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 Smurfit 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 surely pay dividends to your scorecard on this relatively flat course.
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.
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!
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.
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.
This is a nicely designed course that gets better as you get on. The greens are true which should always be a given but is not always the case. The standout holes for me are 7, 11, 12 (which with a big drive is ultimate risk and reward), 14th, 17th and 18 which off the yellows is a 445 yard par 4 that asks a 200 yard carry over water to make it easy. We play very year as a 3 ball and I would just ask to adopt Monte Rei's attitude of not putting other people with us.
During Easter 2016 I had the chance to play the course four times. The expectations were high after six visits to Portugal Masters on the same course. This is a fantastic course. The conditions of tees, fairways and greens are just excellent. It is a quite long course from yellow and white tees, so you need to have a good day with your driver. The course rewards the strategic player since the bunkers and water hazards are numerous. The front nine are very good and the back nine is just amazing. Maybe some high handicapers can find the course a bit difficult. There are other good courses in the Algarve but this one is a memory for life. You have to play it!