18-Hole Golf Courses In Algarve Most Favoured By The Pros

The Portuguese Open is a well-established professional golf tournament which was first played in 1953. Since that time it has been played many times in the South on the Algarve which has become a popular golf holiday destination with regular flights from many regions of North and West Europe. There are several courses throughout the area but many wish to test themselves on the courses where the professionals have played, most notably:

  • Penina
  • Quinta do Lago
  • Vilamoura
  • Vale do Lobo


The complex of Penina offers three courses with the Championship Course the original creation of Sir Henry Cotton, three times winner of the Open Championship. Its creation spurred the growth of golf throughout the Algarve with the good climate resulting in all the courses being in good condition all year round.

Quinta do Lago

There are three courses in this fairly exclusive part of the Algarve. The South Course has hosted the National Open Championship on 8 occasions while the North Course has been recently received the award of the Best New Course in Europe. It has been redesigned Beau Belling and Paul McGinley. The third course. Laranjal has been built on an old orangery.


The Oceanico Old Course is a favourite and rightly so. Tree-lined, each hole stands out individually. The elevated first tee provides stunning views and the whole experience of playing this course is memorable. There are a number of courses locally for a great holiday.

Vale do Lobo

The host to the Portuguese Open twice, Vale do Lobo has the Royal and Ocean courses for visitors to enjoy. The original idea for the Courses were Cotton’s but they have subsequently been redesigned by the American golf architect, Rocky Roquemore. They combine parkland and links concept with stunning cliff top and beach side holes.

Tournament professionals get little opportunity to play golf other than on the Tour. There is a great deal of travelling, practice rounds and tournaments themselves. What is certainly true is that when the European Tour comes to Portugal for the Open it is a popular event, especially when it is held in the Algarve. It has moved in the calendar to June from March. That early spring date is indicative of how early in the season the Algarve is ready for golf and overseas visitors are more than welcome when course at home may still be recovering from winter.