Vale Do LoboTop 100 Europe
The prestigious Vale do Lobo estate is home to two terrific golf courses, whose delightful blend of links and parkland styles make it one of the most attractive and dramatic golfing destinations, not only in the Algarve but in the whole of Europe.
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Golf Courses at Vale Do Lobo
Vale do 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 the Algarve.
Although 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.
The legendary 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.
Designed by: Sir H. Cotton/R. Roquemore
Opened 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 Tees)
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.
The 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 demanding golfer.
Perhaps 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.
Designed by: Sir H. Cotton/R. Roquemore
Opened 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
Previously hosted: The Algarve Golf Open (1971), Portuguese Golf Open (1976, 2002, 2003), Open Foursomes Golf tournament (Since 1983), Portuguese Golf Ladies’ Open (1985, 1987).
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.
Accommodation at Vale Do Lobo
Vale do Lobo is one of Europe's most exclusive resorts, having offered luxury holidays since its inauguration in 1962. Your stay will be based in stunning residences, ranging from simple apartments to private villas, all fully equipped and serviced daily by a personal maid.
There are standard, superior and deluxe units, all of which are spacious and comfortable, while the upgraded versions are decorated and furnished in an exquisite designer fashion.
The resort itself is perfectly formulated to provide a wonderful holiday for couples, groups and families who want a little bit of extra luxury, while the two golf outstanding golf courses are among Portugal's best.
The Royal Spa at Vale do Lobo is the total relaxation and rejuvenation experience, where the sound of running water melts into the scent of essential oils. The spa's ethos is to provide the total range of treatments, from natural herbal remedies and traditional Oriental cures to the latest vitamin-enriched treatments and cosmetic medicine. Overlooking the golf courses, the resort's fitness centre is complete with the latest Technogym equipment and a wide range of free weights. Vale do Lobo also prides itself being a comprehensive sporting facility, particularly the tennis academy, which is among Europe's finest, featuring 14 superb courts and outstanding tuition facilities.
Vale do Lobo has 15 first-class restaurants, most of which are tobe found around the beachside Praça area, which serve the best in international cuisine.
In Vilamoura, head to Casa del Forno for Italian food, or the Ostra d'Ouro Grill at the Marina for sublime seafood.
Vale Do Lobo Reviews
Vale do Lobo Golf Review.
In May 2011 and four ladies full of anticipation set off from Bristol Airport to the beautiful Vale do Lobo Resort. Like all holidays the run up to travelling is an important part, and with the excellent service and support from Your Golf Travel, we set off full of excitement and enthusiasm.
With transfers from the airport to hotel waiting as we landed, we arrived at Vale do Lobo in a little over 20mins from leaving the airport arrivals. What bliss! The sun was shining in the blue sky and shimmering on the sea.
The Dona Filipa Hotel has classic Portuguese style rooms, and is set in the most fabulous setting, close to the beach and Praca with views to die for. The staff as always were excellent and nothing is ever too much trouble. After a quick change we were on the sun-beds by the pool, followed by a stroll to a beach bar for lunch and our first drinks!
The rest of the week was split between golf on the San Lorenzo golf course, one of the top courses in Europe, and the Royal Course at Vale do Lobo, host to 2 Portuguese Opens, and including the iconic 16th hole along the cliff tops.
The quality of the courses and friendliness of the staff really takes some beating. These are two of the best courses I have ever played and we will certainly play them again if we return to Portugal on future golf holidays. We even managed to play in a Charity Day on the Royal Course but failed to hole in one at the 16th for an Audi Car so will have to retain our amateur status for next year!
In the evenings you are spoilt for choice in the number and variety of local restaurants. Our favourites are Casa do Campo, Casa dos Pinheiros and O Malveiros - all in the Almancil area.
All too quickly it was time to come home. I would recommend Vale do Lobo to anyone wanting good value hotel accommodation with excellent golf courses and beaches. We all thoroughly enjoyed our Algarve golf break and will definitely be using Your Golf Travel for future golf tours as the service and value for money were simply unbeatable.
Not only was the villa secure, it was seriously awesome: with its own pool, back gate onto the beach, massive barbecue and walk-in fridge there was very little reason to leave the house. In fact it was so comfortable that there were rumblings of a protest when we set out on day 2 to play our first round of golf...
And so to the golf. The courses you chose for us were all fantastic. My personal favourite has to be Monte Rei which was, as you said when you suggested changing our itinerary to include it, simply unbelievable.From the time we got out of the car and were escorted to the titleist pyramids on the range until the moment we picked up our freshly cleaned clubs to return home the whole experience was amazing. The condition of the course was breathtaking. In fact, I enquired about getting a couple of rolls of fairway grass dug up and delivered to my house to recarpet the living room but the professional politely declined which was the only downside to the whole day really.