Golfing in Portugal
The southernmost province of Portugal, the Algarve, is at a distance of just a couple of hours’ flight from most European cities. It has been well known for its lush golf courses for almost thirty years now. Its beautiful scenery and fantastic coastline make it a great vacation spot. In the Algarve, there are mild winters and at the time when northern European courses would be unplayable due to extreme cold, golfers from that part of the world can have the benefit of warm, pleasant winters and enjoy their golfing in Portugal.
The Algarve was first considered as an optimum place to golf by Henry Cotton. He planned the first proper grass golf course at Penina in the mid-sixties. The topography of southern Portugal differs from the steep geography of Parque de Floresta to the almost sea-level plains of Vilamour III and Salgados which shares link holes with Palmares. All the golf courses in the Algarve are about 15 kms from the coast. There are state-funded water dams and other methods of water distribution, and also personal holes bored into the ground to reach the underground water reservoirs to irrigate the dry Algarve land. Thus the parched Algarve gives way to luxuriant oases at the golf courses.
Therefore at many of the courses, the holes are made difficult by water problems. On the whole, the pleasant climate, beautiful views, cordial people, good restaurants and awesome golf courses make the Algarve a great place for going golfing in Portugal and in general, you will find that the Algarve, with its mild climate, reasonably priced restaurants, breathtaking scenery, friendly people and excellent golf courses, make it a memorable holiday. Palmares is the creative child of Frank Pennink, one of the most fam ous designers of golf courses in Portugal. Palmares is close to the historic town of Lagos, and it is a place of great beauty.
It is a very well-maintained course and uses two different types of landscape and its reputation is a Par 71. There is a combination of links and inland golf, where the course runs through the beach of Meia Praia and pine-lined valleys. The golf course of Parque da Floresta was developed by Pepe Gancedo. He was one of the most renowned of Spanish architects and he believed that a golf course should be built by making very few changes to the natural geography of the land. The Parque da Floresta is at the centre of a resort and olive, pine and palm trees are planted along the golf course. It also has holes which run through very different regions such as ravines covered with eucalyptus trees and valleys. The course runs over hills behind Salema, which is a fishing village, and it is near Lagos and the Costa Vicentina Nature Reserve. Golfing in Portugal offers beautiful scenery and temperate mild climates during the winter months.