Vale do Lobo (Royal) - Algarve - Portugal

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


  • +351 289 353 535

  • Hernani Estevao

  • Henry Cotton, 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. The Royal course mixes nine of Henry Cotton's original holes with nine fashioned by Rocky Roquemore in the 1990s. Rating: 5.8 out of 10 Reviews: 23
TaylorMade
Sandy Tootill
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.
October 14, 2013
2 / 10
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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.

Cédric
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
October 07, 2012
4 / 10
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Alan McPherson
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.
April 08, 2012
6 / 10
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Jamie
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.
November 29, 2011
10 / 10
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Kevin mckenna
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!
June 10, 2011
4 / 10
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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.
Dan
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.
October 31, 2010
10 / 10
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James
You should play Vale do Lobo once, on a cloudless day, just to experience the pure exhilaration of the 16th (especially if you are playing it off the back tees). The rest of the round is far, far less dramatic unfortunately (and the routing, with long gaps between greens and tees, is ridiculous) although the conditioning of the course is very good. There are a couple of fun holes, including the two par threes on the front nine, the 7th and 9th, and the par 5 11th, but other than that it really is difficult to avoid the feeling that the course is very cramped by the villas which line almost every hole. There is just something extremely unnerving about the fact that a slightly off line tee shot could end up smacking someone in the head while they sit next to their pool or (as on the 17th) while they're playing tennis. Golf is hard enough mentally without thinking that a slightly errant shot is going to result in damaging someone's property or, worse, injuring somebody.
April 29, 2010
4 / 10
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Chezza
Very disjointed and not equal to the sum of its parts, is the impression I got from this course. That's not to say I did not enjoy it, but I went away thinking what could have been. The start, as people have said, is very short and ideal to ease you in. It's a world away from the opening holes at Vila Sol. Personally, I did not mind this, but the congestion you will encounter on the 1st tee could be very distracting. The front 9 has some good holes, the two short par 3's are great fun, and some of the tighter par 4's will have you thinking about club selection on the tee. The back 9 continues in a similar way as you build towards playing the wonderful par 3 16th. We played this into a stiff wind, which did cause problems, however, that's golf and that's why we enjoy it so much. The 17th was a also a good hole but the 18th was nothing to write home about. I felt the problems this course has are with its layout and routing, you cross several roads, which although not busy, I did find them breaking up any rhythm I was getting, and it's also very built up in places. At times I felt like I was playing golf in a housing estate, which in essence you are, and I would not have been surprised to see the locals washing lines running the length of the fairways. Overall, I did have fun here, and that's what you want from holiday golf. The 16th will provide you with a Kodak moment and it should stay in the memory for quite some time. I would not put anybody off from including this on their own tour, but for me it was behind Vila Sol and a long way off Quinta Do Lago South, which were the other courses we played.
March 31, 2010
4 / 10
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barry moulder
Personally I don't agree with the reviews below. I turned up before 1030 and was informed of the buggy policy. However the staff were very quick to offer me another tee time just after 1030 as I didn't want the buggy. The course itself was very good, I agree it wasn't the longest but you had to be straight from the tee otherwise you could rack up a score. The greens were exceptional, fast and true and you had to be on the right part of the greens to have a chance. The variety of holes were good and there were some brilliant holes, the 6th, 11th, 15th and of course 16th were excellent. The only disappointment I felt was after watching tournaments on tv I didn't recognize some of the holes but was told by a member that the best holes from both courses were used when tournaments were held there. Apart from that I really enjoyed it and having played 2 vilamoura courses a few days earlier this was far superior in every way, most of all it was fun and that surely is the whole point of golf.
May 12, 2009
8 / 10
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steven Baker
I have to say I was a little disappointed with this course, we turned up for an early tee off time and was told that buggies were compulsory before 10.30 adding £45 to the round and as we were a 3 ball that meant £90. A little boring all through the houses and one saving grace the famous 16th over the ravine. apart from that overpriced and very mediocre
March 21, 2009
4 / 10
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