Vale do Lobo Golf Club
Vale do Lobo Golf Club, Almansil, Portugal
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15 reviews of Vale do Lobo Golf Club
My second year playing a round at October half term and again another less than fantastic experience. I would now not recommend this course.
After playing a few courses earlier in the week - Quinta do Lago, Vila Sol, I was pleased to see that standards had improved and there was a genuine recognition of the value of visitors. For example the club house at Quinta do lago has been refurbished and there was a mobile coffee bar for early tee times.
Played Ocean course and although there had been rain it was clear that the fairways still suffered from signifcant wet areas and poor ground works. Numerous areas were GIR. Greens were very nice.
My biggest beef were the prices and the staff. Not only was the course Euro 20 more than anywhere else, small things niggled - pull trolly Euro 9 compared to Euro 5 or 6 elsewhere - why? No starters, no refreshment buggy, practise range now decomissioned.
There seemed to be few players yet I was sent out as a solo and quickly bumped into a 3 ball - mum, dad and junior - possibly some of the worst players ever who refused to let me through for 7 holes - again they were apparently members. I stopped the marshall in his buggy and asked him to manage the play - he shrugged and zoomed off in the other direction. At the 10th I managed to play through when the 3 ball were joined by 2 more players and another buggy - both our rounds were disrupted - why do they let this happen?
My comments to the management at the club were met with a lack of empathy and no recognition that half my round had been ruined. No offer of compensation for a round costing over Euro 90 - that's serious money with the Euro/Sterling exchange rate - no wonder there are few takers.
Poor course conditions, indifferent staff - at these prices there are plenty of cheaper and better courses just around the corner
Played a week at the end of October - 5 courses
Quinta do Lago N - 92 Euro
Quinta do Lago S - 92 Euro
Pinhal - 74 Euro
Vale do Lobo Ocean - 98 Euro
Vila Sol - 90 Euro
Portugal is getting pricey and the golf operators appear content to scale back green keeping and up the prices. Noticable a year on from a similar tour that the state of many courses has been allowed to decline.
This was my first time here and I had mixed feelings. Felt like the local jet set - Ferraris in the car park and loud parties of Russians and their girlfriends teeing off on the Royal Course. Practise area was poor - just a glorified net and staff less than helpful. I teed off as a single, and it was silly that they did not mix me in with other players as they had done at other courses. I quickly bumped up against three and four balls.
The course seems to be played by the retired Algarve set - wandering aimlessly, and the tourists unable to keep their ball in play. Was allowed to play through a three ball in front of me. Then at the 9th the party of old timers seemed to play a different line on the dog leg. I played to the corner, then was sandwiched between this four ball and the three ball that I had left behind a couple of holes before. They clearly did not understand the procees of "pace of play". I hit my ball on the 9th thinking they had moved on after 10 minutes of waiting (over a slight blind spot), so find them stil farting about and generally hurrumphing about me. Sunk the birdie on this par 4 - best feeling all year! At this halfway they did then allow me to go through with no one in front for 5 holes.
The front and back nine had some of the nicest layouts. A long opening hole, then followed by the introduction of water required careful plotting. Again as mentioned evidence of poor conditions, and I was surprised to see that such a course had been allowed to decline. Greenkeepers were working but probably just to keep it playable.
Back nine runs back and forth to the sea. Some really nice holes before a tough hole back to the club house with an amphitheatre green. You can see this course is better than average - just wish the clientel could play to the standard the course required.
Just returned from a golf weekend on the Algarve and this was the first course we played. Its a well set up complex, though somewhat pricey compared to others in the area, managed to get on for 115 euros with a buggy. You are paying for the views, as there are some very scenic holes, many in fact.
Unfortunately, the layout is set around Villa's, and I mean everywhere, every hole. What's worse is there are at least 5 holes affected by construction work, either along the fairways or around the greens, plenty of dust and noise.
The green to tee distances are bizarre as well as you find yourself crossing roads, driving between houses etc. Not a good layout at all.
I would give them 12 months to get building complete before going back, and like I said the holes themselves are gorgeous, especially the signature 16th along a cliff face adjacent to the beach, and over a ravine with probably 180yd carry required.
Fairways and greens were in excellent condition, not too long a course, and varied holes.
