The origin of golf is still uncertain, with debatable claims of its origin in Rome, China or Persia. However, it is most widely believed that the modern game originated in Scotland around the 12th century, with shepherds knocking stones into rabbit holes on the current site of the old course at St. Andrews. Despite doubts about the history of golf, there is certainly no doubt about its growing popularity over the years. Golf is decidedly, an excellent sport involving precision, and the beauty of it is that it is played at the finest greens, and has a strong social aspect to it. The picturesque setting and socialising also make it a perfect holiday retreat, with many golfers taking time to combine travelling with their passion.
One such popular destination which has attracted many golfers is the Algarve region in Portugal. Algarve, as some might already know, is located at the southern end of Portugal, and is surrounded by the Atlantic on two sides. With about 30 high-class courses, the Algarve in Portugal is often visited by golfers from all over the world. The many hours of sunshine, which allow you to play until late, and the fabulous climate, make Algarve Portugal a great golfing destination throughout the year. People often plan Algarve holidays, and are happily able to combine it with golf, by renting an apartment, cottage or villa near a golf course. The capital, Faro Algarve is home to 10 of the top 100 courses ranked by the prestigious Golf World magazine. In addition, the International Association of Golf Tour Operators has voted Algarve Portugal as the best golfing destination.
The quality of the fairways in Algarve Portugal has been the only concern for golfers. The golf courses, themselves, have been designed by respected names, such as Henry Cotton, Rocky Roquemore or Arnold Palmer, and provide a good challenge. If you can accept that and give wing to your swing on both flat and rough courses, you will never regret playing in the most charming setting of the Atlantic Ocean in the background! Golfing holidays in the Algarve will never fail to stimulate and energise any visitor.
With degrees of difficulty for all, many of the courses in Algarve Portugal are on the international circuit, regularly hosting important competitions. The golf courses in San Lorenzo and the Old Course in Vilamoura rank amongst the best in Europe. What’s more many luxury villas and apartments in Vilamoura are situated very near the golf courses. Many of the villas and apartments in Vilamoura can be rented directly from owners, saving money by avoiding commission. As part of the world’s largest holiday rentals company, Owners Direct allows you to search for and book rental villas and apartments in Vilamoura area, online. Most golfers are able to make the most of their Algarve holidays by living in these villas and apartments in Vilamoura near golf courses like Pinhal, Laguna, Millennium and Vila Sol. With a view over the resort of Vilamoura, the Millennium course is made up of fairways and greens large enough to forgive some less fortunate strokes. At the end of your game, it is normally a good idea to visit the magnificent and welcoming clubhouses in Algarve Portugal.
If you’re still not satisfied with your swing, improve it at an Academy. David Leadbetter in Carvoeiro, the Grotter, the Alto Golfe in Portimao and the Vila Sol in Vilamoura, are well known academies. Other golf courses in Central Algarve include the original Pinheiros Altos course, near the Ria Formosa National Park, which comprises two sets of 9 holes which are completely different from one another. The first 9 holes are built on dunes and adorned with pine trees. The second 9 holes are shorter, and include several lakes. The green on the 17th hole is in the shape of an island, similar to the 17th hole of the American TPC course. Now imagine spending your holiday in Algarve villas or Algarve apartments set in this picture perfect scene!
Near the sea, the Ocean golf course is part of the famous golf resort of Vale de Lobo, with its own set of splendid Algarve villas and Algarve apartments. Its rolling fairways are edged with pine trees, olive trees, orange trees and eucalyptus. Ocean Course designed by Sir Henry Cotton and then the Royal Course are both situated in Vale de Lobo, with the latter’s famous hole 16. The three spectacular cliffs that stand between you and the green have brought in photographers from all around the world, all of whom never once missed an opportunity to enjoy holidays in Portugal. Stalwarts such as the Formula One champion, Nigel Mansell have been president of Pine Cliffs. The 6th hole, on the side of a ravine, involving a shot across the beach, is still perhaps one of his greatest challenges. Several gorgeous Portugal villas for rent are available in this area, many equipped with a pool and many other facilities for comfort.
Indeed, with almost 3,000 hours of sun annually, 150 kilometres of golden sands and a coastline with magnificent cliffs, the Algarve has become Europe’s leading golfing destination. Whether it is choosing among Palmares, by the historic city of Lagos in Algarve, San Lorenzo in the exclusive Quinta do Lago villas resort or the Quinta da Ria by the side of the beautiful Ria Formosa Nature Reserve, golfing holidays in the Algarve are a must. Such choices may be difficult but the close proximity of these courses to villas in Albufeira Portugal or apartments in Vilamoura, Algarve villas or Algarve apartments, or even an Algarve Portugal beach house, means that you can easily have a go at playing them all. Healthy eating with grilled fish and shellfish, dips in the sea and relaxation on a sea-facing terrace all come as a bonus to your favourite sport. What better way to relax during your Algarve holidays?