NAU Hotels operates three golf courses in the Algarve region. Morgado and Alamos are situated in the foothills of Monchique, close to Portimão, and the third 18-hole layout at Salgados lies within a coastal Nature Reserve near Albuferia, where the palm-fringed fairways are set out around a large number of testing water hazards.
It’s a twitcher’s paradise along this stretch of the Portuguese shoreline, with all sorts of exotic birds lurking within the ponds, lakes and streams that threaten at most of the holes on this course. Factor in the fresh sea breezes that often blow in from the Atlantic and it can be quite a challenge to finish with the same golf ball that you set out with on the first tee.
The course has been described as “almost flatter than Florida: suited to straight hitters which will cost off-game players many balls as the water appears to be everywhere” and it’s hard not to disagree with that statement because keeping the ball dry and in play is essential in order to score well at Salgados.Highlight holes include the narrow par three 3rd, where the fairway is flanked by water on both sides, and the par five 5th, which doglegs right to a green featuring a pronounced back to front slant. On the inward half, the 15th and 18th are both rather intimidating, with very precise shot placements required to avoid trouble of the tee.
This course is fun! Played on a windy day which meant that on some holes we had to aim out towards the water to find the fairway!
I've found few courses in the Algarve are in good condition in October, this was a pleasing exception. The greens were true.
Great value too when compared to the Vilamoura courses.
Played salgados last weekend as last course on a three course trip. Hard to compare to VdL royal and pineheiros altos, but was still enjoyable. Clubhouse is good. Greens were very good. Course is not long at all and with water everywhere you have to plot your way round. We managed a 3.5 hour round for a fourball in the algarve is very good. We used buggies but this is one course you can easily walk. One bad hole is the long par 5 15th which was nearly 600 yards into a stiff breeze. Overall value for money is very good. Would certainly recommend to play once but wouldn't rush back to play again.
Salgados was a bit of a surprise because, having looked at the layout before playing, I didn’t quite fancy the thought of making my way round a very flat landscape with lots of penal water in play. True, the terrain is flat but the holes were nicely routed, the tees and palm-fringed fairways (many of them doglegged) were in pristine condition and the greens were beautifully bunkered, with lots of interesting contouring to add interest to the round.
Don’t be fooled by the scorecard announcing a standard scratch score of three shots less than the par of 72 from the regular gents tees because Salgados is nowhere near that easy a course, especially if there’s a 30mph wind blowing like the one that buffeted me the other day when I was here. It’s a track worth playing, even just to see how long you can keep your original ball in play – I freely admit that mine didn’t last very long, reaching an aquatic place of rest after just two holes at the par five 2nd!
I also noticed 35 of the 41 members on the handicap list in the gents locker room were classified as senior or “super senior” so that might lead you to think the course is best suited to golfers of a certain vintage – those who might like to play their golf riding a buggy with no strenuous gradients to negotiate. Well, if that’s the case, there must surely be easier courses to play in the area where you’ll not have the major threat of water to contend with at just about every hole.