Where to Stay: Anantara Algarve Resort Vilamoura
If you are considering the Algarve for a golfing holiday and want to play as many different courses as possible, you should seriously look at the other five Vilamoura golf courses. They have one of the most impressive portfolios in Europe and one of the top courses in Algarve.
The clubhouse is superb and the food in the restaurant is very nice and good value. Victoria is one of the top golfing experiences in Portugal and one you cannot afford to miss. The Victoria Course is situated 5 minutes away from the Marina of Vilamoura, perfect for playing golf in the Algarve.
Victoria Clube de Golfe, to give the course its full title, opened for play in 2004 following a multi-million-pound investment. It was the fifth course to be added to the Vilamoura portfolio and designed by the great Arnold Palmer. A good indication of the quality of Victoria is the fact it successfully hosted the 2005 WGC World Cup, an event that saw victory for the Welsh team of Stephen Dodd and Bradley Dredge. Not only that but in 2007, the inaugural Portugal Masters tournament was contested on the Victoria course and has returned annually ever since. In 2016, it was a three-time major winner, Pádraig Harrington, who took the title.
The Victoria Golf Course, Vilamoura is head-and-shoulders above any of the other golf courses in Vilamoura and is the matriarch of the golf courses in Vilamoura. This 18 Hole Championship golf course is a European Tour favourite and has for many years been the host Venue for The Portugal Masters. This par-72 course plays to just over 7,200 yards from the back tees, with five tees to choose from golfers of all abilities can enjoy this great layout one of the Algarve's most popular golf courses.
You can be assured the course will be in great condition, whatever time of year you decide to play. The fairways and greens are very well maintained, with the latter often very fast, so be prepared when making putts. In fact, how you perform on the greens can make or break your round, as not only are they fast but they are large and undulating. Hit the wrong part of the green with your approach shot and you will be battling to save par, even if you land under regulation. The first green will give you a good idea of what to expect for the remainder of the round.
The rough on either side of the fairways can very tricky to escape from and is extremely thick in places, making accuracy off the tee a vital ingredient for a low score at Victoria. A good example of this is the 5th hole, which is a long par-5 and features a tee shot to a narrow fairway. Not only that but the right side of the fairway is protected by out of bounds, meaning you cannot afford to stray too far away from the centre.
Generally, the course is quite flat throughout but there are several water hazards and bunkers which make it tough. Water doesn’t come into play until the 7th hole, where you are required to hit a tee shot over a lake and on the 11th, water is present all the way along the left side. Coupled with bunkers to the right, the 11th is another hole that requires accuracy off the tee.
This course features in our ultimate guide to the best 9 holes of golf in Portugal.