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Victoria Golf

A haven for golfers, the Dom Pedro Victoria Golf course is the most recent Arnold Palmer project in the Algarve and his distinctive style and course layout are evident throughout this course located in Vilamoura.

The 18 hole, par 72 course is 6,651m and covers some 90 hectares offering golfers an opportunity to experience some of the most sophisticated golf in Europe.

Water is a primary feature at the Victoria Course, with there being several lakes along the course and occupying 13 hectares of the total area.  The natural wetlands of the area have been meticulously preserved and are balanced by the almond, olive and carob trees of the Algarve.

The course is often host to major international tournaments and the undulating fairways, cleverly positioned bunkers and water hazards make for a challenging round of golf in the Algarve.

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 Par 4 opening hole requiring an accurate tee shot between the two bunkers. The approach will be easier if coming from the right side, as there is a large bunker protecting the green short and left.

2. Short, straight Par 4 where your club selection from the tee will determine the distance you leave for your approach. The uphill approach is played to a two-tiered green, so be sure to check the pin position.

3. The first Par 5 on the course where the tee shot offers little to worry about except the lone tree guarding the left side of the fairway. The second shot must navigate its way over the cross bunkers into the landing area short of the green. The approach shot is once again to a double-tiered green with large bunkers in the front.

4. Dogleg left Par 4 where the right hand fairway bunker is the line most golfers should choose. Longer hitters must decide how much to cut off and will hit over the bunker on the left which marks the corner of the dogleg. The green is elevated and has two levels.

5. This hole varies in difficulty depending on which tees you are playing from. The tee shot must be long and avoid the bunker and out of bounds on the right side. The approach shot must again be played to an elevated green protected in the front by three bunkers.

6. The first Par 3 and the longest on the course. Be sure to take enough club to carry the bunkers that protect the front and left side of this green.

7. Fabulous Par 4 which is also Stroke Index 1. The tee shot is daunting as the lake on the left must be carried. The further left you dare to hit your tee shot, the longer you must carry, but the reward is a shorter second shot. Bail out to the right off the tee and you will need at least three shots to reach the green.

8. The shortest Par 3 on the course with one of the largest bunkers you will ever see protecting the front, so anything short here will be punished. The green is the largest on the course and relatively flat.

9. The front nine finishes with a modest Par 4 where there are no fairway bunkers to avoid. Lone trees line the fairway on both sides and your drive should be hit between these. The approach is straightforward enough, just be sure to take enough club to reach the slightly raised green which has two bunkers at the front ready to catch any under hit shot.

10. Aim your tee shot at the left hand fairway bunker in the distance. The approach must be well struck to reach the target and avoid the bunkers on the left side of the green.

11. We enter a stretch where water is in play on six of the the final eight holes. This Par 4 in modest in length, but you must place your tee shot between the lake on the left, and the large fairway bunkers on the right. The longer you hit your tee shot, the narrower the fairway becomes. The approach shot must avoid the water and the beach bunker lining the left side of the green.

12. Par 5 with water in play all the way. Similar to the previous hole, your drive must dissect the lake on the left and the fairway bunker on the right – however, this time the further you hit your tee shot, the wider the target becomes. The longest hitters might decide to try for the green in two shots, requiring a shot over the lake towards the green. Otherwise, you must decide where to lay up as the water crosses the fairway at the ideal lay-up zone. The final approach still has to consider the water and beach bunker protecting the green in front and on the left side.

13. Par 3 played over more water and a large bunker in front of the green. Any shot which bails out to the right side can catch the slope and run back down the fairway. Take one more club here, as all the trouble is before the green.

14. Stunning Par 4 with water everywhere. The hole has two fairways separated by the water. The left fairway is the safer option from the tee, but this leaves a longer approach shot across more water. If choosing the right hand fairway, the carry must be around 200m, but this leaves a significantly easier second shot. Risk/reward at its finest.

15. This short Par 4 offers a gentle challenge compared to the previous few holes. Ensure that your drive avoids the three fairway bunkers that encroach into the fairway from the right hand side, then a short wedge approach to the green can yield a birdie opportunity.

16. The final Par 3 on the course requires a long, accurate shot to carry to the green. There is a large bunker to the front and right waiting to catch any stray shots.

17. The water returns on the course’s “signature” hole. This Par 5 is also the longest hole on the course with water protecting the entire right side of the hole. There is room on the left side of the hole to bail out somewhat, but as you approach the green your final shot must carry the lake that protects the green.

18. The final hole is possibly the most difficult on the course. Water lines the entire left side of the hole and your drive must be placed perfectly between the water and the fairway bunkers on the right. The approach shot must again navigate the water which protects the front and left of the green, with multiple bunkers waiting to catch any “safe” shot hit to the right.

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