The second golf course to call Vilamoura home, Pinhal was opened for play in 1976 and owes its personality to both the original designer Frank Pennink, who also turned his hand to the Old Course nearby, and Robert Trent Jones Sr. who made a number of significant refinements in 1985.
Traversing undulating parkland, many fairways are lined by pine trees. However, perhaps an even more significant challenge is presented by the Umbrella and Atlantic pines which present themselves on fairways and at times on the approach into greens. Length has recently been added on a number of holes, which ensure the test originally envisioned by Pennink is maintained. At a substantial 6,353 metres from the white tee markers, and with a par of 72, Pinhal is certainly no pushover, although golfers will be pleased to learn that the ponds and stream which come into play on five holes should not, for the most part, present a serious threat.
One of the most remarked upon features of Pinhal is the stunning panorama provided from the clubhouse, which extends over the excellent driving range and practice facilities and beyond. Completely renovated at the turn of the millennium, its veranda offers the perfect setting for post-round relaxation.
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Note: The golf course management does not accept any responsibility for loss of and/or damage to valuables, personal effects or golf equipment.
Pinhal 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 Pinhal Clube de Golfe.
+351 289 310 390
Unusually, the course opens with a fairly long par 5, 498m from the back tee. As the fairway rises slightly up to the half-way point, the green is not in view until you reach the crest. Favour the left hand side for the drive where the line for the second shot is more open to a gentle downward slope. The raised, split level green is well defended with a tree and bunker inset into the bank on the right, large mound front left and a shallow bunker behind.
This tough par 4 measures 400m from the back tee. The drive should ideally be threaded through a narrow gap between pines to set up a good result. However you must then negotiate a solitary pine in the middle of the fairway, about 64m from the front of the green with its narrow entrance between a pair of bunkers.
This par 5 is a great golf hole. Guarded by pine trees along the fairway, you really want to hit the ball straight especially off the tee. There is a slightly dogleg right to left on your 2nd shot into a generous fairway, from this position you will be able to attack the flag on your 3rd shot that plays longer than it looks. The green hasn´t got many breaks so a good putt will be rewarded with a nice birdie 4.
A scenic par 4 where water comes into play on the approach and placement of the tee-shot on the downhill fairway is the key. This will prevent being blocked out by pines right and left for the shot to the green to be played over the left edge of a lake. Two bunkers left defend the tricky, contoured putting surface.
In 2002 this par 3 hole was extended, adding 22-45m depending on the tee used. Another undulating green which is well guarded by the lake on the right plus three bunkers.
This par 4, stroke index 2, is an excellent test of length and accuracy for those going for the green in two shots along the narrow fairway. The tee-shot should be drawn away from two fairway bunkers on the right to be in ideal position for the approach. A restricted green entrance is found between bunkers.In 2002 this par 3 hole was extended, adding 22-45m depending on the tee used. Another undulating green which is well guarded by the lake on the right plus three bunkers.
Bending gradually right, this 395m par 4 offers a more generous fairway but avoid flirting with the trees on the right with your drive. A long- to mid-iron will be needed for the slightly uphill second shot. There is a bunker on the right 39m short of the putting surface and a greenside one left front.
One of the most photographed holes at Vilamoura, this 147m par 3 is played over a pond to a double-tiered green offset from short right to far left. Three sand traps right back and one front left complete the hazards.
Finally a wide-open par 4 where normally only the bunkers should prevent you from achieving a par or better. The approach however should preferably end up below the flag as downhill putts can be awkward.
A blind drive up this hump-backed short par 4. The approach to the very narrow green with a drop off to the left is critical so precision is essential to be putting for an unlikely birdie.
This short par 4 doglegs left some 90m from the front edge of the green, and a fairway wood or even long iron for position to the right is the best bet off the tee. The green has a small step half way up that can affect placement of your approach.
A pleasant but fairly straightforward mid-length par 3 to an undulating green guarded by bunkers on either side and mounds at the entrance.
This par 5, 522m off the white tee markers is stroke index 1 and challenges any standard of golfer. The fairway is uphill most of the way so both the drive and second shot are played blind. Once up on the plateau the approach is to a generous green albeit protected at both sides of the entrance by two bunkers.
Re-designed recently, this par 3 is short at 130m from the white tee but in compensation has a bunker that fronts the green. A tree just left of this trap makes the shot problematic for tee positions left of centre.
Played downhill, this short par 4 is a hole where the driver should be left in the bag as a reachable stream crosses the fairway at an angle close to the raised green. Devoid of bunkers, the hole thereafter only requires an accurate wedge shot to the undulating putting surface.
All three fairway bunkers on this flat par 4 with a maximum length of 339m are bunched on the left between 70 and 112m from the front of the green. The greenside bunkering is on either side at the entrance.
A thinking golfer's hole. Using a driver from the tee you can easily run out of fairway on this 496m par 5 90º dogleg to the right. As the bend is defended by trees, attempting a shortcut is too much of a gamble so the best option is a fairway wood tee-shot. The second is then played over the bend as far as you dare up the rising fairway for the approach to a green guarded by three bunkers.
This tricky par 4 finishing hole can easily be a card wrecker. Initially the fairway is uphill so the green is not visible from the tee, but the line is right of centre. The downhill approach is treacherous with three deep bunkers controlling the narrowest of entrances to a green full of borrows. Par or better here is a true bonus.