Vale do Lobo,
Almancil, Algarve 8135-864
18 holes. Tree-lined & open parkland. Undulating terrain - several slopes to climb.
Woodland and residential.
Original design by Sir Henry Cotton, with later changes by Rocky Roquemore (1997).
Above distances are for the Royal course. Also at Vale do Lobo is the 18-hole Ocean Course (par-72; 6137 mtrs from back tees).
19 km W of Faro
From the A22 (Faro-Portimao motorway) take exit 12 (Loule/Quarteira) and follow the N396 direction Quarteira. After o.6 km turn left at T-junction, still on the N396 direction Quarteira. After 2.3 km at traffic lights turn left onto the N125 direction Almancil. After 1.3 km turn right direction Almancil. After o.2 km turn right direction Vale do Lobo. After 1.2 km turn left and immediately right at staggered junction, direction Vale do Lobo. After approx 2 km turn right at T-junction. After o.8 km turn left into Vale do Lobo (and past the gatehouse). After o.8 km golf entrance is on your right (just before shopping centre).
Vale do Lobo Golf Club (Royal course): Complemented by its sibling, the Ocean course, Vale do Lobo's usually higher-rated Royal course opens and closes with holes lined by neat white villas, typical of this area. Like the villas, this revered course is usually presented in first-class condition. But it's not necessarily the villas or the conditioning that you'll remember most. On the back nine awaits one of the Algarve's most photographed golf holes! (see Pick of the holes below).
Book-ended by the villa-lined holes, much of the middle section of the Royal layout is played through a natural woodland of umbrella pines and fig trees. Here, the rolling fairways, superb bunkering and excellent greens make this one of the Algarve's outstanding layouts.
The Royal is not particularly hilly (unlike parts of its stable-mate, the Ocean), but there are a few longish green-to-tee walks. If you are in the Algarve, Vale do Lobo's 36-holes are well worth including on your play list - you'll just need to dig a little deeper than usual to settle the rather hefty green-fee.
Pick of the holes: The par-3s, usually guarded by water, are all excellent. One of them is among the most photographed golf holes in Europe. The 16th, measuring a mere 230 yards from the back-tees, is set right next to the sea atop a line of crumbling red cliffs. With the wind against, it is both terrific and terrifying.
Visitors welcome on weekdays and weekends.
Must book in advance. Maximum handicap: men 28; women 36. Proof of handicap required.
Credit cards accepted. Contact club for full details, discounts, Stay&Play packages, etc. [Last updated: 2023].
Soft spikes only. Players generally walk this course. Golf carts available for hire.
Vale do Lobo was among the first tourist destinations built in Portugal, following the building of Faro Airport in the early 1960s. Hotel and property chain Trust House Forte quickly stepped-in and acquired the land, which was transformed into the Vale do Lobo luxury resort. Townhouses and villas were built, along with the Dona Filipa hotel and two 18-hole Henry Cotton-designed golf courses. Vale do Lobo quickly became a popular destination with British holidaymakers.
Portugal: 46th best course in Portugal (Golf World, 2022).
Vale do Lobo, Almancil 8135, Algarve
+351 289 357 200Visit website
The Dona Filipa Hotel in Vale do Lobo is one of the Algarve's most famous luxury hotels, which welcomes guests with a touch of glamour and the essence of true quality. The hotel offers stunning views, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Vale do Lobo (Royal & Ocean courses); Quinta do Lago (North, South & Laranjal courses); Pinheiro Altos; San Lorenzo; Vila Sol.
Vilamoura courses (Oceanico - Old, Pinhal, Millennium, Laguna, Victoria).
Morgadinhos, 8125-307 Vilamoura, Algarve
+351 289 320 320Visit website
With a great climate, a wellness SPA and one of Portugal's top golf courses, the Vila Sol Hotel & Golf Resort offers a 5-star resort experience. You can choose hotel rooms or self-catering apartments, and enjoy great amenities, including four restaurants, tennis courts, Kids' Club and Golf Academy. During the summer, board the shuttle to the beautiful Algarvian beaches nearby.
Vale do Lobo (Royal & Ocean courses); Vilamoura courses (Old, Pinhal, Millennium, Laguna, Victoria).
Quinta do Lago (North, South & Laranjal courses); San Lorenzo.
Ryder Cup: Rome plays host to the first ever Ryder Cup to be staged in Italy, with the USA defending golf’s greatest team trophy at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club (Sept 29-Oct 1).
Solheim Cup: also in September, also in southern Europe, the 18th Solheim Cup will be contested at Finca Cortesin on the Costa del Sol, with Europe defending after their surprise win in Toledo, Inverness Club (Ohio) in 2021 (Sept 22-24).
To secure the best rates and ensure availability, it's recommended to book your rental car in advance, especially during peak golfing season.
Car Rental in Belgium, Europe & Worldwide – Avis
Céline Boutier: with many successes as both an amateur and professional golfer, Boutier added a major championship title to her impressive résumé at this year’s Evian Championship.
Alex Cejka: buffeted by rain and high winds, especially on the high-scoring final day, Čejka prevailed over Pádraig Harrington in a playoff at Royal Porthcawl, to scoop the Senior Open Championship title.
Marco Simone Golf & Country Club: With a clubhouse that might befit a Roman Emperor, and a golf course to match, you can be sure of a memorable outing at Rome's most talked about golf facility.
Jim Fazio's original layout was much changed to create a modern Ryder Cup course ... now one of the Eternal City's (and Italy's) most revered.
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