On the fringes of the amazing landscape of the Ria Formosa Natural Park, and adjacent to the Formosa Park Hotel, lies Pinheiros Altos, and excellent golf course that was originally designed by the American, Ronald Fream for its opening in 1992.
The original 6,615 yard layout, comprised of the “Pines” and the “Olives” course, received a welcome boost when the renowned Peter McEvoy and Howard Swan reworked many of the holes, sharpening up the design and modernizing it to meet the demands of the modern game. The predominant characteristic of Pinheiros Altos is that the two nines are vastly different in character; the outward half winds through the lovely pine trees, traversing the sandy turf of the coastline, while the closing stretch is distinctly more undulating, and is punctuated with a number of challenging water hazards.
A further 9 hole course, the “Corks” was opened in 2008, designed by George Santana Da Silva. The course is the longest of the three and contains a particularly tricky eighth hole.
Pinheiros Altos is also fortunate to have a fantastic practice centre, helping to underline it as a quality golfing destination, perfect for a round during your next trip to the Algarve.
Designed by: Ronald Fream (Pines and Olives), George Santana Da Silva (Corks)
Opened for play: 1992 (Pines and Olives), 2008 (Corks)
Par: All courses are a Par 36
White tees: 9182 metres (10,041 yards), Par 108, SSS 108
Yellow tees: 8600 metres (9405 yards), Par 108, SSS 108
Blue tees: 7931 metres (8673 yards), Par 108, SSS 108
Red tees: 7381 metres (8072 yards), Par 108, SSS 108
Signature Hole: Hole 8- Olives Course, Par 3, 136 yards, SI 9
This 27 hole championship course boasts many holes worth mentioning. On the Corks course, is a hole which is known around Pinheiros Altos to leave a dent in many promising rounds. The par 5 eighth amounts to 580 yards and contains a double dogleg, making it almost impossible to reach the green in two, and leaving for a challenging par. The Pines course contains the ninth, a beautiful par 3 travelling over water, onto a McKenzie green. When the pin is near the right side of the green, the hole becomes particularly tough and requires a precise shot when going for the pin. Water short of the green and a greenside bunker to the right can easily cause what could have been a birdie, to become a bogey or worse. However, the pride of Pinheiros Altos is the 8th hole on the Olives (17th when playing 18 holes). The par 3, just 136 yards away, is set within an alluring lake. Michael Gedye wrote in his golfer's guide portugal- “with sloping edges and one deep, magnetic sand trap, it requires good club selection in any breeze and a positive tee shot”. A must play hole when visiting the Algarve.