Newsletter – September 2017

Hi Everybody,

The Eastern Algarve is in full swing at the at the moment and record numbers are here on holidays this year. With temperatures hitting 30 degrees plus the greens are still busy, just goes to show the calibre of the courses we have in the Eastern Algarve.

The Algarve has once again been voted the No 1 Golf Destination in the World and now that the temperatures are finally set to cool down a little, the busiest golf season is ahead of us.

Bookings for the coming season indicate that the recession has passed for most, and happy days are here again. However this is also reflected in the green fees for the more popular Algarve regions. They’re slightly up this year, around 5%.  Hotel rates are showing similar increases however Restaurants are much the same due to a cut in the Portuguese VAT rate. The best value by far can be found in the Eastern Algarve and just over the border in the Spanish region of Huelva.

The courses in the Huelva region, such as LaMonacilla and Rompido are now proving popular with our clients. Chatting to a lone Irishman on the putting green at the 5* Rompido Resort, he couldn’t believe his luck that he had found this beautiful 5 *Hotel with two wonderful courses!  I told him to keep it a secret. Rompido Golf Resort is about an hour from Sevilleand an hour and a half from Faro. Their rates are very modest compared to the traditional golfing regions of the Algarve.

Back in the Algarve, Benamor is still leading the way for the fantastic “Classic” golf days. Here you get the chance to taste some greatwines with a superb lunch as well as the golf of course.  It makes for a great day out and should be booked early to avoid disappointment. With a shotgun start the number of players is restricted. Dates and prices available on request for those interested.

Castro Marim is at its usual best this year and the Bermuda grass fairways are spectacular. The club pro Peter O’Connor is available to give lessons to the beginners and anybody who needs a lift with their game. The Villas are ideal for those who like to reside at a course during their stay. With the three nines it makes Castro the ideal base for a single venue golf holiday. It offers a warm village feeling in the residential area and being a short distance from the town of Vila Rea, it makes for a wonderful holiday. A courtesy coach is available for those requiring transfers to the local village and surrounds.

Quinta de Cima and Ria are tops with the Irish visitors again this year, the two courses are in pristine condition.

What more can be said about LaMonacilla!  This is the hidden Gem! We recommend that all our groups include this tremendous Olazabal designed course in their Itinerary. The Greens on this course will sort the good putters out and the four par threes are a particular challenge to even the seasoned low handicappers.

A new addition this year is Isla Canela. This course is in Ayamonte Spain and only a short drive from our base in Monte Gordo. It’s not a very long course but seems like it is, even though it is very walkable. There are some difficult holes in the first nine but if you play to your handicap you’ll feel you have won.

Canela is also a resort with a very fine 4* Hotel on the site. It is 15-20mins more travel time from base, but worth the effort.

Monte Rei is again rated No1 in the Algarve. This superb Jack Nicolas designed course, although a little more expensive is a must play in any Itinerary. A most memorable day out is guaranteed, the facilities are the best in Europe; best practice facilities; superb Restaurant and top staff lead by new golf director Mr Darren Griffiths and the Golf Course Manager, Stuart Martin.

Quinta da Vale is one of of our more challenging courses, it is the last course Seve designed. It’s improving with age like a good wine, a great test of golf for our low handicappers. For those wishing to play this course more than once, reduced green fee rates apply.

The courses on the Eastern Algarve are still the cheapest green fees along the Algarve and are exceptional value again this year. The cost of dining out is much cheaper in this region and it offers great value for money in superb Restaurants. We can recommend the best for your stay.

We are still recommending our usual 4* Hotels. To avail of the Dunamar and Yellow we recommended that bookings are made sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment.

O’Connor Golf Tours are in our sixth operational year and as usual personal attention is guaranteed to ensure you enjoy your holiday on the Eastern Algarve. From arrival to departure we look after your holiday requirements to make it a memorable experience

Use our transfers for getting from A to B!  Why would you want to drive yourself?  A nice relaxing drink after a round of golf can often be the best part of the day for some. It’s all about getting around safely.

In Portugal, the drink driving laws are now similar to Ireland and the UK.  The roads are stringently patrolled, so be aware!

We can arrange club hire on request from Clubstohire at the same rates as advertised on their website www.clubstohire.com.

The personal service we provide will make your golf holiday a lasting experience.

 

Gerry O Connor

O’Connor Golf Tours