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Pinhal Golf Course in Vilamoura

As only the second course to be built in Vilamoura, the Dom Pedro Pinhal Golf Course in Vilamoura has a long and prestigious history that continues to draw golfers from around the world to be part of.

The course was built in 1976 and originally designed by Frank Pennink, the same architect behind the iconic Old Course.

While the basic layout of the course has remained the same over the decades, changes have been made to improve the course, with the main ones being in 1985 when Robert Trent Jones added his own touches to the rolling parkland course.

This 18 hole, par 72 course covers 6,353m is known for the umbrella and Atlantic pines that not only line the fairways but also provide hazards in other areas of the course, combined with water features to challenge golfers of all levels.

Enjoy refreshments in the modernised Clubhouse after a round and take advantage of the extensive views from the veranda.

Here is a helpful hole-by-hole guide to this course written by Rob Cheney. Rob is a leading PGA Pro with extensive knowledge of golf in the Algarve and over 15 years of coaching experience.

1. Long Par5 to start where the drive plays slightly uphill to a rise in the fairway about half way along the hole. The second plays slightly down to a generous landing area, leaving a short approach to a two-tier, raised green which is well protected by a tree and bunker to the right.

2. Tough Par 4 which requires distance AND accuracy. Your drive must be threaded through the umbrella pine lined fairway. The second shot requires you to negotiate a solitary pine in the middle of the fairway around 50m short of the green. The green entrance itself is protected by two bunkers.

3. Another Par 5. This time, a double dogleg which requires three very well executed shots to reach the green in regulation. The drive should be straight, favouring the right side if you can. The second must curve from right to left into a generous lay-up area. the approach is the easiest of the three shots, but it plays longer than it looks.

4. Lovely Par 4 hole with water in play on the second shot. The downhill tee shot must be placed accurately to ensure a clear view to the green. The approach will have to carry the water and avoid the two bunkers guarding the left side of the green. The green is particularly tricky to read.

5. Par 3 playing back in the opposite direction of the previous hole with the water hazard on the right side. You must carry your ball the full distance to reach this green, anything under hit will be collected by the front bunkers.

6. A straightaway, long Par 4 which is simply a strong test of length and accuracy. The drive should be hit with a draw to avoid the two fairway bunkers on the right. The approach from the left side of the fairway gives you the best angle to the green.

7. Dogleg left to right Par 4 with a more generous fairway to aim at than the previous hole. The second plays slight uphill and longer than the yardage as a result.

8. Pretty Par 3 hole played over a pond to a double-tired green which sits at an angle from front right to back left. The pin position here can influence the club selection significantly, so be sure to double check your distance. Long is definitely better than short.

9. Finally, a very wide fairway to aim at on this Par 4 which closes out the front 9. Avoid the fairway bunker and Par is a real possibility.

10. Short Par 4 with a blind drive which should favour the right side of the fairway. The second shot plays slightly downhill to a very narrow green protected by bunkers on either side.

11. Par 4 which doglegs almost 90* from right to left. It is important to get your tee shot to the corner of the dogleg to have a clear view of the green for your second shot. The green has two levels, so club selection is critical.

12. Straightforward Par 3 which requires a well struck shot to avoid the bunkers protecting the green.

13. Long Par 5 playing uphill all the way. Your tee shot and second shot are mostly hit blind. Eventually, the green makes a welcome appearance on the horizon and must be found if you are to secure your Par on the Stroke Index 1 hole.

14. Short Par 3 that can create many problems. The green is well protected at the front by two tall umbrella pines and a large bunker.

15. Short, downhill Par 4 which is very much risk/reward. There is a stream crossing the fairway which means a fairway wood or hybrid is the sensible choice from the tee. The longest hitters will fancy their chances of carrying the water and getting close to the green. This hole has no bunkers, so the second shot must simply find the green to give your self a chance of birdie.

16. Flat Par 4 with lots of fairway bunkering on the left hand side. Avoid those, and the rest of the hole is very straightforward.

17. A crazy Par 5 which doglegs 90* from left to right. Long hitters can easily run out of fairway, so you may choose to cut some of the corner off – however, that option os fraught with danger due to the tree and out of bounds. The sensible play is to the corner of the dogleg, followed by a long second shot which clears the top of the hill. The approach to the green must avoid the three bunkers guarding it to have any chance of securing your Par.

18. Nice Par 4 to finish where the green is not visible from the tee. The tee shot plays slightly uphill before the hole goes downhill quickly to the green. The downhill approach must be judged perfectly to avoid the treacherous deep bunkers guarding the front of the green.

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