Designed by Christy O'Connor Jnr., this course complements the neighbouring Oceanico Faldo Course and also takes full advantage of being situated in a fertile valley. Its various water features, both lakes and watercourses that are spread throughout the entire course, demand accuracy and test from all golfers, and the rich topsoil has been skillfully landscaped and planted with mature palm trees, affording a lush, ornamental setting like an extensive oasis.
This course has tees that are generally connected to the fairways, but its greater overall distance, the water hazards and big greens provide its challenge. Golfers must also be prepared to read the subtly contoured putting surfaces that are strong features.
Holes 7, 8 and 9, average length par 4's, offer a particular challenge as all three run alongside lakes, so golfers' concentration and accuracy of tee-shots as well as approaches are vital. 3rd and 17th holes are both excellent par 3's.
Two consecutive par 4's, the 14th and 15th with large rolling greens, are tough hurdles to overcome at such a critical stage of the round, and then the finishing hole, 356m off the white tee, requires a precision drive to set up the approach to a two tier green benched into the hillside. Christy's 18th hole brings the course to a fantastic finish, a gentle climb with the river running along the right hand side. 'This hole is a humdinger; once you get up here and look down on the golf course, you will feel you have been blessed.'
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Amendoeira Golf Resort is just 35 minutes drive from Faro Airport along the A22 motorway, 4 km inland from the beach resort of Armação de Pêra.
Exit Faro on the main road alongside the airport roundabout and follow the signs for Faro and A22. Continue along this road for approx 2.5 km and take the second exit on the right signposted A22 Lisboa & Portimão to join a dual carriageway. After approx 4 km move to the left hand lane and take the left fork on the dual carriageway following the sign A22/Lisboa/Portimão/Albufeira. After a further 3 km take the right hand exit off the dual carriageway following the sign for A22 Lisboa/Portimão/Albufeira.
Continue for approx 45 km and leave at junction 7/Alcantarilha, where you will come to a large roundabout. Take the first right, signposted Silves, and continue on the road (EN529) for approx 2 km and at the second roundabout the entrance to Amendoeira Golf Resort is on your right.
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A PAR 5 is kind of a nice hole to start with for amateur golfers. It is tricky enough, I suppose. There is a large lake to the right and Nick’s golf course on the left will be out of bounds because it has a different terrain. Although a generous fairway you will play down short of the river, and over the river for the second shot. It is not a tough opening PAR 5, which the first hole shouldn’t be.
The second is a very good PAR 4, driving over the water from the back tee at 190m, but shorter for the handicap player, to a lovely green set inside a double set of lakes. So, accuracy is required for the second shot. It is a hole where an amateur golfer should use their shot, and not be afraid to lay up, play for five and it will work out well.
This is a very nice PAR 3 which comes early in the round. The main lake, which was right of the first, will now be right of the third. This is a really good hole off the back tee, very presentable off the front tee and very PAR–able.
You have a huge orange grove to your left, a pretty good, wide driving area, where people need not be afraid to hit their drive and not be laying up with irons if possible. It is a decent landing area but the second shot is somewhat troublesome. It crosses the river onto to a plateau green and here it is important to club up. Don’t be short on this hole with your second shot.
This is the second PAR 5 and has orange groves left and right. The green is set some 15–20m above the second shot playing area.
The second of the PAR 3’s, the 6th is a very nice hole and plays downhill. It has some water to the right but not encroaching on the green too much. Although it has quite high yardage from the back tee, playing downhill will make the club a lot shorter. If you miss this green miss it to the left side, but a PAR here is certainly worth having.
This is the beginning of what you may call the Amen Corner. A lake runs from the 9th, through the 8th and into the 7th, so there is a kind of a chain reaction and the 7th is the first of it. It is important to play up the left off the tee, and leave yourself a shot in without having to cross the water. Those who drive up the right hand side will have to take out some loft to the green.
There is a slight dogleg left to right and the lake is much more in play for the drive than on the 7th. The second shot gives you a bit more space and it will be a generous green.
This is a key hole, the last hole on the way out, the last point of the course. The lake will run not only to the right off the tee, but also to the left off the second shot. It is almost a two-part golf hole. Drive over the water off the tee, avoiding the water on the right, and hit your second shot to a well guarded green with water on the left. If you are scared, bail out to the right.
This is one of biggest-mounded holes. The 10th is a severe dogleg left to right which you will drive, guide it I would say, though very large mounding, pot bunker to the left and right. It diverts to the left but to get to the corner it won’t be difficult. You can run out to 300 so you don’t have to be a shot maker to get round. You hit your drive to your own length and set yourself up for a nice PAR 4.
The first PAR 5 on the back nine is a really nice hole, no water, but has large mounding, as it cuts through a hill. It is almost a treble dogleg and drives slightly to the right, second shot to the left, and back again to the right with the third shot. Here strategy is very important. Be on the right side off the tee, then being a little left with your second shot opens up the green thoroughly, giving you a great chance at a PAR 5.
This is a really nice PAR 4, about 393m. This hole is guarded by the same lake that runs along the 7th hole, sitting on the lake with the water this time on the right. Short won’t put you in trouble; long will definitely give you some hardship.
This is the shortest PAR 3 and has its own piece of ground with no other hole straddling it or side–by–side.
This is the narrowest part of the land, a really nice PAR 4 with the water to the front and right. You can drive not too far from the green. There is a large lake to the right hand side and the front of the green. The second shot has to be very precise, onto a green, which will be a generous one, over a lake and a favorable run around to the left hand side of the lake and into the green. If one wants to bail out, pivots left and chip on. Don’t be afraid to drop a shot here.
Here is a really nice PAR 4, where the river has been moved slightly to accommodate the hole, to the right. It is a real driver’s golf hole, now that the fairway is broken by the river crossing back into its original run. You have to hit over that to another section of the fairway and onto the green.
This is a great PAR 5 coming in. This hole is 500m long, there is a lateral water hazard along both sides of fairway but a generous landing area will help you keep the ball in play. You really want to be on your 2nd shot between the left inside bunker and the palm tree on the fairway. This is the ideal position to attack the flag that can be tricky especially if it’s behind the bunker short right.
The last PAR 3 is really nice and about 170m. Again, the water off the 16th comes slightly into play off the right hand side of the green. Bail out left here, and I think a three will be very possible on this hole.
The main river that straddles the whole land, runs all the way along the right hand side. But on the left hand side for the first time are the hills, and that will guard the fairway. There is beautiful cover and vegetation and an acute dogleg right to left up the hill. This is a really nice finishing hole, not too hard a climb as there has been none throughout the whole golf course. A drive and a four or five iron for the average hitter but once you get up here and look down on the golf course you will feel you have been blessed.