Although the course plays to a championship standard, amateur golfers should not be deterred from playing the South Course because it is a brilliant course and very enjoyable. As an amateur, be prepared for holes 8, 10, 15, and 18, which are the most testing on the course. However, several other holes on the course present good birdie opportunities, with three of the first five holes giving players of all abilities the chance to score low and build a good round.
As you work your way around the front nine, you will notice the shots favour a draw whereas on the back nine they favour a fade from the tee. The front nine features many fairways that twist and turn on their way to the green, with the par-5 5th hole being a good example. The 3rd hole is also a good test, with an approach shot over water. The back nine are generally considered a little more challenging than the front, with more undulating fairways and greens, and the holes work their way around a lake, which comes into play on some of the holes.
If you can hit the ball long, this is advantageous on the South Course, but accuracy is also required off the tee, to give yourself the best angle for attacking the green. You may hit the ball long and straight, but this is not always enough on this course, and it pays to know the location of the pin before playing shots. Some of the semi-rough around the greens can be difficult to chip from such a good club selection, and approach play must avoid facing a tricky chip onto the green.
The South Course is currently closed due to design and maintenance improvements. It is expected to re-open on 1st September 2021.
Anyone who has played the South Course will tell you it’s some of the best golf in Portugal, with the additional new improvements being made, you will be thinking about booking your next tee time before you have reached the 18th green.