Course designer: Frank Pennink & Robert Trent Jones
Bordered by the Natural Park of Ria Formosa, and neighbouring the Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo estates, Pinheiros Altos lives up its name ("old pine trees") on the front nine, with rolling sandy terrain and pine trees lining the fairways. The second nine is quite different, more typically parkland, playing into a less undulating valley with several lakes.
The island green of the 124-metre par 3 seventeenth is worthy of mention - providing an intimidating perspective, with water all around and with the wind liable to push your tee shot away from the target - shades of TPC Course, Sawgrass!
Pinheiros Altos always offers a warm welcome, whether it be the staff, course condition, or the very popular bar and restaurant at the luxurious clubhouse, as well as providing a true test of golf.
San Lorenzo golf course is one of the very top courses on the Algarve, and previously ranked as the second-best course in Europe. Available to members and guests of Dona Filipa Hotel and Penina Golf Resort Hotel.
The first five holes are relatively benign, with undulating fairways through a pine tree forest, before the golfer is faced with the unique views and exciting challenges of the extensive Ria Formosa lake/lagoon and bird sanctuary along which several holes border.
The course finishes strongly - the 18th is a 440-metre par 4 with expansive water along the left side and an approach shot to a semi-island green.
Course designer: Sir Henry Cotton, Rocky Roquemore
Venue: Portuguese Open
The Vale do Lobo Royal Course is rated as one of the best in Europe and sits dramatically on the cliff’s edge over the Atlantic.
The famous 16th is one of the most photographed holes in Europe and requires a shot of more than 180 metres over three spectacular cliffs. The wind plays an important role and even long hitters frequently require a good one-iron.
The Royal is a very enjoyable course, with attractive holes lined with umbrella pines and fig trees. A buggy is recommended, though, as there is a lot of walking between greens and tees.