Pinheiros Altos Golf Club
Situated just 7 kilometres from Faro in the Algarve, Pinheiros Altos Golf Club opened for play in 1992 and is a well-established course in this region of Portugal.
Originally designed by American Ronald Fream, Pinheiros Altos started life as an 18-hole golf course and stayed that way for many years. However, an additional set of nine holes was added in 2007 and this increased the total number of holes to 27, split into three sets of nine. The new set of nine holes was designed by the highly regarded Portugal golf architect George Santana da Silva but instead of becoming one of three sets of nine, they were incorporated into the original 18 holes, to create two totally new sets of nine holes.
The three contrasting sets of nine are called the Pine Course, Corks Course, and Olive Course. There is a choice of four tees on every hole, making Pinheiros Altos a good place to play golf for players of all abilities.
The Pine Course has been named in relation to the number of pine trees which are evident on and around the course. This course is home to five of the original front nine and four of the new holes which were opened in 2007. To help blend the new holes in with the original, over one thousand additional pine trees were planted and this helps to create a smooth flowing nine holes. The pick of the holes is the par-5 4th hole, which features water ahead of the green and leaves many players questioning whether they should attack or play safe and lay-up.
The Corks Course is the longest set of holes at Pinheiros Altos and considered by visitors to be the most demanding. This course is also a mix of old and new holes and you are guaranteed fantastic views of the Ludo valley and Goldra hills into the distance. However, do not let the views distract you from what is a testing round of golf and be prepared for a very demanding tee shot on the first hole. Several of the fairways on this course are tight, with trees in close proximity so accuracy off the tee is essential for a good round.
The only set of nine holes at Pinheiros Altos which have remained largely unchanged from the original 18-hole layout can be found on the Olives Course. This course is famous for the island green 8th hole, which has become the signature hole of Pinheiros Altos. So, be sure to include the Olive Course in your round, if you want to play this tremendous hole. There is plenty of wildlife around the course, especially on the Olives Course, so if you are a golf and nature lovers, you will thoroughly enjoy playing at Pinheiros Altos.
The 27 holes at Pinheiros Altos are always in good condition and the greens run fast and true. The facilities are also very nice and the clubhouse has a restaurant and bar, serving drinks and European cuisine.
For a cracking golf course in Portugal, with nature and lovely views, you cannot fault Pinheiros Altos Golf Club.