Name of course
Type of course
From the A22, take the Alvor exit (Junction 4) and follow the road to the EN-125
Number of holes
White - 6273m
Yellow - 5827m
Red - 5140m
White - 131
Yellow - 126
Red - 124
White - 73.7
Yellow - 71.3
Red - 72.7
What year was the course opened?
1966. Totally refurbished in 1994-5
Who was the designer?
Sir Henry Cotton
What type of golf club is it?
Part of Penina Golf Resort. Visitors welcome, although hotel guests have priority. Gentlemen max handicap 28. Ladies max handicap 36.
Booking in advance is recommended.
Golf course and clubhouse dress code is standard throughout the Algarve: smart casual appropriate golf course attire. Footwear: soft spikes. Ankle socks are permitted.
There are two additional courses: the Resort 9 hole course (par 35, 2987m) and the Academy 9 hole course (par 30, 1851m)
Plus driving range, putting green, golf professional, shop, equipment hire, buggies.
Why do you love it?
For its sense of individual holes and the plentiful wildlife. You will play many of the holes unaware of other golfers, as holes meander through the trees and the water hazards, providing a testing but fair golfing challenge. You must be able to manage your game on the Championship course, a fitting testament to Henry Cotton's prowess in course design.
What could be improved?
The yellow tee boxes need upgrading but all in all the course is in good condition. However if you are after a modern layout, US-style, then this is not the course for you. When you play Penina it is as if you have been transported back in time and you are playing on one of England's more beautiful parkland courses...always an enjoyable experience.
My favourite hole is the par 5, 5th hole, a good drive and offering the opportunity of going for the green in two. If you are a little short and left, the hole design offers up a second opportunity because the fairway opens up to the right of the green, allowing you to make par or indeed a birdie should your pitch be sufficiently accurate.
The par 3,13th has been voted in the top 500 holes in the world. You must play a good tee shot to make your par but club selection is tricky!
Level of challenge
Moderate challenge. Like many golf courses, Penina has been affected by today's modern equipment, making many holes a deal easier than when they were originally designed. It remains however a worthwhile adversary, and should you not bring a good game with you, then watch out...
Who plays there?
The course hosts many professional and celebrity tournaments, and was the venue for the 2006 European Tour Portuguese Open.
When to go
Because of the marvellous climate in the Algarve, golf is available year-round. The busiest periods are always April, May, September & October, during the week. The weekend is generally less busy.
Special summer and winter price structures will reflect this.
The bars serve a variety of refreshments, snacks and cocktails, and the hotel's five restaurants offer a range of local and international cuisine. For golfers, the Henry Cotton Club provides classic golf meals and snacks.
The resort hotel also has Wellness and Beach club options and a variety of other resort services such as kids clubs, tennis and swimming pools. The FIFA-sized football field has been used by teams such as Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund for winter training.
The service ethos at the hotel is very much family-orientated. Many guests return on an annual basis and become part of the 'family' at Penina.
Costs are based on high and low season rates. Membership categories are available for all three golf facilities.
The course is open all year round.