The Faldo Course!
Designed by Sir Nick Faldo with strategic play in mind this 6598m PAR 72 championship course demands careful positioning to score well.
“The land at Amendoeira is dramatic and the project has the potential to be a real talking point in the Algarve. With so many courses in the region, that’s no mean feat”, pointed out Nick Faldo, during his visit in 2007.
In a modern twist of a traditional recipe, cacti and wild herbs replace the role of Sunningdale’s heather, spartan Holm oaks and ancient olive trees take the place of a lush English woodland, and desert scrub bunkers of crushed limestone replace Berkshire’s sandy tracts in a golf course that revels in the classic principles of strategic play.
Nick said: “This was a very exciting project, which gave me a great opportunity to exploit my passion for design the same way I exploited my passion for playing. You have incredible views, beautiful undulating land and any time you have natural terrain like this, it is great fun to work with.”
“The real skill is that when you stand on the tee, the golf hole tells you what to do and if you do what it tells you there is reward but if you don’t you’re penalised. The back nine is quite hilly, which is fantastic because we’ve got some great views to complement the course.”
“I like my courses to be challenging to whoever plays them. There might be easy holes in some places, but they are a challenge because you have to think about them, and that is what I am after. The best compliment you can get in the design business is when players come off the course and say ‘wow, that was a challenge,’ and that’s just what I planned at Amendoeira Golf Resort.”
The O’Connor Course
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.’