Have you heard about the region where golf is never interrupted by rain?
Gather your mates on a trip to the best golf courses in the Algarve. Golf in the Algarve is already a habit of many families who visit us every year to have a good time hitting the greens while enjoying the mild weather here.
Regardless of the season, heading to the Algarve is always an incredible discovery. The landscapes, the beaches, the gastronomy and the most popular sport of the region, golf, are activities sought after by visitors. There are many award-winning golf courses in the Algarve where you can enjoy endless afternoons with friends or family. If you are not yet familiar with the sport and are curious about how to get started in golf, read the following suggestions carefully and start hitting like professionals.
What do you need to start playing golf?
Golf is a sport without an age limit. You can learn it as a child or an adult, so remember, it's never too late to learn something new!
- To practise any activity, nothing better than first learning a bit about its history and roots. This sport originated in several European countries, and there are notes of a similar game where the Romans hit a ball made of feathers and irons.
The first official report appears in the year 1457 in Scotland, when King James II forbade the practice of golf on his courses because it interfered with archery practice, a defence exercise in the kingdom. The Scots eventually disobeyed the King and started playing golf on land by the sea, where the vegetation was shorter and the ground softer for digging the holes. The aim of the game has not changed much over the years. The winner was the one who could hit the most holes in the least number of strokes.
- Understand what golf is even before you start playing. Learn about it and ask your questions to experienced golfers. Be familiar with the golf gear, like the various putters for throwing the ball and their potential for each hole. The game aims to reach the end with the fewest strokes. The golf courses have within nine and eighteen holes, and among them, you will go through several areas, each with its characteristics and obstacles in between.
- To ensure that golf is the right sport for you, you can take a baptismal lesson or join friends for a mini-golf experience. In a much smaller area than a golf course, where the obstacles are also less complex, you can gain some skill in handling the putters, and you will have a closer approach to this sport. This is the only way to find out if this sport is the best for you and if you will be able to cross a course for approximately four hours.
- In golf, there are many expressions about the course and others about the movements in the game. To get started, learn some basic terms before you hit the course.
•Fairway: is the distance of the course between the entrance and the exit of the next hole. It has shorter grass, and the terrain is usually more uniform than the rest of the golf course.
•Green: where the hole is flagged, and the grass has perfect trim around the hole.
•Teeing ground: the area where you can play the first shot into the hole.
•Out of Bounds: is the outside zone where is defined the playing area. There is a new rule that determines when the ball is lost or it leaves the playing area, the player is penalised by two strokes.
•Hazard: is an area of the golf course that presents the most difficulties in getting around the obstacle. These obstacles may be water hazards, bunkers, or others.
•Swing: is a body rotation movement that allows the player to hit the ball with the golf putter. The swing should be one of the first things to learn in this sport.
•Chip: is a short shot that allows you to put the ball on the green and as close as possible to the hole.
•Carry: is the distance the ball travels in the air after a stroke.
•Putt: shot made on the green with a particular golf putter.
•Stroke or Shot: refers to the moment of hitting the ball.
- Knowledge of golf etiquette rules promote respect among players and for the sport itself. Get to know some of these rules:
•What to pay attention to in the course: leave the field as you would like to find it is one of the fundamental rules for the smooth running of everyone's game. Restore the divots (the torn grass). Straighten out footprints and tee marks before leaving a bunker. Do not step on another player's putt line, and do not leave your belongings, such as your backpack, in the green.
•Respect the other players: you should speak as short or as quietly as possible next to the player starting a shot and never stand close to the player. Only start the shot when everyone in the other group has finished the hole.
•Who has priority on the course: the player alone on the course, must let all groups ahead pass. Any group that makes a complete turnaround in the golf course will be entitled to pass another group playing only one part.
•Unexcused delays: players must not delay the game without any justification.
Where are the best golf courses in Portugal?
Golf in Portugal has a high international reputation and is one of the top ten promotional products for international tourism. It was in the north, in Oporto, where was built the first golf course. In the 19th century, the English started business related to port wine in the region, and with them, they brought some habits that have lasted in the Portuguese tradition. Currently, the best courses are in the south of Portugal, in the Algarve region. We leave you some suggestions:
(7 minutes away from Belmar)
This excellent course is just a few minutes away from the Belmar Resort, and its attributes and several holes attract more average players. While taking a few strokes through the 18 holes of this course, be enchanted by the view over the Atlantic Ocean, the native vegetation and the landscape design itself. The Boavista Golf was built by the Architect Howard Swan. He is known for designing golf courses according to the natural state of the land. Letting the beauty of this nook stand out and thus, have a great golfing experience.
Espiche Golf Lagos
(13 minutes away from Belmar)
This different course inserts in a natural reserve where respect for nature and sustainability is a daily concern. The grass categories chosen for this course reflect the idea of sustainability. Here, it's used two types of grass that do not need as much watering, saving water use. This difference gives golfers a new playing experience. The course, built-in 2012 by Peter Sauerman, has 18 holes.
Palmares Ocean Living & Golf
(20 minutes away from Belmar)
In an idyllic setting, your group will want to run the three courses, each with nine holes. The details of the land that slopes down to the sea and the landscape over the Alvor estuary, the architect Robert Trent Jones II was the designer of this course. The vegetation is composed of pine and olive trees, narrow valleys and extensive dunes that make for a game full of challenges. The course is divided into three parts: Alvor - holes 1 to 9; Lagos - 10 to 18; Praia - 19 to 27.
Golf Santo António
(21 minutes away from Belmar)
A course next to the Costa Vicentina Nature Reserve with fairways winding through the surrounding valley in the Parque da Floresta. The first nine holes are particularly steep, the obstacles, such as lakes and bunkers, are challenging, so the player should already have some skill before starting at Santo António Golf. The location of this course is near Salema village. This 18-hole course, designed by Pepe Gancedo, has already hosted the prestigious Europro Tour.
(22 minutes away from Belmar)
The golf course at Penina Golf was a pioneer in the Algarve, the first in the Algarve region. The name of that same 18-hole course has the English golfing champion, Sir Henry Cotton. In addition to the legendary Sir Henry Cotton Championship Course, there are two other courses internationally recognised as the most challenging in the world. It has existed since 1966, and its location is near the Alvor parish.
Morgado Golf Course
(26 minutes away from Belmar)
Considered one of the quietest and most open fields, it is an excellent option for beginners in this sport. Nature, fauna and agricultural fields surround it, and the location is between Portimão and Monchique. Strategic obstacles such as bunkers and lakes provide a natural challenge for those still learning and those at the medium level. Morgado Golf Course is one of the three golf courses of this group, the second being the Álamos Golf Course, which is two minutes away from each other. The third is a little further away, at Salgados beach.
What is the best time of year to play golf?
Now that you know some of our suggestions of where to practise the Algarve's king sport, it only remains to know the best time to practise it. Golf is an outdoor sport, of long walks in which the games can last up to 4 hours.