Algarve

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.

Top 100 Golf Courses - Algarve

Oceanico (Victoria)

11th Algarve - Best in Area

After an investment of €18m in 2004, the fifth course at Vilamoura opened. Arnold Palmer designed the Victoria and it’s a big course...

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Description: After an investment of €18m in 2004, the fifth course at Vilamoura opened. Arnold Palmer designed the Victoria and it’s a big course... Rating: 4.2666666666667 out of 6

Vale do Lobo (Royal)

12th Algarve - Best in Area

Vale do Lobo is the Algarve’s most senior golf resort, founded in 1962 and it is currently the largest luxury resort in Portugal.

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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. Rating: 3.8125 out of 6

Penina (Championship)

13th Algarve - Best in Area

Penina was built on land that was originally used for growing rice and it was the Algarve's first golf course which was fashioned by Sir Henry Cotton.

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Description: Penina was built on land that was originally used for growing rice and it was the Algarve's first golf course which was fashioned by Sir Henry Cotton. Rating: 4.4285714285714 out of 6

Vale da Pinta

14th Algarve - Best in Area

The Vale da Pinta golf course, set in the Pestana Golf Resort near Carvoeiro in the Western Algarve, is a course that accepts the ‘quality’ label with ease.

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Description: The Vale da Pinta golf course, set in the Pestana Golf Resort near Carvoeiro in the Western Algarve, is a course that accepts the ‘quality’ label with ease. Rating: 5 out of 6

Vila Sol (Prime & Challenge)

15th Algarve - Best in Area

Donald Steel created the course at the Vila Sol Golf Resort without the need for excessive contouring or the creation of unnatural hazards.

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Description: Donald Steel created the course at the Vila Sol Golf Resort without the need for excessive contouring or the creation of unnatural hazards. Rating: 4.3333333333333 out of 6

Morgado

16th Algarve - Best in Area

Golfe do Morgado is one of the newer courses to be laid out in the Algarve and it’s also one of the region's tougher layouts.

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Description: Golfe do Morgado is one of the newer courses to be laid out in the Algarve and it’s also one of the region's tougher layouts. Rating: 4.3333333333333 out of 6

Oceanico (O'Connor)

17th Algarve - Best in Area

The future is bright for the Christy O'Connor Jnr. course at Amendoeira, which opened in October 2008, in fact, the architect “wanted one hole where it was just oranges”…

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Description: The future is bright for the Christy O'Connor Jnr. course at Amendoeira, which opened in October 2008, in fact, the architect “wanted one hole where it was just oranges”… Rating: 4.5 out of 6

Vale do Lobo (Ocean)

18th Algarve - Best in Area

The Ocean course at Vale do Lobo is perhaps the understudy to the Royal layout, but nevertheless it’s a solid sandy course and it stands up on its own two feet.

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Description: The Ocean course at Vale do Lobo is perhaps the understudy to the Royal layout, but nevertheless it’s a solid sandy course and it stands up on its own two feet. Rating: 3.8 out of 6

Castro Marim (Atlantic & Guadiana)

19th Algarve - Best in Area

Designed by UK architect Terry Murray, the original course at Castro Marim Golf & Country Club (comprising the Atlantic and Guadiana nines) first opened for play in 2001...

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Description: Designed by UK architect Terry Murray, the original course at Castro Marim Golf & Country Club (comprising the Atlantic and Guadiana nines) first opened for play in 2001... Rating: 4 out of 6

Gramacho

20th Algarve - Best in Area

American Ron Fream originally laid out nine holes in the early 1970s before the Gramacho course was subsequently doubled in size to a full 18-hole layout.

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