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Martin Toal

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Algarve Golf
« on: June 01, 2011, 02:37:16 AM »
Going to the Algarve (near Albufeira) for a vacation, and probably going to squeeze in some golf. Any recommendations?

Have previously played Penina (OK, bit flat and samey), Parque da Floresta (why can you never find a sherpa wehen you need one), Palmares (liked the linksy holes), San Lorenzo (pretty nice layout but poor condition) and Monte Rei (loved it, bit far away for this trip).

I don't want anywhere which has carts with cartpath only, so that is probably Vale de Lobo out.

Adam Lawrence

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Re: Algarve Golf
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2011, 03:43:33 AM »
Palmares has been rebuilt by the RTJ2 firm and has either just reopened or is just about to. They are moving more of the golf course down towards the sea, which holds promise. I'm there next week - Martin if you're not going for a couple of weeks, I'll report back.

Otherwise I usually recommend Monte Rei if you're prepared to stomach the green fee (or they're cutting deals, which wouldn't be a huge surprise), but I take the point about distance.
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Author, 'More Enduring Than Brass: a biography of Harry Colt' (forthcoming).

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Ben Stephens

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Algarve Golf
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2011, 04:19:46 AM »
Martin,


Definitely Vilamoura Old Course and Quinta do Lago South where Monty won his first tour event!.

A friend of mine recommended Quinta de Ria and Cima courses. Another plays at Vila Sol which has hosted the Portuguese Open.


Cheers
Ben

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Algarve Golf
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2011, 05:12:25 AM »
From my limited knowledge, the course that provided most fun was the 2,800 yard par-32 Pine Cliffs course at the Sheraton hotel... Built by Hawtree on sand with some lovely holes and nice bunkering... a tad Cypress Point if I may be so bold...

Adam Lawrence

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Algarve Golf
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2011, 05:19:24 AM »
Yes, I meant to mention Pine Cliffs. Lots of fun. It has at times been awkward to get on if you're not staying at the Sheraton, but I don't think that's the case now.
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Author, 'More Enduring Than Brass: a biography of Harry Colt' (forthcoming).

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Melvyn Morrow

Re: Algarve Golf
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2011, 06:24:45 AM »

I have fond memories of The Sheridan, the course, in fact to the point I took my family out to view one of the two bedroom apartments within the complex. This must have been some 8-9 years ago.

All was most enjoyable, with the apartments well positioned for a game, swim or the Hotels facilities. Add to that the course was better that I had expected due to comments from a friend.

We stayed a week and had a most enjoyable time playing early AM resting by the Hotelís pool and bar for the rest of day. I did found the Hotelís main restaurant limited in choice and I certainly did not like the Moroccan Restaurant which I now believe is now defined as Arabian.

My wife and family were unhappy with the constant problems we suffered with the new apartments, from drains not working, temperamental air conditioning and the close proximity of the next block. Although the houses closer to the hotel (all sold ) seemed to outscore the apartment blocks.

Expecting less from the course more from the complex, yet my conclusions in the end where reversed. The course was let down by the accommodation with small niggles created by many minor problems. And as I said the restaurants while clean and inviting offered back then a limited menu.

I feel that it was worth a visit but pleased we kept it to that, just a visit. As for getting there with my family and luggage, I had arranged for a large car with driver to collect us from the airport and return us at the end of the week, that was a wise move getting us away from the airport rather quickly, well worth the extra money.

Melvyn     

Mark Pearce

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Re: Algarve Golf
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2011, 06:58:45 AM »
The Algarve is a little less attractive to British tourists than it was. 
In June I will be riding the first three stages of this year's Tour de France route for charity.  630km (394 miles) in three days, with 7800m (25,600 feet) of climbing for the William Wates Memorial Trust (https://rideleloop.org/the-charity/) which supports underprivileged young people.

Martin Toal

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Algarve Golf
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2011, 02:26:35 PM »
Thanks guys. Planning to stay at Pine Cliffs, actually, so the 9 holer should be right beside me.

