Stay at Vila Galé Ampalius 4* and Play Victoria, Old Course, Millenium and Pinhal Golf Courses.
At the time of creation, the Victoria Golf Course was hailed as the most ambitious golf project Portugal had ever witnessed. Covering some 90 hectares, the venue encompasses one of the most complete golf complexes in Europe, and features an exceptional driving range and a putting green of some 2,500 m2.
All of this has made it the obvious venue of choice for many of the top international tournaments to visit Portugal in recent times. Indeed, it has served as the host venue to the Portugal Masters on every occasion since 2007, while the World Cup Championship was staged there in 2005.
The Par-72 Championship layout, measuring 6.651 meters (7,273 yards) from the Palmer tees, incorporates and has ensured the preservation of natural wetlands on-site, as well as the typical vegetation of carob, olive and almond trees. A significant proportion of Victoria’s acreage is occupied by lakes, forming hazards to be avoided but which also have a strategic purpose in providing reservoirs for irrigation.
A number of teeing options on each hole (often as many as six are offered), accompanied by wide but undulating fairways, provide a fair test of golf, although water and cleverly-positioned bunkers pose a constant threat.
In the heart of Vilamoura lies the Grande Dame of Algarve courses, The Old Course Golf Club. As one of the first-established layouts in the region, the Frank Pennink-design is well regarded throughout the golfing world. Although it is but a mere 20-minute drive from Faro Airport, the course finds itself situated amongst impressive pine trees and set out over gently undulating terrain. There can be no argument that, for all who are lucky enough to play here, this is a golf course that lives long in the memory. The modernisation programme preserved the challenge of this magnificent layout for future generations and raised the quality of The Old Course Golf Club to new heights. An attractive new clubhouse and the putting green adjacent were the finishing touches to this renovation in the final years of the last millennium and still add much to the golfer’s experience. As with each Vilamoura course, detailed management systems ensure environmental protection practices are strictly adhered to.
The second golf course to call Vilamoura home, Pinhal Golf Course was opened for play in 1976 and owes its personality to both the original designer Frank Pennink, who also turned his hand to The Old Course Golf Club nearby, and Robert Trent Jones Sr., who made a number of significant refinements in 1985. Traversing undulating parkland, many fairways are lined by pine trees. However, perhaps an even more significant challenge is presented by the Umbrella and Atlantic pines which present themselves on fairways and at times on the approach into greens. Length has recently been added on a number of holes, which ensure the test originally envisioned by Pennink is maintained. At a substantial 6,353 metres from the white tee markers, and with a par of 72, Pinhal Golf Course is certainly no pushover, although golfers will be pleased to learn that the ponds and stream which come into play on five holes should not, for the most part, present a serious threat. One of the most remarked upon features of Pinhal Golf Course is the stunning panorama provided from the clubhouse, which extends over the excellent driving range and practice facilities and beyond. Completely renovated at the turn of the millennium, its veranda offers the perfect setting for post-round relaxation.
Boasting a unique position within the Vilamoura portfolio, it is often asserted that the creation of the Millennium Golf Course was pivotal in cementing the status of this region as one of Europe’s most-visited and best-loved for golf. Opened in the year 2000 - comprising nine brand new holes and a refurbished inward half which had previously formed part of the original 27-hole Laguna Golf Course - this is a more open course that its neighbours, although holes 3-7 wind between pine trees. For many, this stretch bears a resemblance to fairways of The Old Course Golf Club and Pinhal Golf Course, where landing areas grow narrower, requiring greater accuracy. A number of lakes, particularly interestingly on 17 and 18, enrich the remaining holes of the Millennium Golf Course, where a simple course strategy is always the best approach.
Only a few steps from the Marina beach, in Vilamoura, that’s where you will find the Vila Galé Ampalius hotel. Located in one of the most famous beach areas in Algarve, this hotel in Vilamoura invites you to enjoy the site’s constant entertainment, with its numerous bars, restaurants and shops. But also to enjoy the appealing Algarve sandy beaches. The casino is another attraction point.
At the Vila Galé Ampalius hotel, in many of the 357 rooms and suites, you can wake up with a sea view and savor your breakfast on the balcony, with the sun as your company.
For golfers staying in this hotel, there is a free shuttle to the Vilamoura golf courses.