On the west side of the Iberian Peninsula, two giants of the game have added their own touch and expertise to the growing number of top golf courses in the area. The late Sir Henry Cotton and the man who took over from him as Britain's best player, Sir Nick Faldo, have designed championship layouts in the Algarve that will challenge all levels, from high-handicappers to scratch players.
If you are thinking of booking your next “good walk spoiled” in Portugal you should choose wisely. There are a lot of courses available: Quinta, Penina, Pestana, Oceanico group and many others. Here are three 18 hole layouts that we've selected (based on ratings and feedback) that you'll want to consider:
After decades of dominating the great golf courses in England, Penina is where the "grandfather" of the game in Britain, Sir Henry Cotton, chose to make his home in the sun. Cotton was the first to see the bright future of hotels with golf courses in the Algarve. The championship layout, designed by Sir Henry himself, holds iconic status in the history of the great game in Portugal:
Not to be outdone by his mentor, Sir Nick Faldo designed his own golf course in Portugal. The Faldo designed parkland demands a style of precision play that the six-time major winner was famous for. However, even if you do stray further from the middle of the fairway, you'll get to enjoy some of the most breathtaking views in the Algarve.
Many golf course reviews have declared Faldo's design as one of the best among the many Vilamoura golf courses. All year round you can find deals and discount rates when booking at the Faldo's designed Oceanico.
But don't be put off if your game is not yet at the level of the two greatest players Britain has ever produced. There are other courses that will provide opportunities for the recreational golfer.
Measuring 5251m from the amateur tees and a par of 71, Boavista provides a gentle introduction the game in the Vilamoura area. Also, Boavista gives fans a chance to emulate Arnold Palmer, Seve Ballesteros and Jack Nicklaus. Those of you who have seen the greats of the game standing on the famous Swilken Bridge at St Andrews waving to the crowds will be delighted to find a reproduction of the famous bridge on Boavista's 18th hole. Imagine yourself at St Andrews and make sure your playing partners get some pictures of it.
Whether you are an ambitious young amateur with dreams of winning more major championships than Sir Henry and Sir Nick, or you like to play for pure enjoyment on cheap golf courses with your friends at some of Europe's finest natural settings, you will find what you need on the links of Portugal. Take advantage of the multitude of golf course offers in Portugal and get the chance to walk down the path laid by Britain's greats. Enjoy the sun and touch sporting history history all at affordable prices. What more could you ask for?