Review for Vale do Lobo (Royal)

Reviewer Score:


First up you get that feeling of excitement when you arrive and you know it’s going to be a good days golf. The club house is modern overlooks the practice putting green and has an excellent outside sitting area to soak up the days golf in. You also see the stand at the top of the hill for the 18th hole on the ocean course which looks a stunning hole.

The first hole starts with the easiest par 5 you’ll ever play. Its around 400 yards and if you can get that first drive into play is a massive birdie opportunity even for higher handicappers. The second too was a very short uninteresting par 3, a very disappointing start to the round. I’m glad to say the course got better and better from there on in with a couple of excellent par 3’s over water and the excellent par 5 11th hole which is as tight and as difficult as they come.

The 14th was another fantastic hole which required an accurate shot to the bottom of the hill then an approach a little uphill to a well guarded green. The 16th hole is what everyone talks about. Slightly over 200 yards the hole is magnificent and lives up to expectations. The wind hadn't been a factor on the previous holes but when we got to the 16th tee with the wind in our face the 5mph light breeze got up to 20mph and straight into our faces. So difficult in fact that not one of our 12 made the green. You then instantly go back in land and it’s like the hole is from a different course, a somewhat surreal experience. Those who are expecting a coastal course would be disappointed with only 2 holes with sea views.

Having played quite a few courses in the algarve i think it’s the best pick for mid to high handicappers and also large groups. It’s not as difficult as most of the other courses, it’s on the shorter side and isn’t too troublesome for higher handicappers. It also doesn't punish you too badly for errant tee shots, however does require you to put the ball in the right area to score well. From the 8 courses i’ve previously played it’s the only one i will be returning to in 2020 (co-vid permitting). It’s by no means Valderama but is such a fun course to play with friends.

Date: April 22, 2020

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