Fun in the sunshine

As the 2017 Northern Golfer Match Play Pairs continues across the region, we take a look at the venue and golf courses our winners will visit in November as part of the NE/NW PGA’s Portugal Pro Am

The first round of this year’s Northern Golfer Match Play Pairs is in full swing with pairs from across the North East and Yorkshire competing for the trophy and a place in the NE/NW PGA’s Portugal Pro Am this November in The Algarve.

The winning pair will receive flights, accommodation at the fantastic Pestana Dom Joao II hotel and golf at the region’s finest courses as well as entry to the pro am tournament alongside one of our region’s best professionals.

The winners will stay at the four-star Pestana Dom Joao II, which overlooks the beach and is just a 10-minute stroll from the centre of town. The hotel is popular with golfers thanks to its central location and access to the region’s best courses, while the facilities make it the perfect place to relax after a long day on the course.

Recently refurbished, the hotel is home to a range of facilitates including an indoor pool, sauna and gym with each of the modern bedrooms complete with a balcony or terrace.

Just a stone’s throw from the soft sands of the Praia d’Alvor beach, the winners will also have access to three bars including a pool bar and lounge bar as well as a top quality a la carte restaurant.

As part of the pro am, the winners will arrive on Sunday November 5 ahead of the first tournament day on Monday November 6 at Pestana Vale do Pinta.

The host course of eight consecutive European Seniors Tour Qualifying finals, Vale do Pinta is a fun but challenging layout with some stunning holes and a number of tricky shots. Designed by American architect Ronald Fream, the rolling Bermuda grass fairways, well-placed bunkers, and Pen Cross Bent grass greens serve as a fitting welcome to the event.

The second round takes place at the Amendoeira Golf Resort’s Oceanico O’Connor Jnr Course on Tuesday November 7. Designed by Christy O’Connor Jnr, this 6,708-metre layout is a stern test defined by a number of lakes and water hazards and challenging bunkering. The mixture of water, bunkering and large, undulating greens will test the best players.

The tournament takes a break on Wednesday and while golf is available we’d recommend checking out the fantastic facilities in the hotel and heading into town for a break from the course.

The third round sees players head to The Oceânico Old Course in Vilamoura on Thursday November 9.

Set in the heart of the Vilamoura resort, this Frank Pennink-designed parkland layout is one of the oldest in the region and renowned around the world.

The course weaves through impressive pinetrees – the course’s principal defence – and over gently undulating fairways. Opened in 1969, the course was renovated and modernised 27 years later, and has kept up with modern golf to remain a great challenge.

The final day takes place over the Onyria Palmares Beach Golf Resort’s Alvor and Lagos courses with teams battling it out for the title on Friday November 10.

The Alvor loop plays through pine tree-lined corridors and over rolling hillside before the trees disappear momentarily at the sixth and seventh holes to give a sample of the dunes holes to come before returning to the parkland style.

The Lagos loop begins with the same parkland character, incorporating the site’s two lakes in the short par three third and long par four sixth holes. Holes seven and eight are set over the expansive dunes on the south west portion of the site before the loop concludes by climbing back to the clubhouse amid more parkland.

Away from the golf course, the Portugal Pro Am is renowned for its laid back atmosphere with professionals and amateurs relaxing after long days on the course in fantastic surrounding and shares tales from each day’s play. A worthy prize for our champions.