Name of course

Vale de Milho, Carvoeiro

Type of course



Apartado 1273, Praia do Carvoeiro,

8401-911 Lagoa.

Number of holes





926 metres

Who was the designer?

Dave Thomas - four times Ryder Cup player and the designer of over 40 courses worldwide, including The Belfry.

What type of golf club is it?

Club course which welcomes visitors. No handicap requirement.

Teeing-off times

The course is reserved for members on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, otherwise no restrictions.

Dress code

None mentioned, although appropriate golf standards should be respected.

Golfing facilities

Clubs (half set) and trolleys available for hire. There is a practice net, practice bunker and putting green, plus a golf shop and a golf school.

Why do you like it?

We were pleasantly surprised. This may be the best condition and most varied par-3 course we have played. Larger courses could take lessons from the quality of the greens. A casual ‘first 9’ became a ‘game’ on the second 9 once we realised that, while short, this course is still a test of ability.

Best hole

Hole 2 requires an accurate 5-iron off the back tee with a hazard either side and water running across the sloping fairway. Or choose to ‘lay-up’ and reduce the risk of penalty. It’s your choice.

Signature hole

No nominated signature hole but we thought the eighth would qualify.

Level of challenge

This is a course that relative newcomers to the game would enjoy. But, curiously, we could see the serious club golfer playing ‘holiday golf’ here to improve the short game - it really is that good.

Who plays there?

Mostly local owners/residents and holidaymakers. We thought it would also be a good venue for a corporate group activity (or a stag or hen weekend).

When to go

No real season. This is a short course so even in quite hot weather, 9 holes should be manageable.

Food options?

There is a small and friendly club bar/restaurant with a nice outside terrace giving views onto the course. Private party catering is also available.


Annual membership with green fees from €850. Green fees from €24 (9 holes), with ‘family ticket’ and other deals available (see the website).

Opening times

Most daylight times around the year.

Reviewed by

Gordon Stewart (27 handicap) & Martin Connolly (9 handicap)