Marty Bonnar

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Re: Algarve Golf
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2011, 02:47:30 PM »
Martin,
not long since returned from the Algarve. Penina had the finest conditioned greens I've ever played down there. (We were staying in the WONDERFUL adjacent hotel, so I may be a tad biased).
Quinto do Lago and the others in that area are good.
The Courses owned by the CS group are quite good fun, if a tad 'carty'. You're going to struggle to find a course with no cart paths down there, BTW!
Palmares is the closest to Links, so I'm desperate to hear news.
Just go and enjoy playing in shorts, that refreshing Sagres afterwards and Sardines and Vinho Verde for lunch. Stuff the quality architecture!
cheers,
FBD.
The White River runs dark through the heart of the Town,
Washed the people coal-black from the hole in the ground.

Mark_Rowlinson

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Algarve Golf
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2011, 09:42:03 AM »
Martin, If you can find a copy of 'The Wine and Food Lover's Guide to Portugal' by Charles Metcalfe and Kathryn McWhirter (Inn House publishing ISBN 978-0-9557069-0-5 [office@innhousepublishing.com]) you will be given the soundest advice on what to eat and drink, and where to eat and drink it. On my infrequent visits to the Algarve for golfing purposes I have failed to eat or drink satisfactorily, and the behaviour of the loutish and boorish drunken British golfers has left me deeply ashamed. The Portuguese wine industry has picked itself up enormously in the last twenty years and some of the most exciting discoveries in Europe are to be made there. In the Algarve, however, little wine of note is made and none is served in the tourist traps.

I have just returned from a few days in the Piedmont, staying with someone in the wine trade. Now that was a stupendous vinous experience! No golf, however!

Enjoy your trip.

Adam Lawrence

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Re: Algarve Golf
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2011, 12:39:36 PM »
I've always wanted to go to the famous Vila Lisa restaurant in the village of Meixilhoeira Grande, just inland from Palmares.

http://en.lifecooler.com/lifecooleren/adega-vila-lisa-restaurant-restaurants-331462-1.html
Adam Lawrence

Editor, Golf Course Architecture
www.golfcoursearchitecture.net

Principal, Oxford Golf Consulting
www.oxfordgolfconsulting.com

Author, 'More Enduring Than Brass: a biography of Harry Colt' (forthcoming).

Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are the best of all.

Mark Chaplin

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Algarve Golf
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2011, 12:52:14 PM »
Palmares is a pretty good course and we were paying e90 for two with a buggy in the summer.

For food lunch at Villa Joya takes some beating, it's Portugal's only 2 star restaurant and lunch isn't too crazy on the wallet. Chicken Peri Peri is the local speciality and Guia has some proper local places worth driving out to. Also high up on the road to Monchique are a couple of decent restaurants clinging to the hillside with great views and the bonus of it being a degree or two cooler during the day.
Cave Nil Vino

Martin Toal

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Algarve Golf
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2011, 05:20:54 AM »
So I had a nice holiday in the Algarve. Clubs packed and ready to go, but as I was filling the decent sized boot of the car with all the kids stuff, realised I had a space problem, so out came the Footjoys and a golf glove, and the clubs went back into the hall.

Stayed at Pine Cliffs, which was very lovely indeed.

Played the 9 holer there. It was OK, tricky enough on a few holes, and suitable for the sort of occasional golfer who doesn't really play much. Used a set of rental Top Flites with graphite shafts. Not planning to invest in a set of those anytime soon. 

Also played Vilamoura Old with a set of Callaway Diablo rentals, again with the de rigeur graphite shafts. Those were a bit better.

The course was pleasant enough and passed the basic test of whether I could remember all the holes afterwards. There were a few holes where the tree canopies intrude into the carry into greens, so accurate placement of tee shots was important. It was in decent conditions, and the greens were medium paced but fairly true. Played alone in a buggy and managed to get round in about 2 hrs.

Ally Mcintosh

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Re: Algarve Golf
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2011, 05:33:48 AM »
That's a shame you only found Pine Cliffs OK...

I thought it a wonderful little course:

http://www.sheratonalgarve.com/pt/Pine_Cliffs_Golf_PreviewPT

Niall C

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Re: Algarve Golf
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2011, 01:56:40 PM »
Not played Pine Cliffs but heard its great fun for what it is.

Villamoura Old I have played a few times and I have to say I really do like it. Probably my favourite course down that way.

Niall

Jordan Caron

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Re: Algarve Golf
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2011, 04:21:46 PM »
My favorites in the Algarve

San Lorenzo
Villamoura Old
Quinto Da Logo North & South
Monet Rei

Both Quinta Da Cima courses and Vila Sol are alright but I would play the 5 listed above over these. 

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