Vale do Lobo or “Valley of the Wolf”, is the Algarve’s oldest golf resort and it’s the largest luxury resort in Portugal. Sir Henry Cotton laid out 18 holes at Vale do Lobo in the early 60s but his original layout has been split in two to form the Ocean and Royal courses.
The Ocean is perhaps the understudy to the Royal course, but nevertheless it’s a solid sandy layout and it stands up on its own two feet. The newer and more open nine, which American architect Rocky Roquemore laid out in 2003, provide an opportunity in the middle of the round to open your shoulders before you head off toward the shoreline.
The handful of ocean holes, of which Vale do Lobo’s Ocean course takes its name, are really good and these beach holes are the ones which will remain etched in the memory. In fact, the Ocean course will lead you closer to the sea than any other course on the Algarve. Look out for the brilliant par three 15th, which measures 192 metres from the back tee, it rivals the brilliant par three 16th on the Royal course.
With holes flanked by umbrella pines and eucalyptus trees with greens set in delightful beach-front sites and even an authentic links-like hole, the Ocean is a varied course and one that will hold your attention. It’s well worth adding to your Algarve itinerary.