Monte Rei more than deserves its spot as the top golf course in Portugal!
Upon arrival, you are greeted as a member for the day. An employee will take care of your car and make sure your clubs are placed on your buggy. After enjoying the clubhouse a little bit, you can go out to the practice facility, which is the best in Portugal! I would have arrived 3 hours prior to my tee time had I know how good it was...
The course is well laid out, giving you options off the tee. It gives you opportunities to be aggressive, yet asks you to think before simply bombing it out there. The greens are world class. The bunkering is very good. My favorite hole was the par 4 3rd, with its dramatic drop from the tee box to the green situated on a small peninsula with 3 bunkers guarding it. One of the best holes I've played. After that, the back nine takes over. The 12th, 14th and 18th are the best holes on the second half of the course. The 18th makes for a great risk/reward finish. I managed to eagle the finishing hole which made for a very enjoyable 19th hole!
What really makes the layout great, in my mind, are the strategically placed bailout areas. While the course is difficult and places a premium on second shots, a thinking golfer will find where those areas are and plan his strategy accordingly. If one goes out there and aims for the flag all day long, he will be in for a long day. But by thinking your way around the course, good scoring awaits!
While Monte Rei is on the expensive side of the spectrum, it should be atop any list for someone travelling to Portugal!
Date: November 05, 2016