Vilamoura (Victoria) - Algarve - Portugal

Dom Pedro Golf,
Victoria Course,
Caminho da Fonte do Ulme,
8125-406 Vilamoura,
Portugal


  • +351 289 320 100


After an investment of €18m in 2004, the fifth golf course at Vilamoura opened for play. Arnold Palmer designed the Victoria and it’s a big layout that was built with tournament play in mind. One year after opening, the course hosted the WGC World Cup, which resulted in a Stephen Dodd and Bradley Dredge Welsh team victory.

In 2007, Oceânico Golf, former owners and operators of a group of seven Vilamoura courses, secured the inaugural Portugal Masters. Englishman Steve Webster won the first event with an impressive 25 under par total. The Portugal Masters has been held on the Victoria course ever since.

In some ways, the Victoria is similar to the South course at the K Club, but naturally the weather here on the Algarve is much warmer. The hazards are severe and you may settle for the safe option and a few three putts by aiming to hit these huge, fast and undulating greens in regulation. Keeping out of the numerous water hazards and the threatening bunkers will pay dividends on this relatively flat course.

In 2016, the operator Dom Pedro Golf acquired five courses from Oceânico Golf: Vilamoura Old Course, Victoria, Pinhal, Laguna and Millennium.

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Reviews for Vilamoura (Victoria)

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Description: After an investment of €18m in 2004, the fifth golf course at Vilamoura opened for play. Arnold Palmer designed the Victoria and it’s a big layout that was built with tournament play in mind. Rating: 6.6 out of 10 Reviews: 39
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Hendrik

We played in April 2022 on a very, very windy day (2-3 clubs easily). The course was well presented and we enjoyed our round there. It's a 'modern' course where most balls will be in play unless you hit it OB. I would rank it below the two Quinta courses in terms of 'wow' factor and aesthetics but it is very playable and has some fun / challenging holes. I'll come back when there is less wind for sure.

June 29, 2022
5 / 10
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Terry

Played Victoria first week March 2022 and expected a treat based on high green fee but was disappointed. Course has a lot of patchy areas with dried out grass and wasn’t up to the standard I expected. I guess has suffered during lockdown and due to lack of rain over last few months ? Greens were fine and well maintained but rest of course didn’t seem very special . Much preferred Quinta do Lago and Val de Lobo courses I played which had a quality feel and we’re well maintained . If you like big wide open fairways/long holes/championship style golf courses Victoria may appeal though - just not for me.

March 06, 2022
6 / 10
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James Hill

I loved reading Jim McCann's review for this course, just a month before I played it, but my view is almost directly opposite. I loved the front 9 at Victoria, it is playable to a medium handicapper like myself and the holes well designed, even the par 3s. Bunkers were well placed, and the condition made them the most playable of the 3 courses we played on our break.

Onto the back 9, do acres of water make for a great golf hole? Perhaps for low handicapper and the pros it does, but for mere mortals, it just severely punishes wayward shots, and ruins any decent score accumulated. Needless to say, my own back 9 was a shocker.

The greens were the best we played this week, but the general feel of the course was a bit scratty. With the Portugal Masters being held here in 3 weeks time, I was expecting better. Yes, Victoria is well worth playing, just manage your expectations.

October 20, 2021
6 / 10
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Jim McCann

After playing the Pinhal and the Old course on consecutive days, I turned up at the Victoria, which will host the Portuguese Masters next month. I can understand why Dom Pedro position this as its flagship course because it’s a big, modern layout (with a big, modern clubhouse) that is totally geared up to holding high-profile professional tournaments that will bring wide-ranging brand recognition to the company.

It’s been that way for nearly two decades now. Only a year after opening in 2005, the Victoria hosted the 51st edition of the World Cup of Golf, with the Welsh team of Stephen Dodd and Bradley Dredge walking away with the first prize after bad weather cancelled the fourth round. It’s staged other big tournaments since, most notably fourteen consecutive editions of the Portuguese Masters on the European Tour.

Located on fairly flat coastal terrain, the Victoria obviously had a lot of earth moved to create many of the fairway contours and much of the greenside mounding. It’s wide open – though not lacking in bunkers – for the most part, with water only really coming into play on the tougher back nine.

Feature holes were in shortly supply for me on the outward half – both the par threes were as dull as dishwater – but I’d nominate the (stroke index 1) 7th as the best hole, with water in play to the left off the tee before the fairway rises gently to the green. After a relatively lacklustre front nine, the back nine comes to life around “Victoria Corner.”

These three holes play anticlockwise round the edge of a lake, starting with the par four 11th and ending with the par three 13th. In between these two holes, the 542-metre 12th (“Roman Ruins”) is an epic par five that invites big hitters to go for the green in two but mere mortal golfers are advised to layup and carry the beach bunker to the green with their third (or even fourth) shot.

The 14th and 15th are another couple of clever holes: the first features a split fairway on either side of a water hazard and the second is a short par four played to a shallow, bunkerless green that drops off steeply on all sides. There’s more water in play down the right of the 17th and left of the 18th to ensure you stay focused right until the end.

Unlike the Pinhal and Old at Vilamoura, where I preferred the front to the back nine, I thought the back nine was much the stronger half on the Victoria. I know a lot of golfers will choose to play here over the other two courses but, for me, the older layouts offer a more intimate game of golf and, dare I say, that’s because they probably appeal more to golfers of a certain vintage!

