Great golf courses in the Algarve include:
Pine Cliffs Golf Course has 9 holes and is a very well maintained course. It is located virtually on the cliff top near Albufeira and is managed by the new Pine Cliffs Hotel, a Luxury Collection Resort. The challenging prize of the course is its ninth hole played from the tee over a ravine with beautiful views down onto the sandy beach. This hole has been given the local nickname of the 'Devils Parlour'. This small and beautiful course is also set among the pine trees and presents a a very pleasant and charming round of golf.
Pinhal Golf Course is situated in Vilamoura as a sister to the other four golf courses. It is laid out through the pine tree forest and is set back from the tourist beach area. The outward nine holes wander through the holiday villas that line the fairways. The well positioned bunkers make the course very enjoyable for the players, testing their choice of clubs and their accuracy. The Par 4 on the fourth hole is difficult to achieve with water waiting for the erring shot. The Par 3 on the eighth of 149 metres is also trickier than it first appears. The back nine-holes have a more open feel but the slightly altered fifteenth will cause a problem to meet the Par 4 it requires.
The 27 hole Pinheiros Altos Golf Course is situated in Quinta do Lago Resort. The fairways of the 27 holes run through the pine tree forest or over generous and attractive open spaces. Located within the well-known luxury Quinta do Lago this course has gained a solid reputation for providing enjoyment of the game. Within the golfing world it is known as providing a mental challenge due to well placed hazards.
There are three independent circuits of nine holes and they are named the Pinheiros (Pines), Sobreiros (Corks), the Oliveiras (Olives), the Pinheiros (Pines), respectively. They all start and end at the Club House.
Quinta do Lago North
The Quinta do Lago North Golf Course is located within the luxury estate of Quinta do Lago. The course has four great par 5 holes requiring power and accuracy to play them successfully and at the same time providing attractive views. The par 3 holes are well influenced by the wind. Hole 14 is outstanding. The par 4s are all doglegs except for holes 10 and 13. Precision driving is vital to set up the chance of a low score. The lakes on holes 13 and 18 have claimed many unhappy victims. The course tends to favour the golfer who can draw the ball.
Quinta do Lago South
The 18 hole championship Quinta do Lago South Golf Course located within the luxury estate of Quinta do Lago and was redesigned in 2014. The original course was used several times for the Portuguese Open. The course favours the long hitter, but requires the player to pick a particular route to score well. Although both anti-clockwise loops, the first nine suggests a draw, whilst the second favours a fade from the tee.
Holes 3, 15 and 17, feature lakes that must be negotiated. Holes 8, 10, 15 and 18, are the most testing for the scratch player while Holes 2,3,5,12, 13 and 17, offer the best possibilities of birdies. An enjoyable game experience for players of all standards.
The 18 hole Salgados Golf Course set on the flat lands behind the sandy beach of Praia de Gale. The environmental nature of the course is to associate it with a typical Links Course but with the added asset of the sun. It is very open to the elements with little vegetation and lots of water hazards. It requires a technically skilled player to achieve a good result from a round which can often be influenced by the prevailing onshore breeze.
San Lorenzo Golf Course in located in the Quinta do Lago Resort and enjoys a reputation for the excellent condition of its fairways and its attractive views around a lake formed by the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve. It was many years ago ranked as the second best course to play in Europe.
The outward first five holes are through the pine tree forest. Water and good hole layouts provides the hazards that play a big part in players having to select the right club and hit with care. The eighteenth is a tricky Par-4 mainly involving a lake that is just waiting for the inaccurate shot.
The Old Course, Vilamoura
The Old Course is located in the Vilamoura area and is the second oldest golf course in the Algarve. Set in an umbrella pinewood and laid out in an interesting way to take advantage of the natural contours. It is from the English school of Course design. The first holes are easy and inviting with reachable par 4s. The par 3 on the attractive fourth is a Hole in One potential. Selection of club from here will play an important part of your game, and straight shots will be needed. The ninth is an excellent example of this situation. The back nine has three interesting par 5s. The sixteenth hole provides a 522 metre challenge for a shot of good length and hitting straight.
Dom Pedro Victoria
The important championship Victoria Golf Course situated in the holiday resort of Vilamoura. It is laid out over virtually flat terrain covering some 90 hectares it includes a series of constructed mounds specially landscaped to emulate the outline of inland hills on the horizon. This is a feature that enriches the course with a sense of movement and harmony. The series of beautiful lakes and waterfalls also helps to provide an attractive background whilst playing the course. The Victoria Course is used every year for the Portugal Master which is an event on the European Tour.
The 27 hole Vila Sol Golf Course is located next door to the Vilamoura Holiday Resort area. The architects of this course have carefully maintained the original topographical nature of this undulating terrain. Changes when necessary have been kept to a minimum to preserve the natural state of the countryside. The course is divided into three circuits of nine holes, Prime, Challenge, and Prestige.
The outward nine-holes are testing for a golfer starting with a Par 4 of 381 metres. Next an even longer Par 4 hole, then another Par 4 of 385 metres. To follow the sixth and eighth holes, both Par 5s, are awaiting the player with each a little under 500 metres. The back nine has two Par-3 holes that are attractively designed. The Par 5 on the fourteenth is particularly difficult to achieve with a tricky green awaiting the player.