This is definitely a very good course to play which is well worth playing if in the area.The course has a great variety of holes on it. The front nine leads to a fantastic run of holes on the lagoon which really do require testing shots to keep out of the water. Knowing your carry lengths for mid irons is really important to score around here. Water comes into play a lot, as well as carries over deep and punishing bunkers.While the back 9 is less dramatic than the front the holes have a good range of challenges and are a pleasure to play. It would be fair to say though that maybe the front 9 spoils you a little as the quality decreases from the 10th. The 18th is a strong finishing hole though which requires a carry over water for a tee shot before being faced with another carry over water for the approach to the green. It's a classic risk and reward hole - the further up to the hole you go the shorter the club you will have in - play safe off the tee an face a daunting carry for the approach.A few points regarding the set-up in the club. The greens were tined and top-dressed when we played but they did it in a really intelligent way. They were effectively split in half, top-to-bottom and one half was dressed and the other running as usual, the pins all on the 'good' half - great idea.Two watch-outs. The insects were out by the lagoon for our afternoon round and they were biting ferociously, some repellent would have been a good idea. Also, they are hell-bent on monetising their visitors to the max and may have gone a little too far in my opinion. Green fees are steep at 170 Euros but you know about that before turning up so fair play. However, a sleeve of three Pro V1s came in at 22 Euros! Water was in small bottles at 4 or 5 Euros a go, at Vilamoura Old we had 2L bottles for less!Anyway, the golf was really good. OK, it's not in your top, top drawer of European courses - it's too 'resort' in setup for that - but it's great fun to play. Just watch out you don't get stung by the mossies or the pro shop!
Date: May 21, 2014