I stayed at the Dom Pedro Marina hotel, one of three 4-star hotels operated by the company and a perfect base camp when golfing at Vilamoura, with a very convenient free shuttle bus that connects all the courses to the hotels. I didn’t have time to play the Millennium course (and the Laguna course is currently closed for a major refit) so there’s always an excuse for a return trip to Vilamoura…

Jim McCann

October 03, 2021
6 / 10
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Jack Snell

In a way, I think it’s tricky to fairly review a course you played on holiday. Everything seems better on holiday. You’re in Portugal. The weather is perfect. You’re with your best mates. You’ve got 4 bottles of ice-cold Super Bock in the buggy cooler. Your work phone is 2000 miles away. Life is about as good as it can get for any golfer who isn’t a Tour pro or the owner of a diamond mine.

But I digress. Here are the most objective thoughts I can muster about this course.

It’s taken as gospel that the best track in Vilamoura is the Old. An elegant, mature course that gracefully winds its way through the umbrella pines over dramatically undulating terrain. The Victoria meanwhile is an open, largely flat, bulldozer scarred behemoth that’s lacking any scenic beauty, clearly designed to be a spectator course for European Tour events.

But the thing is, I actually think the latter is more enjoyable.

Yes, the front 9 is a bit ordinary in its architecture (the 4th and 7th standing out in my mind as exceptions) and I find the bunker on number 8 at best a gimmick, at worst an eyesore. But from the approach to the 10th green onwards, it’s rollocking good fun.

Water is an ever present threat on the back 9 but there is plenty of fairway to hit if you can keep your nerve. 11 is risk/reward off the tee as the fairway is pinched narrow by the lake at around the 240 yard (sorry we’re on the continent - 220 metre) mark, but successfully threading the needle offers up a much more simple second shot. The 12th is a monstrous par 5 that demands two carries over the lake. 13 is a beautiful par 3. 14 is a really fun par 4 with a stream dividing the fairway into two halves - A brave (and successful) tee shot gets rewarded with a simple approach. 15 is a drivable par 4 for the longer hitters. 16 is a tough, long par 3, though the green is much bigger than it looks. 17 is a spectacular par 5 that winds its way through babbling brooks, mini waterfalls and more dramatic lakes. Finally, 18 is one of the toughest holes on the course. A long par 4 with water threatening down the left of the fairway and bunkers guarding the safer right-hand side. The green is handsomely guarded by more water framed by classy looking stonework.

In the end, perhaps this isn’t an objective review. Golf is the experience you have and it’s difficult to compartmentalise the different elements of that experience. Is the Victoria Course a great layout worthy of the 5 ball rating I’m giving it? Its world ranking on this site would suggest not. Who am I to argue with the collective wisdom of those more experienced and articulate than I am? I’m just a guy who had the time of his life playing the Victoria course. And in the end, isn’t that all that matters?

Review of the Month February 2021

February 16, 2021
8 / 10
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Rob Gibson

Host of the Portuguese Masters on the European Tour so it has a bit more of a grandiose feel, a really nice, yet simple golf course. Not difficult if you have length off the tee. Some great risk reward holes, oh, and I had a hole in one on the 8th so now my name rests alongside some of the great names in European golf on the honour boards hahaha. In really good condition much like all the other Dom Pedro courses too.

November 09, 2020
7 / 10
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The Victoria course isn't one that I'd generally go out of my way to play. It is a resort course which is wide open. However, it is in great condition, the clubhouse is nice, and it's a change from the boring treelined courses in the area.

The front nine is underwhelming, with 4, 6 and 7 being the best holes, but the back nine is actually quite good. 11 and 12 wrap around a lake, and 13 is a nice par 3 over the lake. 14 is a cool hole where a stream splits the fairway making it a classic risk reward. 15 is a nice short par 4, whilst 17 and 18 are tough par 4s and 5s respectively with water lurking the length of the hole.

A good course worth playing if in the area.

May 11, 2020
7 / 10
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Freddie

Every time that I have gone to Portugal I have ended up playing the Victoria one way or another and every time I have liked it more and more. Although it is a brutally hard golf course it is a course that I love because it is always in great condition and has some beautiful holes. The facilities are excellent with a nice driving range with complementary range balls and the practice green is a lot of fun as it has a very unique design. The course is fantastic and in great condition, it is probably one of the best that I have played in the Algarve and I even preferred it over the Villamoura old course. If I go back to Portugal again, I will definitely play here as I have some very fond memories of this place!

April 06, 2019
8 / 10
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Sandro M. Muffat

The Victoria course usually hosts the Portugal Masters and is a really testing golf course near Vilamoura. A fantastic design of Arnold Palmer with some woderful holes and a lot of water in play. Especially the 17th and 18th hole are a dramatic finsih of the round and will stay in your memory for a long time.

Condition was a little dry due to the summer heat but greens were sill in good condition. Not sure if the courses are getting better unter the new Dom Pedro ownership.

October 09, 2018
8 / 10
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Dan Hare

Played the Victoria a few years ago, so not a current review on conditioning, but we found the course essentially fine but lacking in magic with the routing through a housing development and numerous incongruous mounding complexes.

Fine to play, but felt it was over priced and would go to Old or San Lorenzo if in the area.

September 23, 2016
6 / 10
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