Oceanico Old Course Vilamoura - Algarve
The five courses at Vilamoura are world renowned for providing quality golf in environmentally friendly surroundings. Darren Clarke described the courses as ´ five jewels in the one crown.´ The courses have recently been acquired by Oceanico group and within the next year there are two more golf courses due to open, The Faldo Course and The O´Connor Course, which should firmly establish Vilamoura as Europe´s premier golfing destination.
The Old Course at Vilamoura is one of the oldest in the Algarve, having opened in 1969. What really makes the course stand out is its ´layout´. It was designed by the English golf architect, Frank Pennink, who utilized the shape of the land and kept much of the vegetation.
This means that you are playing amongst the ancient pine-woods of the area that give the course a great feel to it. Many of the fairways are tight and long; there are a total of 5 par 5´s and the course demands both distance and accuracy on many of the par 4´s. The problem being if you go a little wayward off the tee you are most likely end up amidst the pine-woods. This is fine for finding the ball but gives you no chance of attacking the green on your second shot, instead you just have to take that painful shot of slapping it out onto the fairway with a four iron.
The Old Course´s signature hole is number 4, which is a short par 3 with a pond and a large bushy tree in front of the green so that your shot (to attack the pin) needs to be lifted over it and drop quickly the other side, which certainly makes for a fun hole to play. Another hole worth a mention is hole 6, which is a long par 3 that´s 196m off the yellow tees; which makes it difficult to know what to bat with, especially as right behind the green is a forest of trees.
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