Salgados Golf Course
Salgados Golf CourseAlbufeira's only 18 hole course
One of our favourite tracks on the Algarve, surrounded by luxury hotels, a short taxi ride from the bright lights of Albufeira Old Town or the Strip, seafood restaurants, beach bars and a nature reserve mean the surroundings and views of the Atlantic Ocean are second to none.
Salgados Golf Course is Albufeira's only 18 hole course, found to the west of the town in the area of the same name. The course is not a traditional links course however it is within 25 metres of the sea in places especially as you near the end of the back 9 where holes 15, 16 and 17 are easily affected by any breeze coming off the Atlantic Ocean, which is very common.
The course is built within the protected Salgados Nature Reserve which is home to all types of endangered and migratory birds, including flamingoes which can be seen at various times of the year. Salgados's main hazard is by far water, lots of water, every hole on the course has water in play with the exception of the 17th. The fairways are lined with huge palm trees that can save the odd ball from getting wet but they are also known to catch them never to be seen again. We think you are picking up the general theme of Salgados, bring plenty of spare balls with you, leave the driver in your bag and enjoy the fantastic scenery and a low scoring round.
Starting on the 1st, par 4, (depending on the time of year the caddy master alternates between the 1st and the 10th to keep play moving) you have water to the left and rough to the right as well as a large net to stop wayward slices ending in the car park, keep it straight and you'll have an easy chip onto a large flat green. The second hole is a par 5, with a stream on the right with large overhanging umbrella pine trees, water to the left and in front of you but it is a good 300 yards from the yellow tee so only the biggest hitters will need to worry. Lay up a 3 wood straight at the lake in front of you, the hole takes a sharp dogleg from left to right the brave can try and cut the corner but it is better to play straight and leave yourself an easy 3rd shot onto another large flat green. The 3rd is the first par 3 lakes to the left and right this deceiving hole plays longer than it looks so club up and keep it straight. The 4th opens up to a huge fairway no danger left and a short strip of water on the right that's not really in play. Two straight shots will have you on, or near, another large flat green, Turning 180 degrees this time no danger left but more water to the right, again another hole where you can open your shoulders and reach the green in 2, don't go long as the back of the green slopes away to yet another water hazard. The 6th is a monster par 5 with water right and out of bounds left, beware on your second shot the lake actually protrudes out into the fairway but in a dip you cannot see, keep left close to the trees and if you have the balls so to speak try and reach the green in 3, most of us reach it in 5, another useful note is there is usually a ball seller sat off the side of the 6th green so you can stock up. The 7th gives you a bit of a break, wide and long you would have to hit a howler to find the water or the out of bounds right and 8 is another deceiving par 3 that plays longer and above your feet, although short your better to club up than be short on the bunkers but with your back to the ocean you can often get help from the wind. Nine doglegs left to right with water on the right, play safe, don't cut the corner and you'll be on the green in 2.
The 10th, 11th and 12th are a confusing affair and need a bit of explanation, the 10th plays off a raised tee with a right to left dogleg that is lined down the left side with 25-foot palm trees and if you try to cut the corner it's almost inevitable you will end up in the brace of bunkers hidden from view right on the bend, play straight and then turn and head to the green you can still make it in 2, or 3 if you're not so long, the green is huge and flat. Turning a full 180 degrees the 11th momes back towards the 10th tee and can be very confusing, the hole is actually another dogleg left to right, a lake cuts across on about 250 yards so 3 wood off the tee, there are concrete paths and bunkers along the right side that can cause havoc but if you get it straight close to the lake you will have another easy 100 yard 2nd shot over the water (close your eyes) onto a slightly wide sloping green. The last of these three compact holes where they almost seem on top of each other is the short par three that plays directly over a large lake to a huge 3 tiered green running from left to right, the hole pays about 130 yards and depending on pin placement can be 140. Once you're out of 12th the course opens again with a right to left 13th with water on the right, the long 14th par 5 you need to be straight as more water on the right, The 15th and 16th are long and straight par 4's with water obviously but not really in play unless you are very poor off the tee. The 17th is the only dry hole a long par 3, slightly uphill and into the wind if it's blowing off the sea, bunkers all over the left-hand side so aim right but keep away from the palm trees. The final hole has water down the right, a wall and palm trees on the left, dogleg right to left and a large green will see you back in the clubhouse for a cold beer.