Portugal is popular with golfers from across Europe as it offers some of the best golf in Europe. For golf breaks the Algarve is still the no1. choice and has over 40 top quality golf courses. This guide walks you through the best golf courses in Vilamoura, that any golfer can play during a stay in the wonderful destination.
Within the Algarve, there are numerous top destinations for travellers. Without a shadow of a doubt for golfers, Vilamoura is still the most popular. There are multiple reasons why this is the case. The main two reasons have to be. First, the famous Vilamoura Marina offers 70+ bars, restaurants, nightclubs and Casino. The other main reason is the six top quality golf courses available.
In no particular order and from our 60+ years of experience here is our summary to help you decide.
An Expert Guide to Vilamoura Golf Courses
The Dom Pedro Victoria golf course is a Par 72 7,273 yards from the Palmer tees. The host of the Portugal Masters every year since 2007, after hosting the World Cup Championship in 2005. Look out for the next event, which will be in the Spring, 29 April – 02 May 2021.
The Victoria course was originally the brainchild of the great man himself. At the time of its opening, Arnold Palmer was billed to be one of the most ambitious golf design projects in Portugal. With Palmer Design's prestige, it would always have a great billing to live up to.
Since its opening, it has lived up to that billing. It is one of the most comprehensive golf courses in the Algarve with a large 2,500 square meters of putting green. A fully stocked and equipped pro-shop, driving range, restaurant, and bar all housed within the impressive clubhouse with outstanding views across the golf course.
Spread across some 90 hectares, the golf course was reclaimed from an extensive wetland area. It made the most of the surrounding natural environment. The great man himself, Arnold Palmer designed the golf course to be a challenging course and one of the best in Continental Europe. The course has an abundance of Carob, Olive and Almond trees all placed to compliment the course's beauty.
On such an extensive wetland area, it will come as no surprise that huge lakes take up most of the course. Every one strategically placed to ensure that golfers are tested throughout their round at every corner, each also acting as an essential irrigation system. Although the course may seem long from the Palmer Tees to the layman, there are four sets of tees making the golf course playable to golfers of all abilities to experience and enjoy.
In our opinion one of the best courses in Portugal and a must-play the next time you are in the Algarve for your Vilamoura Golf Holiday.
Dom Pedro Old course was the very first courses and opened its doors in 1969, and put Vilamoura Golf Holidays on the map, originally designed by Frank Pennink it also received an improvement, re-design, and upgrade by none other than Martin Hawtree, shortly followed by a new clubhouse, putting green and practice facilities a few years later.
The golf course is one of the tightest tests on the Algarve. Each of its pristine fairways meandering their way through a refreshing umbrella pinewood and lined by Pine trees. This par 73 course measures 6,879 yards from its back tees to the very last undulating 18th green centre. The Old Course is one of the most popular with travelling golfers and certainly a firm favourite with outstanding views across the course. Be aware of the par 3's which leave no margin of error for errant tee shots. More than a test for golfers of all abilities and an impressive welcome clubhouse for that well-earned 19th Hole refreshment.
Of all of the six Golf Courses in Vilamoura, my first round and still my personal favourite is The Old Course. I always get frustrated when I don't play the course as well as I did last time. We are lucky to have the opportunity to play many courses. Still, my No.1 in Vilamoura and probably always will be.Karl Humphrey, Business Development Manager
The Vila Sol Golf Course is located on the outskirts of Vilamoura and is spread across the Vila Sol Estate and is spread out just over a 75-acres. Originally and 18 Hole course designed by none other than the famous golfing architect Donald Steel. The original course opened its doors in 1991 with Steel then adding the additional nine-hole loop in 2000. The golf course is a real Championship Course that hosted the Portuguese Open in both 1992 and 1993.
The 18 Holes making up the Vila Sol Championship course is located at the heart of the resort and makes the most of the natural environment and is surrounded by pine, fig almond and pine trees, with the odd lake or three with a collection of streams acting as well placed testing hazards. This par 72 challenge is both testing and yet pleasurable set in peaceful surroundings.
The third nine holes, however, are not so challenging. The Vila Sol Academy course is designed for those golfers who wish to play a little more quickly. It is a shorter nine holes, yet still testing its ways giving each golfer that plays a more than enjoyable round.
The Vila Sol golf course also offers a driving range, practice areas including chipping and bunkering, and of course a welcoming clubhouse too.
The turn of the century and entry into the next was the onus for building and opening the next in line for great Vilamoura Golf Courses. The par 72 Millenium Course originated as the back nine of the 27-holes that were the Laguna Course. Course architects Hawtree & Sons were giving the envious job of this re-deign and opening all in turn for the turn of the century. The par 72 Championship Golf Course opened its doors in 2000.
The Millennium Golf Course is a combination of following on and making use of the original nine holes. Hence, the new course has water hazards in Lakes and designers added even more trees and bunkers to maximize the natural terrain and create a golf test that also met with the too high standards already set by the other previous courses.
There are numerous challenges offered here with an invitation to aggressive approach play on holes 4,17 and 18. These are the more open and best options to do so. The golf course itself still has the forested areas more akin to the Old Course making the Millennium a stern test for those willing to take test their luck, precision and accuracy is critical here for those looking for the best possible looking scorecard.
The Laguna Course originated from the 27 holes that made up the Vilamoura III golf course. It is the original 18 holes of the re-known course, popular amongst travelling golfers for its water use across the course with numerous reservoirs. Many golfers' opinion is that this is the easiest of the six courses as it is laid out in a more lowland area with little or few trees to spoil the views. With so much water across the course, it is a home for many aquatic animals and a plethora of birds and wildlife and sits alongside Lusotour Nature park.
The golf course's re-design was given to the American golf architect Joseph Lee, using the natural terrain and habitat on offer. The careful and intelligent tweaking of the landscape created a great test of golf. And re-opened the course in 1990. The Laguna Course also shares the original golf clubhouse with the Millennium golf course.
The Pinhal Course again one of the original golf courses in Vilamoura is another excellent design by famous golf architect Frank Pennink. Sitting adjacent to the Old course the Pinhal course also cuts its way through the rolling parkland of forested areas of pine trees yet still has unspoiled panoramic views out to the sea.
In 1985 the golf course received a re-design and overhaul by the famous North American course architect Robert Trent Jones. Jones extended many of the existing holes and added additional challenges. The result was a front nine that meander through the umbrella pines with the back nine more picturesque with a more gentle upward return with picturesque views to boot.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this blog, and we are more than confident that some of these courses will take your fancy for your next golf escape to Golf in Vilamoura. Our team of experts are on hand to help you plan your next golf holiday in Vilamoura.