Monte Rei (North) - Algarve - Portugal

Monte Rei Golf & Country Club,
Sitio do Pocinho,
Sesmarias,
8901-907,
Vila Nova De Cacela,
Portugal


  • +351 (0) 281 952 521


Monte Rei Golf Club was originally nominated by Steve for inclusion on the Top 100 website as a gem and was added to the site on 19th September 2007. These are Steve’s original comments: “Not sure if you’d like to include Monte Rei Golf Club within the Portuguese section of the site as it is a fantastic new course, only open six weeks when I played it in late Aug 2007. Incidentally, this is a Jack Nicklaus signature course and he has done a superb job.” Since Steve’s original nomination, Monte Rei has risen meteorically in the golf course rankings.

The Algarve has remained popular with visiting golfers for many years providing an array of golf courses to suit all tastes and abilities. Some of the courses, like anywhere, are better than others in terms of conditioning, degree of difficulty and their ability to create a desire to return after the first visit. At Monte Rei Golf Club things are very different.

The club is located away from the concentration of courses that are abundant around the Albufeira area – Monte Rei is set in the hills northeast of Tavira towards the Spanish border and the mountain setting is very special, which is evident on arrival where stunning views greet you, providing a taster as to what to expect during the round ahead.

This is one of only a few Jack Nicklaus ‘Signature’ courses in Europe and the first to reach Portugal. The layout provides an unforgettable experience and we can safely say that this is a quality golf course, which deserves its high rating in the Portuguese and Continental European rankings.

The course features an abundance of water hazards and some of the very best bunkering we’ve seen for some time. Additionally there are no weak holes and the opener is a par four played from an elevated tee to a fairway that doglegs to the right. Huge bunkers must be avoided both off the tee and at the green to ensure a strong start to your round. There are too many great holes to list here but our favourites come into play at a special corner of the course.

The 13th is a downhill par four with bunkers at the drive landing point and a lakeside green that undulates wickedly. Even though the approach to the green is likely to be less than 100 yards, a par is a great achievement. The 14th is probably the prettiest hole at Monte Rei – a medium length par three where the tee shot must carry a lake to find the green and anything pulled left will find a watery grave. The 18th is a cracking finishing hole, a par five that is in reach for the biggest of hitters but watch out for the lake that is in play for everyone’s second and third shots.

As well as having a highly respected golf course, Monte Rei pay attention to detail. The level of service in and around the sumptuous clubhouse is world-class, so expect to be treated well. Four more luxury courses are planned for the area in the coming years, which will be designed by Tom Weiskopf and Kyle Phillips. Construction on the second Jack Nicklaus Signature layout began in the summer of 2019.

The Golden Bear commented as follows: “The South course will have many similar features to the North: great trees, wonderful topography, beautiful vistas, and has the potential to be another sensational course. Our mission will be to maximise the existing terrain and natural features, so we can create an experience that has its own distinct personality, with the same commitment to excellence that golfers expect when they visit Monte Rei.”

These exciting developments will ensure that Monte Rei goes from strength to strength, cementing this relatively unknown golfing area on the map.

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Reviews for Monte Rei (North)

