Players who are just starting out with golf or are less experienced should look for courses with shorter holes, wider fairways and without too many hazards such as water and sand bunkers. This will enable players to build their experience without too much frustration so that they can also enjoy the game. In this article we spoke with some local PGA Professionals to discover the best golf courses for beginners in the Algarve.
PGA Pro Rob Cheney recommends one of the 6 Pestana courses found in the Algarve, highlighting the fact that they are not very long courses, with some fun and interesting challenges which are ideal for beginners. Rob highlighted Gramacho and Vale da Pinta because they are open and wider courses, where the player has space to practice the shots freely.
- Gramacho Golf Course: Golf course architect Ronald Fream joined Nick Price, former golf world No. 1, to design the Gramacho Golf Resort, an 18-hole course, with 27 greens and several tee points. This challenging course, which has hosted the qualifying stages of the European Senior Tour and the Ladies European Tour several times, is designed to be enjoyed simultaneously by players with a higher handicap (for example, players who are just starting to play golf) and experienced players.
- Vale de Pinta Golf Course: Vale de Pinta Golf Course has been the host of the European Senior Tour Qualifying Final for several consecutive years. This is another course designed by the famous golf course architect Ronald Fream. The course features fairways with Bermuda grass, white sand bunkers, Pen Cross Bent turf greens and a terrain surrounded by fig, almond and olive trees, some of which are over 200 years old.
PGA Pro António Germano prefers the 9-hole and par 3 courses at the Balaia Golf Course or at the Amendoeira Golf Resort. Also for beginners, but at a higher difficulty level he recommends the 9-hole course at Pine Cliffs Resort Algarve.
- Balaia Golf Course: The Balaia Golf Course has a 9-hole, par 3 course, designed for players to train their short game and the direction of the strokes, which makes this an ideal course for beginners of the sport. The course presents from the first tee a charming view of most of the course with the ribbon of blue sea as its background.
- Amendoeira Academy: The Amendoeira Academy course at the Amendoeira Golf Resort is a 9-hole par 3 course located in Silves, ideal for beginners and those wishing to improve their short game. The three options of tees in each hole allow variations in the line of play. The 7th hole is the crown jewel of the field, where, in two of the options of the tees, you have to play over water. It should be noted that the Amendoeira Golf Resort also has two more golf courses, allowing players to put their skills to the test in other courses when they are ready.
- Pine Cliffs Resort Golf Course: Stretching along 68 ha of land, this fantastic resort enjoys a prime location at the top of a cliff. The Pine Cliffs golf course is 60 meters high, overlooking the beach and crystal clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Built in the middle of a pine grove, with tree-lined fairways stretching parallel to the Atlantic Ocean, the main concern of the architect who designed it was to keep the natural surroundings. The jewel of this course is the 6th hole par 3 that requires a stroke of 197 meters over the cliff for the ball to reach the green.
Sean Hawker, also a PGA Pro, recommends that beginner players try out the par 3 courses at Amendoreira Golf Resort and Vale de Milho, noting that for the latter, neither handicaps nor a full set of clubs are required, as the course was built for people to easily enjoy the experience of playing golf.
- Vale de Milho: Vale de Milho golf course is a beautiful 9 hole par 3 course, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, located near the village of Carvoeiro in the Algarve. The course was designed by Dave Thomas, a former professional golfer who participated four times in the Ryder Cup and designed more than 40 golf courses. With its greens in immaculate condition, trees, lakes and bunkers, this course offers fun challenges for beginners and the whole family.