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Water hazards, olive trees and challenging play all feature at the stunning Pestana Silves golf course, located inland by the historic city of Silves.
This 18 hole, par 72 course, covers a distance of 5,615m and presents a real challenge to golfers of all standards, with low handicappers needing to hone their play to be able to finish under par. However, while the course is technical, it is possible for players with a higher handicap to complete the course, making it suitable for all levels.
The views of the Monchique mountains, of the historic city of Silves and of the orange groves make this one of the most scenically beautiful courses in the Algarve and the feel of the course is very different from traditional resort courses found in the region.
After a round, take time to relax in the Clubhouse where the restaurant serves a mixture of international and Portuguese cuisine.
Here is a helpful hole-by-hole guide to this course written by Rob Cheney. Rob is a leading PGA Pro with extensive knowledge of golf in the Algarve and over 15 years of coaching experience.
- A demanding first tee shot with water hazards protecting both the left and right sides of the fairway. The second shot plays uphill to a raised green which slopes from back to front.
- The second hole requires an accurate tee shot to the crest of the hill avoiding the bunker on the right hand side. The second shot plays up to a raised green with a large bunker protecting the front left of the green. Approaching from the right side is the best strategy on this hole.
- A short, downhill Par 4 where long hitters will try and drive the green. Approach the green from the left hand side as this is the best angle to avoid the bunker guarding the front of the green. One of the easiest holes on the course and a genuine birdie opportunity.
- The first of six Par 3’s on this golf course plays uphill and usually plays one club longer than you think. A well struck shot is required to carry the bunker that protects the green at the front.
- Nice Par 5 hole where the tee shot is hit from an elevated tee box down to a wide fairway. Out of bounds runs all the way down the left side of this hole and must be avoided. The approach plays slightly up to a raised green protected by a large bunker at the front.
- Long, downhill Par 3 around 200 metres long. Many players will struggle to reach this green in regulation and anyone making Par here should be very satisfied.
- Brutally long Par 5 that can feel like it goes on forever. Playing nearly 600 metres from the back tees, this hole requires a number of long, well struck shots to have any chance of reaching the green in regulation. The final part of the hole dog-legs to the left with a tree guarding the front of the green.
- Long Par 4 which dog-legs from left-to-right. A long tee shot is required to reach the corner of the dog-leg which will leave a second shot that plays slightly downhill. There is a bunker protecting the front of the green.
- Another Par 3. This one is uphill to a blind target. This hole always plays longer than the yardage, so make sure you club up at least one extra club.
- Short Par 4 played from an elevated tee. There is a ditch just short of the green which must be carried on the second shot. The very longest players may try to drive the green here.
- Another short Par 4, but this one has a sharp, 90 degree dog-leg from right-to-left. Drive to the corner, the turn left and hit your short iron approach to a green well protected by bunker. Longer players can try and cut the corner and go for the green – a risk/reward hole.
- A difficult Par 3 which plays strongly uphill to a small target. Getting the correct club selection and necessary elevation on your ball to make the carry to this green is tough. Par is a great score here.
- The signature hole on this course. A beautiful Par 5 hole that dog-legs around a large lake. The tee shot is played from an elevated position down to a wide fairway. Longer hitters will be tempted to go for the green in two which requires a long carry over the water. The regulation play is to hit your second shot as far up the fairway as you can to leave yourself a favourable distance and angle for your third shot.
- The shortest Par 3 on the course which requires more accuracy, than distance. Avoid the bunkers protecting the front of this green and Par is very possible.
- Par 4 which has a blind tee shot. The hole dog-legs from right to left and your tee shot needs to be hit more to the left than you think. The second plays downhill to a green which slope from front-to-back. There is a bunker protecting the front of the green.
- This Par 3 plays downhill to a large green protected by a bunker on either side. The hole varies in difficulty depending which tee box you play from and can often play one club less than you think. Check your yardage then trust your swing.
- Another long Par 5 which plays straightaway and very flat. There is a ditch which crosses the fairway that must be avoided with you second shot. The final part of the hole turns slightly to the right with a bunker and further water hazard to be safely negotiated.
- A nice finishing hole with a large tree marking the left side of the fairway. The approach shot must avoid the two front bunkers. The green is larger than it looks from the fairway.