Review for Monte Rei (North)

Reviewer Score:


We played Monte Rei as the last round of a golf trip to the Algarve but unfortunately we saw it at far from its best. The course had just been closed for a week and the greens tined, the fairways tined, the tee boxes tined. In San Lorenzo they did it brilliantly - half of each greens at a time so the pin was always clear. At Monte Rei the greens were covered in sand and running pretty averagely. While I recognise they need to work on the course to keep the standards high it would have been nice if we had known in advance. Or had a discount on the highest green fee in Portugal (we paid 190 Euros a man). The work they had done on the fairway and tee boxes was probably more annoying than what they had done to the greens. Basically, there were holes everywhere and they had obviously been growing up the grass in preparation. That meant there wasn't much run on the ball and the course played very differently from the way it normally would. However, I recognise that most people will play it when the course isn't being patched up and the condition is great - hence the 5 balls.Without a doubt this is a challenging course. If you hit it off the fairway your chances of finding the ball are relatively low. It's not normal rough you are looking in but knee deep scrubby vegetation which just eats balls. They have a local rule which says if you go in you can treat it as red staked and drop out. That felt a bit weird to be honest but they probably need to do it for pace of play reasons. The course has an unusual set-up of five par 5s and five par 3s in the par 72 and I think they could have put a bit more variety into them. Generally, the par 5s are long (over 500 yards) and the par 3s mid to long irons. It would have been nice to have seen a few reachable 5s and shorter 3s in there to mix it up a bit.The service was great in the restaurant, pro shop and range. They really looked after you and I would say it was a good as anything I had seen - think Troon Golf style on a more personal level.So is good. It's long, it's tight and it's tough. Was it the most pleasurable 4 hours I've ever spent on a golf course? Probably not because I'm a 14 handicapper having a poor round and the condition was so disappointing. If you are a single figure golfer who wants a good challenge then probably the long holes and the green fee are worth it. But do check they haven't tined the whole thing to within an inch of its life first.......

Date: May 21, 2014

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