Where to Stay: Dom Pedro Marina
The Old Course Vilamoura was the very first golf course in Vilamoura and opened for play in 1969, designed by the acclaimed golf course designer Frank Pennink. A popular golf course with traveling golfers to Vilamoura and the Algarve this Championship golf course has received acclaim for its quality, condition, and playability and features frequently amongst numerous Top 100 golf course listings. In 1997 the Old Course Vilamoura received an upgrade with an improved irrigation system, a new golf clubhouse, and putting green.
The course itself is superbly maintained, the gently sloping fairways are always in great condition and come lined with pine trees throughout. The course can be challenging and straight driving is crucial to success, as anything left and right will be among the aforementioned trees.
The Old Course Vilamoura is quite rare in the fact it’s a par-73 and plays to 6879 yards. The first four holes have the ability to lull players into a false sense of security. Yes, a wayward drive will result in a difficult second shot but accurate tee shots will result in a fairly straightforward start to the round. However, moving into the rest of the front nine and 100% concentration is required, with shot placement and club selection paramount.
In addition to the trees, water and bunkers also play their part on the Old Course, and the latter is a strong feature on the 12th, where they are deep and well placed. The greens around the course are small and can be difficult to hit but once the putter comes out, they are fast and true, exactly what the majority of players are looking for in a good green.
In addition to the fantastic golf course, the clubhouse is modern in design and the staff is always welcoming and helpful. There are also practice facilities, with a driving range and putting green plus a good restaurant, which can provide the perfect end, to a memorable day of golf.
In fact, if there was one word, to sum up, the Old Course Vilamoura, it’s ‘memorable’. So many of the holes live long in the memory, due to the way they play and how they look. The mix of long and short holes is good and even having played numerous rounds, golfers still debate where the best place to be on the fairway of each hole, actually is.
The Old Course Vilamoura, along with the other four Oceanico golf courses were acquired in 2016 by the Dom Pedro Group.