It’s hard to imagine that up until 1966 – when Henry Cotton laid out the Championship course at Penina – golf as a sporting pursuit in the Algarve was virtually non-existent. Fast forward more than half a century and the region is now one of Europe’s premier holiday destinations, drawing hundreds of thousands of golfers to its fairways all year round.
An incredible total of forty-two 9-hole or 18-hole layouts can be played at twenty-five different golf clubs within the Algarve zone of the Federação Portuguesa de Golfe and more than half the courses strung out along this 100-mile southern-facing coast feature in our Portuguese ranking list of top courses in the country.
The wonderful layouts at Quinta do Lago and Vilamoura dominate the golfing scene in the Algarve.
The North and South courses at Quinta do Lago have recently benefitted from substantial upgrade investment and they're both ably supported by the nearby Laranjal layout which has its own separate clubhouse.
The Old, Victoria and Pinhal courses at Vilamoura also feature in our national listings, while the Laguna course closed in 2021 to undergo a complete renovation of every hole from tee to green. The Millennium course also operates from the same clubhouse as the Laguna.
Other courses meriting closer examination include the Jack Nicklaus signature design at Monte Rei (North) and Joe Lee's late 1980s layout at San Lorenzo. Further west along the coast, the Praia and Lagos nines at Palmares appear prominently in our listings, as do the eighteen holes from the Amendoeira (Faldo) layout.