The summer is over in most of Europe and that means golfers escape the cold weather and find a top spot when it comes to playing golf. Vilamoura in the Algarve, Portugal is one of these places. The picturesque city is just a 30-minute drive from Faro Airport and it breathes golf. With 19 golf courses in the area, 5 of which are owned by the Dom Pedro organisation (Previously owned by Oceânico): The Old Course Golf Club, Pinhal Golf Course, Laguna Golf Course, Millennium Golf Course and Victoria Golf Course. Leadingcourses.com got the chance to play three of these courses and find out what Dom Pedro has to offer.
Dom Pedro Vilamoura Hotel Resort & Golf
On a sunny September morning we arrive at Faro Airport where our transfer is already waiting for us. The temperature on arrival was around 18 degrees Celsius, which was quite welcoming having left The Netherlands 3 hours beforehand at a meagre 10 degrees Celsius! We arrive at the beautiful Dom Pedro Vilamoura Hotel Resort & Golf. Even in the hotel the focus is very much on golf: golfers checking-in, a little golf shop inside the hotel and you can book tee-times and taxi transfers to all the Dom Pedro courses. A nice little gimmick: the taxi transfers from all Dom Pedro hotels to Dom Pedro golf courses are free!
The Millennium Golf Course
The first course we played was the Millennium Golf Course. This 18-hole golf course is a good warm-up if you are playing the Old Course and the Victoria Course as well. The course is good, but not spectacular. The first 9 are a bit narrow with lots of beautiful pine trees lining the fairways and demanding accuracy, whereas the second 9 are a little more open. Overall the course is not that difficult, so this is a good example of a course for the less experienced golfers that visit the Algarve region! The clubhouse is nothing fancy but the food and service was very good.
The Old Course Golf Club
The second course we played was The Old Course Golf Club. We arrived at the course when the sun was just coming up and the maintenance crew were finishing their work. This course is breathtakingly beautiful. The height difference, the pine trees, the maintenance of the greens and fairways: everything makes perfect sense. The course is not that long, but it requires thinking and straight shots! The layout is magnificent and features some really good holes, for example the par-3 4th. It looks absolutely fantastic, is short, but has trouble everywhere.
The Victoria Golf Course
The third course we played was the Victoria Golf Course. We played this course just before the start of the European Tour Portugal Masters, so as you can imagine this golf course was in top-notch condition. The first 9 holes of the Arnold Palmer designed masterpiece can be seen as a little warm-up for the second 9. Where the first 9 are a bit more open, the second 9 are more complicated; water and doglegs pose a constant threat on almost every hole. The more iconic holes can therefore be found on the second 9: For example, the par-5 14th has a split fairway where if you play down the left fairway, there’s only a small bunker to avoid, but the second shot is really tough. To play down the right fairway you need to carry 200+ metres, hereafter the second shot is much easier, in as far as anything is “easy” in golf.
After this course it was time to head home. Dom Pedro is recommended because it offers the real golfing experience in Vilamoura. From the beautiful hotel rooms with brilliant views of the ocean to the chilling swimming pools, from easy-to-play courses to extremely difficult holes: Dom Pedro has it all.
For more information about Dom Pedro please visit dompedrogolf.com.