Lobo's Royal Course boasts some spectacular holes, not least of which is the
cliff-top 16th hole which has effectively become the face of golf in
it is a par-3, the green is set some 238 yards away on the opposite side of a
series of plunging cliffs and standing on the tee facing the stunning sandstone
cliffs, with a gleaming white sandy beach and the Atlantic Ocean to your left
is undoubtedly one of the most exhilarating experiences in world golf.
Sir Henry Cotton's design has been revised by Rocky Roquemore in recent years,
and continues to delight visitors year after year thanks to its amazing
surroundings and the sweeping elevation changes that define the layout and
provide much of the challenge, in addition to of course, the tight fairways
that are bordered by mature umbrella pines that are so indicative of golf
courses in the Algarve.
by: Sir H. Cotton/R. Roquemore
for play: 1997
Did you know? The only two ‘hole
in ones’ on par 4’s on the Royal Course were both achieved in 2000: by Mr
Geoffrey Widdowson on the 376 yard 4th and by Mr Francesco Vazzana
on the 442 yard 17th.
White: 6,626 yards, SSS 73
Yellow: 6,208 yards, SSS 71
Red: 5,368 yards, SSS 73
Signature Hole – No. 16: Par 3, 234 yards (White
There is little
question that the 16th on the Royal Course at Vale do Lobo is the
course’s signature hole and it is arguably the signature golfing experience one
can enjoy in the whole of the Algarve. This is a brute of a par 3 which can be
played one of two ways. Either take on the forced carry over the cliffs to the
large green or, if you don’t have the required firepower, take the long way
around, utilising the small patch of fairway the right right. This might be the
more sensible option for many but few will be able to resist having a crack at
the green on such an iconic hole.
Ocean Course differs greatly to its neighbour; while the cliff-top Royal
demands accuracy above all else, the Ocean allows golfers to use their
creativity to great effect. Many of the holes run alongside a nature reserve,
before the course winds down to the shoreline, where you can enjoy unparalleled
views up and down the coast. The Ocean is a combination of two nine hole loops
designed by Sir Henry Cotton & Rocky Roquemore who added the
newer nine in 2003, and is a gem of a course that will satisfy even the most
seen as the “second” course at Vale do Lobo, the Ocean might not get the praise
it deserves as it’s an excellent course in its own right, and a handful of the
holes take you as close to the sea as you’re going to get in the Algarve. These
holes, which come towards and middle of the round and into the back nine, are
the truly memorable holes on the course and the 15th in particular
is a stunner, almost rivalling the famous par 3 16th on the Royal
for wow factor.
by: Sir H. Cotton/R. Roquemore
for play: 1968 – Updated in 2003
Did you know? Football Manager Louis
Van Gaal once said of the Ocean Course: ‘I love playing the Ocean Golf Course
as I always seem to play better on there! The views are also outstanding and
you can feel the sea air wafting around you as you take in the scenery and
enjoy the greens.’
White: 6,712 yards, SSS 74
Yellow: 6,166 yards, SSS 71
Red: 5,494 yards, SSS 74
Algarve Golf Open (1971), Portuguese Golf Open (1976, 2002, 2003), Open
Foursomes Golf tournament (Since 1983), Portuguese Golf Ladies’ Open (1985,
Vale Do Lobo also provides a golf academy, with two distinct areas.
There is a netted area for the instruction of beginner golfers, which is also used
as a warm up area. A short game practice
area with bunkers is also available. This can be used by golfers to warm up
before a game and as an instruction area used by the expert Vale Do Lobo Golf
At the Clubhouse
Vale Do Lobo’s clubhouse is home to Spike’s Restaurant & Bar. The
terrace overlooks a pretty sculpture garden, making it an environment which
both golfers and non-golfers can enjoy from breakfast through to late at night.
Spike’s offers a range of snacks and club sandwiches as well as some
traditional Portuguese dishes.
The Vale do Lobo Golf Club is home to a branch of Nevada Bob’s Golf, an
established global network recognised as the world’s largest chain of
specialist golf stores. All of the chains outlets carry over 2,500 products
including all the major brands such as Mizuno, Ping, Callaway, Taylor-made and
Titleist. The golf shop will cater for every day needs such as golf balls,
gloves and soft spikes, while also providing top of the range sporting apparel.
A fully equipped Fitness centre is also on site, with a physiotherapist
specialising in golf injuries. Club, buggy and trolley rental and changing
facilities are also available.
Vale Do Lobos dress code requires golfers to wear golf shoes with soft
spikes as well as collared shirts and golf trousers or tailored shorts.