This story is about a very special invitation. It took me almost a week to process this fantastic event. It was a rainy Monday afternoon when I jumped on the plane and less than three hours later I was picked up at Faro airport. From there it was only a quick 20 minute transfer and I arrived at the super cozy Dom Pedro Vilamoura hotel where I meet a couple of really nice people and one or the other social media hot shot from England. We had an interesting convo during dinner before I had an amazingly relaxing rest in my room’s huge bed.
The next day I had the option to play the “The Old Course” of the Dom Pedro Golf collection. I had already heard a lot about this beauty, since many folks on Instagram recommended this amazing course. And man, were they right!
From the clubhouse, where I really enjoyed my tea and sandwich, we directly snuck over to No.1. What a divine tee shot! From the elevated tee box you had a beautiful view over the whole area. The first three holes quickly made me realize that I was playing one of the best courses in Portugal. Juicy fairways, perfect greens; and I know I say that alot but these greens were soo good, it was really good fun to put on them.
The first hole I need to lay out for you was No.4, a short Par3 but with this very significant tree right in front of the dance floor. A nice high 9-iron should get you over and on the green, but don’t you mess it up, because there are all sorts of bunkers waiting for your ball all around the green.
Actually you have to be really accurate on the whole Old Course of Dom Pedro Golf because those bunkers are literally everywhere.
The next hole I really fell in love with was No.9, a short Par4 at only 260 meters from the yellow tees. Super tricky though! Actually the pro tip describes it best and rather figuratively:
“Unless you are a long straight hitter, tactical play off the tee on this short Par4 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 nine are in no way inferior to the front nine. Just like going out, on your way back in the old trees come into play on every single hole.
More than once they make it quite difficult and require not only accuracy but also creativity like on No.12. This brutal Par5 is one of these holes where you can solve a lot of problems with a very aggressive line. Precision is needed to create a good layup shot and to avoid the old pine trees, which make this fairway really narrow. After that, approaching the green is no piece of cake either, since there are two bunkers on each side making it really difficult to catch a break for once. I need to say, that once you end up in the sand: no worries! The sand is high quality all over the course and really a pleasure to play out of for any kind of player.
Finally No.17 was, in my opinion, one of the best holes on the back nine. This mid length Par4 measuring 354 meters from the yellow box is a great hole when you hit a long drive from the tee which is placed slightly uphill. A good drive will get you some extra roll by making it over the crest of the rising fairway. But make sure to rather go for the right side to, one more time, avoid another tree in front of the left side of the green. Again, once you are savely on the green, you will just love it.
The old course of Dom Pedro golf is a Frank Pennink design and with its 6254 meters and a slope of 138 it’s really the place to be when you visit Vilamoura. Trust me, this is highly recommended!