Vale do Lobo (Royal) - Algarve - Portugal

Vale do Lobo,
8135-864 Vale do Lobo,
Algarve,
Portugal


  • +351 289 353 535

  • Hernani Estevao

  • Henry Cotton and Rocky Roquemore

  • António Sobrinho


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Vale do Lobo (Royal)

Vale do Lobo is the Algarve’s most senior golf resort, founded in 1962 and it is currently the largest luxury resort in Portugal. Much has happened at the Vale since Sir Henry Cotton laid out the fist course at Vale do Lobo in the early 60s. Cotton’s original layout has been split in half to form two new courses, the Royal and the Ocean and many houses have sprung up around the course, creating some rather long walks between greens and tees.

The Royal course is widely regarded as the better of Vale do Lobo’s two layouts. American architect Rocky Roquemore laid out the nine new holes in the late 90s, which are routed over gently undulating ground further inland. Thirteen holes from the Royal course are combined with five holes from the Ocean course to form the composite layout, which was used to stage the Portuguese Open in 2003. It will therefore come as no surprise that the Royal course is a supremely challenging test of golf.

Undoubtedly the star of the Royal course is the par three 16th. This cliff top signature hole measures 224 yards from the back tees. This is probably the most photographed hole in Portuguese golf and the view from the back tee which is perched on the edge of the cliff is one of our all-time favourites. This is a stunning hole without a shadow of doubt and it makes the pricey green fee worthwhile.

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Reviews for Vale do Lobo (Royal)

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Description: Vale do Lobo is the Algarve’s most senior golf resort, founded in 1962 and it is currently the largest luxury resort in Portugal. Rating: 3.9 out of 6 Reviews: 17

Want to play here again in different conditions as it was a very rainy period when we played and the course was playing a bit wet, which made if feel much longer than it was (but this might have also been due to not playing good golf shots in general and trying to steer the ball which just lead to more trouble). Was lined by houses which you really felt came into play and maybe were too close if you strayed a bit off line. I think the course is a bit tougher than Quinta do Lago (South). Somewhere between Good and Very Good for me...

5 / 6
Vale do Lobo (Royal)
March 16, 2018


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Conditioning of this course was fantastic, the greens were great and quick too. I enjoyed the course itself, but can be frustrating playing par 5s that require only a 2iron and a GW (the 1st). Easily the better of the two Vale Do Lobo courses but not walkable - there are some big walks between some of the holes.

Personally didnt think the 16th was as amazing as everyone makes out, definitely better holes on the course.

4 / 6
Vale do Lobo (Royal)
June 12, 2017


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Played VdL royal last week as first course of a three course trip. Clubhouse is great, with great facilities. Course is fairly tight especially on first few holes but is quite short. Greens were very good as expected. Buggies are essential. Round was very long as we had slow fourball in front. 16th is great hole with great views. But is very hard into the strong breeze. Playing well over 200 yards into 4 club wind. Would certainly play there again as overall experience is great. Royal I would say is slightly better than ocean which I played a few years ago, but would say San Lorenzo and old course are better.

5 / 6
Vale do Lobo (Royal)
May 13, 2017


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I like both the Ocean and the Royal and would personally just tip my favourite as the Royal. I think this is a point for a lot of discussion however as the two guys I played with preferred the Ocean. I really enjoyed 6,7,8 and 9 and on the back nine there is of course 16 which is a magic hole. The reason I stopped from giving this a 5 is the property it is at times far to close to the course the biggest example of this is the 17th with a huge hotel. Additionally while two of us shared a buggy the third walked and there were a few walks from green to tee that are just far to long. That being said I would happily play again.
4 / 6
Vale do Lobo (Royal)
May 29, 2015


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Golf course in poor condition generally, overpriced, rude and arrogant staff. Poorly organised, buggy ran out of power on the 12th hole, no rangers or bar buggy and halfway house closed. Not sure exactly how they can charge as much as they do and would not recommend to anyone. Overall bad experience.
2 / 6
Vale do Lobo (Royal)
October 14, 2013


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3 people found this review helpful and 3 did not
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oddbjorn
April 27, 2018

We were a group on 8 people from 3 to 23 hdc, we played the old course San Lorenzo, Vale do Lobo Royal and Ocean, all of us loved Vale do Lobo better. Both courses were in better shape and more fun to play.

If it wasn't for the 16th, there would be very limited interest in that course. The 16th , 220 meters above the cliffs is a fantastic world class golf hole, but that's the only one on that course. A handful of good holes, the rest being average at best. The housing is way too invading and the course feels too tight around that real estate, best example being the very poor 17th that gives the feeling of being squeezed between houses and hotel by lack of space. This place was not my cup of tea at all, crossing endless roads and parking spaces to go from greens to tees. Very poor value for money at 130 euros (that is to whoever doesn't use the service of the many companies in the area who offer reduced green fees). On top of that, add 9 euros for a trolley, or 50 for a buggy and you'll feel robbed. Crappy slow and bumpy greens complete the bad feeling of the day. Hope they'll sell some day a ticket to play the 16th alone, that would surely make me come back, otherwise there are far better places in Algarve to play good golf. Cedric
3 / 6
Vale do Lobo (Royal)
October 07, 2012


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Having read many rave reports about the course, I was looking forward to playing it on 30 March 2012, but was seriously disappointed. The course is just too disjointed, for me, with numerous roads to cross and diversions through housing estates too distracting. OK, the 16th is possibly one of the best and most spectacular Par 3 holes I've ever played, but one hole doesn't make the course as a whole outstanding. I played the 16th off the championship tee, drove my ball into the bunker in front of the green, got it out to 30 feet and holed the putt for an unlikely 3. That apart, I doubt much of the course will stick in the memory for long. The course is worth playing, but I preferred the Ocean course.
4 / 6
Vale do Lobo (Royal)
April 08, 2012


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We played this course on Fri 25th Nov 2011, Cost: 41 Euros for a twilight tee time, and 30 Euros for a buggy. Fantastic, not a lot else to be said, a whole range of styles on one course, and a real test for any golfer. Some beautiful holes, and all in great condition, especially for this time of year. Hope to play there again next year, and the Ocean too. All of our compliments to the management and staff, thanks, it was awesome.
6 / 6
Vale do Lobo (Royal)
November 29, 2011


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Played it in may 11 and after much hype I was impressed with the clubhouse and basking in the sun before the round I could not wait to get our there. Unfortunately the course was a slight let down with a disappointing par 5 start which is easily reachable in 2 and that is from the back tee. The condition was good but not on par with the old course the day earlier. Some very average holes accompanied with some outstanding hole such as the par 5 alongside water and the 16 and 17 were enjoyable. I would play it agin but in no great hurry, nowhere near as good as the Old or the Faldo in my opinion. We had buggies, would have hated to walk it!
3 / 6
Vale do Lobo (Royal)
June 10, 2011


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Graham
June 24, 2011
Having played ''The Royal'' on the 19th June 2011, I was amazed at the quality of this course. Nearly every hole could be a feature hole! Powder white bunkers,gorgeous tree lines and well conditioned greens , make this a real treat. I played the Vilamoura Old course the day before but this still gets my vote.
A top top course - in my top 3 in the algarve. Lovely clubhouse with great service and the course is superb - tight, requiring lots of different shots and difficult greens. There are so many great holes but standouts for me are all the par threes, culminating in the 16th over the cliffs. The par 4 third and par 5 11th are also great holes narrow and requiring very straight shots from tee to green to have a chance of posting a score. Also the best halfway hut in the whole of the algarve.
6 / 6
Vale do Lobo (Royal)
October 31, 2010


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