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 almost 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 thirty-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 Oceânico complex at Vilamoura dominates the golfing scene in the Algarve with the Old, Victoria, Laguna and Pinhal layouts all rated in the national charts. Other courses meriting closer examination include Joe Lee’s 1988 layout at San Lorenzo, Rocky Roquemore’s new millennium offering at Quinta de Cima and last, but certainly not least, the magnificent Monte Rei (North) course from Jack Nicklaus which was unveiled in 2007.