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Description: Set in the picturesque foothills of the Eastern Algarve, with sweeping views of the Serra do Caldeirão mountains to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. Rating: 9.1 out of 10 Reviews: 46
TaylorMade
Gary F
Played end Septemeber 2008. Initial impressions very good & as expected, a Rolls Royce level of service @ guest reception/clubhouse. 20 members in our party give a mixed bag of comments, but without exception courses condition rated second to none, with very fast but receptive greens and bunker edges hand clipped by scissors!! (I kid you not). The negative comments came from myself & others who have played other Nicklaus courses. i.e. a major feeling of Déjà vu. i.e. Huge buggy drives to yet another raised tee box, to yet another fully laid out in front of you wide fairway. Take away the scrubby hill landscape (I thought this very attractive & almost desert-like) and you could be playing any Nicklaus course. Also, every green is raised at the front, sides back, meaning if the bunkers are missed then you can expect to playing lob shots all day from tight lies; no chip & runs or other shot making imagination required. This is undoubtedly Stadium golf at close to its best, just don't expect anything different to what experienced elsewhere with regards this type of golf course.
September 29, 2008
8 / 10
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Pie Eater
Very good but not great. Super bunkering, good greens, several very interesting holes - the downhill par four thirteenth is terrific. And yes, the service is over the top good, typical of a Troon property. But a virtually impossible walk because of the long gaps between holes, too many water hazards (typical boring water-filled par five home hole) and a slight feeling of saminess in places. And as the houses on the hilltops get built in the experience will deteriorate. Play it now while it's at its best.
September 17, 2008
8 / 10
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D
September 23, 2008
"Virtually impossible walk"? Why would you be walking, the green fee includes a buggy? And to find the final hole boring is a shame. I had a great score on the go, and was left with a risk / reward option of going for it in two. I did, and made it, so I'll never forget it. But yes, it's a shame the houses are to come along and spoil this place.
Ady
December 06, 2009
I agree the comments about 18 are odd. It's a classic risk/reward closing hole where good scores can be consolidated by brave players or ruined by the unsure. The fact I eagled it the first time I played it does add a touch of bias, though! I also find the long walk comment strange, given a buggy is included in the fee and, to my knowledge, you cannot play without one anyway.
Darren
Stunning! As simple as that. A world class resort where you are treated like a king from start to finish. Buggies are included in the price of a green fee, and the whole day was a real treat. I certainly came away thinking my Euro's had been well spent. Holes 13, 14 and 15 are the highlight.
May 08, 2008
10 / 10
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Antony Read
September 13, 2008
When you arrive the outstanding clubhouse, the service is first class you are treated like you are the only golfer in the world. Then there is the course, flawless running through valleys with scenery to die for. Every hole takes your breath away not one is the same. Bunkers are a pleasure to be in. This a must course, play it and you won’t stop talking about it.
Sam
Without doubt the best golf course I have ever played in the world! I am a member at Woburn Golf Club and have been lucky enough to play many of the courses in the list of Top 100 both in the world and of Britain but this course is in a different league! It is perfectly manicured course, there is not one thing out of place and with a selection of about 5 tees to play from will cater players of any ability. If ever in portugal this is a course you have to play without a doubt.
February 02, 2008
10 / 10
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Lee Abbey
In a word stunning. Everything about the setup and service here is absolutely faultless. The course is immaculate, the design and layout are brilliant. Whilst the design does look like a Jack Nicklaus (thos bunkers!) it manages to fit in naturally with it's surroundings. The only thing is the lack of people playing here. I don;t know if it's early days or the expense but it does feel a little like a ghost town here. There are plans for more courses here and lots of expensive houses. It deserves to succeed.
January 05, 2008
10 / 10
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Andy
Earlier this year I played and posted a review for the Cornelia course in Turkey and thought it was the best new European course for a while. Well after my round at Monte Rei, the Cornelia has to make way. The first course at Monte Rei is spectacular and is 18 holes of pure joy, mix this with high class standards that I have rarely come across before and this experience will stay with you for a long time. The service includes, clubs taken from the car to the buggy, an ice box on the buggy with drinks, much needed cold towels after nine holes, clubs cleaned after the round and then returned to the car. As for the course, this is one of Jack Nicklaus’s best – beautifully carved holes, with severe bunkers, and lots of water. There is a wow factor when arriving on each tee and a need to shape your shots to avoid the hazards, whether they are wet or sandy. Not easy to play to handicap but you certainly will not tire of trying. I have no doubt that this is set to become the premier golf venue on the Algarve, already taking the holiday golf feeling to a level that up to now did not exist here.
October 16, 2007
10 / 10
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