We played the Ocean course after playing the Royal last year what I can say is that the course is a good test of golf and in decent condition. However I agree with some of the earlier comments that they are very over rated. We played four different courses over four days and although in good condition was possibly the worst. The facilities are superb I have to say and you'll get looked after, as soon as we arrived our clubs were put on either a buggy or tolley. What I will say when visiting portugal is make sure you have a valid handicap certificate just incase, we were asked for the Ocean Course. The worst thing about the course is how busy it is, the value for money and main issue for me was the amount of building work which I think just spoils these two courses. I agree the house around the 16th is amazing but all we had around the 18th green was banging and knocking from the building work. Also stewards closely monitor progress around the course and we were asked politely to speed up a little even though we weren't holding up play at all. I prefer to walk courses but if you can afford it I would recommend buggies it's easier, you'll get round quicker and it'll keep the stewards off your back. If you have a choice then I'd play the Royal Course every time, don't get me wrong Ocean is a nice course, I just think it's being spoilt by building work, being overplayed and it makes the cost poor value for money, personally there are far more better courses around Villamoura that are much better value for money.
Played the Ocean course end of April 2006. Found the course to be in very good condition and a good test. The place is pricey though 60 for a buggy, and the green fee is around 150. A fantastic hole awaits you on the 9th with a sequence of waterfalls flowing from the left of the green.
Average Portugal track,in fact over rated,sure it has some good holes but for the money they should be all good.Maybe it is resting on its laurels of hosting a few Opens but even the cost of a buggy is dearer than hiring a car for a week.
Give the other courses a try before this mundane effort and dont support exploitation of tourists
Have played both royal and Ocean many times. out of season these courses are empty and at their best. Ocean is the easier track if you cannot drive it arrow straight every time, but, no less of a challenge and great views and surroundings. Not cheap,but,worththe extra to get awayfrom the slow progress at the Vilamoura courses. All in all,a must play, with great fairways and greens. look out for the Glass Villa overlooking the sea on the Ocean back nine, golfing nirvana.
Played Vale do Lobo Royal and Ocean in the same week, fantastic scenery though very let down with the condition of the Royal course. The greens were in very poor condition in comparison with other courses in the area. Having to use buggies on the Royal before 10:30am and having to stay to cart tracks also spoiled what could have been an excellent day.Having said that, the 16th hole is everything it looks in all of the brochures ! The Ocean course on the other hand, though side by side with the Royal was immaculate and made up for a slightly disappointing round on the Royal.
Played the royal course paying the full green fee of 135 euros around mid day. Although it was hard work it was still worth the experience. Par'ed the 16th using a driver to within 8 ft of pin. Got a round of applause from holiday makers looking for balls on the cliffs.
The ninth hole is a semi island green and requires a very good high shot to hold on the green. I won't be taking that one on next time.
There is a very good dog leg par 5 which cost me and my partner 8 and 11 shots.
I'm a mid-handicap player and my partner plays of nine. We both shot well over our handicaps.
Just a very good test of golf.
Playing after 10:30 you can walk the course without buggies before is mandatory buggy. Another 55 euros.
Pre booking with golf tour can get you a discount on green fee and being resident is 1/2 price I think.
Every golfer should play this course once.
Have played both courses quite a few times but much prefer the Royal course, always in excellent condition and some lovely holes. The one hole I cannot understand is the much photographed 16th par 3 over the ravine? If there is even the slightest breeze, (which there normally is as you are teeing off from the top of a cliff) you are hitting anything from a 4 iron to a driver and you have to clear a massive bunker in front of the green and hold the putting surface!! The stroke index is about 14 or 15 and this hole is guaranteed to wreck what would be a good score. In my opinion this should be stroke index one!!
Played the Royal and have to say it was awesome! Straight hitting is a must ( as it is with most of the Algarve courses) unless you fancy smashing a few windows in the villas that line the fairways. The condition of the course was unbelievable and either of these courses (Royal / Ocean) are must plays if visiting the Algarve.
Played 6 local courses and the Ocean Course topped even the San Lorenzo experience. Without doubt the best course I have played. 10/10: the clubhouse facilities, staff, the views, condition of course and the layout - all excellent. A fabulous experience from start to finish. Jan 2001.
The Royal course has got to be the best course I have played. This was my second trip to Portugal to play golf and this course definately tops the lot
Both courses are very good by the Royal Course has to be in my top 3 ever.
The singular best course i have ever played, the staff are attentive and the course is out of this world!!
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