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It’s sill less than half a century since the late, great British golfer Henry Cotton laid out the Penina Championship golf course on the coastal region of the Algarve in southern Portugal. At the time he did so – golf was all but non-existent in the country. This was the first top quality course. Today, it couldn’t be more different and if you love playing golf, particularly off-season, the Algarve really is where it’s at.
Of course, if you’ve been watching the golf recently on TV, you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise. The Portugal Masters golf tournament in mid October was partially rained off – with only 36 holes completed. An outsider in the pre-tournament golf betting with the exchanges like Betfair and the main bookmakers, Frenchman Alexander Levy won in good style. But the event was a washout.
Still, this is very much atypical, trust us; the Algarve is an absolute paradise for golfers. In fact, there are now an amazing total of 42 nine-hole or 18-hole golf courses at 35 different golf clubs across the Algarve. So when you consider that the region has just a 100-mile southern-facing coastline, that’s a lot of courses.
The reason for this is that the conditions are simply ideal. It has that Atlantic atmosphere of predominantly westerly winds like you might find in England or Scotland – particularly on a links course. But of course the weather here is superb. It’s particularly good for people who like to holiday just off-season. For many of us, the Algarve is both too hot and too busy in July and August. But in the months immediately preceding and immediately following peak summer (so April, May June and September-October) the weather can be perfect.
Even in the depths of winter, you can enjoy bright warm sunny days here when golfing on the regions’ many superb courses is a absolute pleasure.
In short, if you live anywhere in Europe, love your golf and can travel off-season, the Algarve really is where it’s at today. Thank you for the idea Henry Cotton!