Name of course
Vale Do Lobo Royal Course
Type of course
From Almancil follow the signs for Vale do Lobo
Number of holes
White - 6102
Yellow - 5677
Red - 4909
What year was the course opened?
The resort was founded in 1962
The first golf course opened in 1968
The Royal Course was inaugurated in 1997
Who was the designer?
Original drawings: Henry Cotton
What type of golf club is it?
Private/Members. Visitors welcome. Handicap certificate required.
You must pre-book.
Golf course and clubhouse dress code is standard throughout the Algarve: smart- casual appropriate golf course attire. Footwear: soft spikes. Ankle socks are permitted.
Buggies, clubs and trolleys are available for rent. There is also a practice putting green and a bag drop.
Why do you love it?
You know you are somewhere special, you are likely to see someone famous, and the sun is shining, but you still have to concentrate on your game.
The main talking point, back at the clubhouse, is how did you fare at the 16th? If you can manage a four here, then you have survived, though the hole is a Par 3! Over cliffs, the sea, bunkers and a 200m carry to the green, this is a remarkably difficult hole, but a wonderfully exciting prospect.
What could be improved?
The practice facilities for visitors are relatively poor: the driving range consists of a large net which doesn't allow the player to see the end of his shot. Major improvements however are already planned.
Certainly one of the most challenging - and one of my favourites - is the par 4, 6th hole. At 395m from the White tees, it requires a good drive (preferably down the left side) to protect your second shot, as the green is guarded by water on the left.
Probably the most photographed hole in Europe, the par 3 16th is a great hole. The views out to the sea are spectacular and at 215m from the back tees, presents a very difficult challenge for any golfer.
Level of challenge
The course, twice host of the Portuguese Open, is testing in places and easier in others. The opening two holes are quite straightforward but the 6th, 8th & 16th are very challenging. Overall however the course could be described as a moderate challenge.
Who plays there?
You are more liable to rub shoulders with a celebrity than not. Vale do Lobo is arguably the most renowned and complete golf resort in Europe.
When to go
The course is open all year. The busiest times are generally March to October. The quietest period is November to February, and off-season prices will reflect this.
The resort boasts 15 bars and restaurants, offering a wide choice of après golf options for players, the family, guests and corporate entertainment.
Watersports, football, tennis, fitness centre, spa.
The course forms part of the Vale do Lobo Algarve Resort.
There are a number of different membership packages available which can encompass the wide range of resort facilities. Information is available from the resort management team.
All year round