Name of course
Vale de Milho, Carvoeiro
Type of course
Apartado 1273, Praia do Carvoeiro,
Number of holes
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.
The course is reserved for members on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, otherwise no restrictions.
None mentioned, although appropriate golf standards should be respected.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Most daylight times around the year.
Gordon Stewart (27 handicap) & Martin Connolly (9 handicap)