Monte Rei (North) - Algarve - Portugal

Monte Rei Golf & Country Club,
Sitio do Pocinho,
Vila Nova De Cacela,

  • +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 was due to begin in the summer of 2019, but one-year later ground had yet to be broken.

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.”

Once completed, 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 out of 10 Reviews: 51
Andy Newmarch
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 15, 2007
10 / 10
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