The golf courses we played were all in excellent condition even accounting for the fact that some had been top-dressed. The courses at Victoria and the Old course I would single out for particular praise, Pinhal and Millennium were also a good test and required distance and accuracy but very enjoyable. We would have no hesitation in playing these again, many thanks,
Oceanico Victoria Course
The Victoria Course is the flagship of the Oceânico Resort, and is geared up to host the most prestigious international professional tournaments. Thanks to an €18 million investment programme completed in 2004, the Victoria is one of Europe's most ambitious projects.
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Victoria Course, Vilamoura
The course was designed by Arnold Palmer's highly regarded golf architecture firm, and was recently selected to host the World Cup of Golf, one of the four high profile World Golf Championship Events.
The Victoria can be stretched to 7,105 from the tips, and is dotted with a number of large man-made lakes which are a real threat, and create a beautiful contrast with the crystal white swathes of sand that guard the greens. This is a formidable test that can humble even the most skilled player, and is an essential part of any trip to Vilamoura for the golfing aficionado.
Designed by: Arnold Palmer
Opened for play: 2004
Previously hosted: PGA World Cup (2005), Portugal masters (since 2007)
White: 7229 yards, Par 72, SSS 74
Yellow: 6666 yards, Par 72, SSS 72
Gold: 6155 yards, Par 72, SSS 69
Blue: 5647 yards, Par 72, SSS 72
Red: 5208 yards, Par 72, SSS 69
Signature Hole: 18th Hole - Par 4 - 462 yards - Stroke Index 4
Without doubt the hardest par 4 on the course is the lengthy 18th hole, which is bordered by a water hazard to the left and several bunkers on the right. The tee shot must be long and accurate to have any hope of making birdie. The degree of difficulty is turned up a notch by a challenging approach (usually into the wind) to a well-protected pin. This stands as one of golf's great finishing holes and is a true work of art from 'The King'.
- Golf Buggies
- Pro Shop
- Putting Greens
- Practice Area
- Golf Club Hire
- Club House
- Championship Standard Course
The Victoria course was superb and we had the pleasure of playing it twice. Both rounds were completed in excellent time and we thought the course was a difficult test and perhaps not suited to the higher handicappers.
You're eased into the round with a couple of solid par fours but the course soon becomes really challenging, with the narrow par five third and the dog leg left par four fourth asking plenty of questions of your game. The front nine draws to a close with a tight tee shot on an uphill par four and players can be suckered into the bunkers short right if they don't commit to their approach.
You can see that this course was designed with tournament play very much in mind but if you embrace the difficulty of the challenge, it's a really fun course to play and a really good test of course management in particular.
The Oceanico Victoria Course seems to have been designed with tournament golf very much in mind and as such it’s a far cry from your typical Algarve golf course. Where you’d usually find rows of umbrella pines lining the fairways, there are American style mounds, big bunkers and even bigger water hazards. And that is no bad thing because, as they say, variety is the spice of life. Oceanico Victoria certainly brings that to the Algarve.
The course is tough. Measuring well over 7,000 yards from the back tees, it requires really solid ball striking and, with the numerous hazards in mind, as well as the intelligent design which forces players to think their way around rather than simply whaling on a driver on every hole, sound course management. I would say that, for beginners, the course might be a little too tough but thanks to a number of tee positions, higher handicappers with some experience can still have a crack and have a good time doing so.
Of course, Oceanico Victoria has indeed hosted its fair share of professional tournaments, most recently the Portugal Masters, so as you’d expect, the conditioning is usually top class. When I played, the greens were slick and true and the course in general was well presented and thoroughly enjoyable. Select the correct tees though because when the wind gets up it can be a real brute.
And it’s not just the course here that’s impressive. The practice facilities are simply awesome and even though I’m not renowned for my warm up routine (this usually takes place in the 19th hole with a knife and fork – or a pint glass – in hand) I spent lots of time on the range and getting my short game sharp on what must have been the biggest practice green I have ever seen!
Include this course on the itinerary, along with a couple of
the other more quintessentially Algarve courses, on your next golf holiday to
Portugal and you won’t be disappointed.