Situated in the heart of Vilamoura a mere 20 minute drive from Faro airport, this Frank Pennink designed parkland style layout is one of the oldest in the region and renowned all over the golfing world.
Often described as the Grande Dame of Algarve courses, it meanders throughout impressive pine trees - the principal hazard - over gently undulating natural terrain. Although it opened in 1969, the course was completely renovated and modernised 27 years later although no major changes were made to the magnificent layout.
In addition to raising The Old Course to new heights of quality, an attractive new clubhouse and adjacent putting green were also built at that time. As with all Vilamoura courses, environmental protection practices are strictly adhered to by means of detailed management systems in line with guidelines established by ISO 9001 and 14001 standards.
This is one of the stunning layouts in Portugal that will always stay in the memory of visiting golfers.
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The Old Course Clube de Golfe is just 20 minutes drive from Faro Airport along the A22 motorway.
Exit Faro on the main road alongside the airport roundabout and follow the signs for Faro and A22. Continue along this road for approx 2.5 km and take the second exit on the right signposted A22 Lisboa & Portimão to join a dual carriageway. After approx 4 km move to the left hand lane and take the left fork on the dual carriageway following the sign A22/Lisboa/ Portimão/ Albufeira. After a further 3 km take the right hand exit off the dual carriageway following the sign for A22 Lisboa/Portimão/Albufeira.
Leave the A22 at the Boliqueime /Vilamoura exit, then follow directions to Vilamoura. On entering Vilamoura, follow the signs to the Old Course Clube de Golfe.
+351 289 310 341
This short downhill par 4 presents the choice of a risk/reward long drive as the fairway narrows at the landing area. The safe route is a shorter tee–shot, avoiding encroaching pine trees on either side, leaving a full short iron approach threaded between the greenside bunkers, to a 25m putting surface that slopes down from the front.
The first of five par 5 holes is up a gentle slope with a generous fairway. Off the tee, stay clear of the single fairway bunker on the left. On the second shot the flag appears to be closer than it is but a small plateau before the green, not visible from a distance, can fool you into incorrect club selection. Keep your approach below the flag on the upward sloping green to improve your birdie chances.
A well–placed drive away from the voluminous umbrella pine up on the left leaves the ideal route to the green on this short par 4. The main danger thereafter consists of two bunkers on either side of the entrance to the green.
This medium length par 3 is the most scenic hole. Played over the only pond on the course, the direct route to the green includes an umbrella pine plus a frontal bunker. The sizeable green is also flanked by three other sand traps, but a confident strike should overcome these mainly psychological hazards.
The drive starts off through a menacingly narrow avenue of tall pines. The ideal landing area is right of centre without flirting with the first fairway bunker on the right. This takes a sole pine on the left out of play for the long second shot on this par 5. A further pair of lofty pines act as sentinels close to the subtly contoured green.
At 212m off the raised back (white) tee with its fine view towards the ocean this is the longest par 3, although being downhill takes off some of the effective distance. The secret is dodging the bunkers at the entrance to the green.
This long par 4 is a dogleg right to left up the hill, the player really should draw the ball off the tee to assure that it doesn’t run out of fairway and finish in the bunker or in the trees. The player can hardly see the putting surface on the 2nd shot, an extra club will not hurt you because it´s a very long green.
Stroke index 1 says it all. A long, gradual but not severely sloping uphill hole, it is close to maximum length for par 4’s. Aim left off the tee but away from the bunker since the fairway camber can deflect your tee-shot into the rough under the pines on the right. Two bunkers, one greenside, on the right guard the large sloping green. Usually you need three well executed strokes to set up a par here.
Unless you are a long straight hitter, tactical play off the tee on this short par 4 is required as the landing area close to the green is fraught with danger from trees, rough and bunkers. A mid’iron from the tee to the left side of the fairway will leave only a 9’iron or wedge approach to the sloping and generally fast amphitheatre green.
The back 9 starts with a teaser of a par 3 measuring 153m from the white tee. The shot is all 'carry' over a depression to the green so make sure you take enough club to land on the green or thereabouts since anything short is played from a steep slope with rough.
A tricky par 4 dogleg, stroke index 4. Plan the downhill drive carefully, avoiding the left and aiming to play between the two fairway bunkers. The difficulties on the uphill approach are mainly on the right with the omnipresent pines, a steep slope as well as bunker to catch errant shots. Take care with the breaks when reading the green.
This par 5 is an unusual dogleg right with the shorter section first. Long hitters can gain distance by cutting the corner over the pines close to the out of bounds fence. The second shot is straight up a gentle climb but demands precision due to the narrow pine tree lined fairway with a bunker on the right, 95m short of the green. Two other bunkers, one on each side, defend the entrance to the green. A good challenge.
This is a tricky par 4. A left to right dogleg and a fairway that runs from right to left into a small ditch along the fairway really demands extra attention. You really don´t need to be long off the tee; play for position and you will have a better shot in. The 2nd shot is slightly down hill into a small target, make sure you don´t hit it over the green, this will make some serious damage to you score card.
A short par 5 and potential birdie opportunity. This requires a drive threaded between the bunkers on either side of the fairway, followed by an accurate uphill fairway wood ending up on or close to the large green protected by three bunkers. A more conservative strategy should ensure a relatively simple par on this hole.
Similar to the 10th, this par 3 demands a medium to short iron over a depression direct from the tee to a wider green, albeit not so long from front to back. Bunkers right and left on the slope up to the green await any short offline shots.
The longest par 5 at 514m off the white tee down to 428m for the ladies, and rated stroke index 2. The ideal drive to the narrow landing area is on the left hand side, avoiding both the bunker and large pine tree just off the fairway. This will set up a downhill second shot to the wide part of the fairway some 110m short of the green, leaving a full short iron to the target. The green has bunkering on both sides.
This is a fascinating dogleg left par 4. Slightly uphill from the tee one can see two bunkers at the top of the slope. Longer hitters can clear these and get some run beyond the crest of the rise. A bail out area is available to the right, leaving a longer approach shot. The contoured green is on an upward slope and the putting lines can be awkward to read.
The par 4 closing hole is straightforward except for those playing from the 'tiger' tee — 73m behind the yellow one. The fairway narrows between a left hand bunker and a pine on the right between 110m and 130m from the green so precision off the tee will be rewarded. An off-line weak approach will flirt with two bunkers at the entrance to the green.