challenge to players. Both have expansive views along the coast and inland to the hills of the Serra do Caldeirão.

 

Holes: 18  -  Par 72  - 

Length: 6,256 (championship); 6,045 (men); 4,971 (ladies).


P R O ' S   P L A Y I N G   T I P S
There is no gentle introduction here. The opening par-5 and second par-3 put things immediately into perspective. Good club selection and accuracy off the tee are essential. The par-4 third is a severe dogleg left and while not particularly long at 316 metres, strategic bunkering dictates how best to arrive to a tricky green. A very pretty par-4 follows – the first to feature the stream, flowing across the fairway in front of the small green. The approach needs to fly high to avoid trees that also protect the putting surface.
The long, par-5 sixth (500 metres) demands a thoughtful second shot. Some 130 metres from the green, the stream again bisects the fairway. The 186-metre eight is the longest par-3 on the course. The green is a tricky shape and you should think carefully about your line in, not to mention the wind direction. Not an easy hole.
Most of the par-4’s here are relatively long: between 360 and 415 metres. Wind direction can greatly influence the choice of long iron or wood for the shot in. And then, of course, there is the water, be it stream or lake. The par-4 thirteenth is a good example. The stream crossing the fairway is blind from the tee so, depending on the wind, you may end up taking a rather wet drop!
Fifteen is a 388-metre par-4 and from the tee there are eight bunkers in view, five of which guard the fairway, forcing you to play left. There are no short cuts here! So to the sixteenth, a magnificent par-5. The stream crosses the fairway to a lake and you must hit both a good second and a bold third shot to have any hopes of landing on the green in regulation.
The finishing hole, from an elevated tee to a slick green with tricky undulations, will ensure you come back here time and again
.

CASTRO MARIM

As well as commanding views of the ocean, the most easterly course in the Algarve overlooks the broad estuary of the Guadiana river, which forms the border between Portugal and Spain. The course is within the Castro Marim Golf & Country Club, which takes its name from a nearby village famous for its medieval castle. There is a backdrop of rounded hills, rolling northwards towards the Portuguese province of Alentejo. This is around 20 minutes drive East of Cabanas.

Holes: 18  -  Par 71 (73 Ladies)  -  Length: 5,265m.


P R O ' S   P L A Y I N G   T I P S
From the very start, the overriding characteristics of this course are clear. At 375 metres downhill, the par-4 first may not appear too strenuous, but as you stand on the elevated tee you can soon see why it is rated stroke index 4. The fairway is narrow and lined with young umbrella pine trees. It drops away, but climbs to the elevated green. The contours of the land must be carefully kept in mind as you decide where to place your drive.
The par-5 fourth is a dog-leg left, but a good drive may reach the lake on the right side of the descending fairway. The second and approach shots are uphill and the green is well protected by a bunker, young pines and the falling lie of the land.
On the back nine, the eleventh – a par-4 of 323 metres – can be deceptive. Once again, a well-struck drive may find the water protecting the green. This is a good hole, but it is brain not brawn that will secure you par here.
The par-3 seventeenth (130 metres) is almost always subject to onshore prevailing winds off the sea. With bunkers in front and a lake behind, think very carefully about what club to take.
Terry Murrey has designed a challenging course using the natural contours of the foothills. The strategic use of lakes and sand traps makes this a very enjoyable test of golf whatever your ability, and its unique underground “Leaky Pipe” irrigation system means no interference with play.

Other local courses

There are over 20 other courses in the Algarve, from West to East:

Parque da Floresta; Boavista Golfe; Palmares Golfe; Penina Golf & Resort
Alto Golf; Morgado Golfe; Pinta Course ; Gramacho Course; Vale de Milho Golf
Salgados Golfe ; Balaia; Pine Cliffs Sheraton; Victoria Golfe; Millennium Golf
Laguna Golf; The Old Course; Pinhal; Vila Sol; Ocean Course; Royal Golf Course
Ria Formosa; Quinta do Lago; San Lorenzo; Pinheiros Altos; Colina Verde

Go to www.algarve-golf.com for full details of these other courses