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  Portugal Golf - Algarve - O'Connor Course Tips

O'Connor Golf Tips in Alcantarilha, Algarve - Portugal


1st Hole - Par 5
A par five is kind of a nice hole to start with for amateur golfers. It is tricky enough, I suppose. There is a large lake to the right and Nick’s golf course on the left will be out of bounds because it has a different terrain to mine. Although it will be a very generous fairway you will play down short of the river, over the river for the second shot. It is not a tough opening par five, which I believe the first hole shouldn’t be. Everybody is entitled to miss a couple of shots the first hole. It gets you going.

2nd Hole - Par 4
The second is a very good par four, driving over the water from the back tee at 210 yards, but shorter for the handicap player, to a lovely green set inside a double set of lakes. So, accuracy is required for the second shot. It is a hole where I would say to an amateur golfer to use your shot, don’t be afraid to lay up, play for your five and you are going to work out well.

3rd Hole - Par 3
This is a very nice par three. I think it is nice for one par 3 to come early in the round. The main lake, which was right of the first, will now be right of the third. This is a really good hole off the back tee, and very presentable off the front tee. I think very par-able.

4th Hole - Par 4
These is a huge orange grove to your left, a pretty good, wide driving area. I like my driving areas to be generous, where people need not be afraid to hit their drive and not be laying up with irons if you can. It is a decent landing area but the second shot is somewhat troublesome. It crosses the river onto to a raised flat green and here it is important to club up. Don’t be short on this hole with your second shot.

5th Hole - Par 5
This is my second par five and it will have orange groves left and right. I wanted one hole where it was just oranges, the whole of this part of the Algarve is blessed with thousands of acres of orange groves and I wanted to bring some inside the course as well. They are evergreen, the trees, but they come into bloom and it is special to see them hanging down. The green is set some 15-20 metres above the second shot playing area.

6th Hole - Par 3
The second of my par 3’s, the sixth is a very nice hole and plays downhill. It has some water to the right but not encroaching on the green too much. Although it has quite high yardage from the back tee, playing downhill will make the club a lot shorter. So again I would say if you miss this green miss it to the left side, but a par here is certainly worth having.

7th Hole - Par 4
This is the beginning of what you maybe call my Amen Corner. It is fabulous, the place where you leave the watercourse and here I am able to do a lot more mounding and I will build this up a lot. A lake runs from the 9th, through the 8th and into the 7th, so it is a kind of a chain reaction and the 7th will be the first of it. The green will be built up, probably using wood, and you must stay left at all times. It is important to play up the left off the tee, to leave yourself a shot in without having to cross the water. Those who drive up the right hand side will have to take out some loft to the green.

8th Hole - Par 4
This is a slight dogleg left to right, the lake is much more in play for the drive than the 7th is. Your second shot gives you a bit more space and it will be a generous green.

9th Hole - Par 4
A key hole, the last hole on the way out and the last point I go out to with my course. The lake will run not only to the right off the tee, but also to the left of the second shot. It is almost a two-part golf hole. You drive over the water off the tee, avoiding the water on the right, and hit your second shot to a well-guarded green, water on the left. I would say bail out right if you are scared.

10th Hole - Par 4
This is one of my biggest-mounded holes. 10, 11 and 12 are where I am really using some large mounds because it is a bare part of the golf course, and I am going to hide you in little culverts out there. The 10th is a severe dogleg left to right which you will drive, guide it I would say, though very large mounding, pot bunker to the left and right, it diverts to the left but to get to the corner it won’t be difficult. I get to the corner in 160-170 metres but you can run out to 300 so you don’t have to be a shot maker to get round. You hit your drive to your own length and set yourself up for a nice par 4.

11th Hole - Par 5
The first par 5 on the back nine. I think it is a really nice hole, no water, but it has large mounding, as we cut through a hill, almost as a treble dogleg it drives slightly to the right, second shot to the left, and back again to the right with the third shot. Here I suppose strategy is very important. Be on the right side off the tee, being a little left with your second shot opens up the green thoroughly, gives you a great chance of your par 5.

12th Hole - Par 4
This is a really nice par 4, about 180-185 yards. This hole is guarded by the same lake that runs along the 8th hole, sitting on the lake with the water this time on the right. Very playable and steeped in history because the main buildings for the green keepers will be here and they were the home of a famous equestrian family here who won I think two Olympic Gold Medals for show-jumping. I just imagine myself driving down there with the buildings on the left, knowing the history, and going onto a really nice green with the river sitting at the back of the green. Short won’t put you in trouble; long will definitely give you some hardship.

13th Hole - Par 3
The 13th will again will have the famous buildings on the left. I am going to try and incorporate the green into Moorish-type walls, something that reflects the Moorish heritage of what the Arabs once called Al-Garbe, and which became The Algarve. This is the shortest par 3 and has its’ own piece of ground with no other hole straddling it or side-by-side.

14th Hole - Par 4
This is the narrowest part of the land, a really nice par 4 with the water to the front and right. You can drive not too far from the green. There is a large lake to the right hand side and the front of the green. The second shot has to be very precise, onto a green, which will be a generous one, over a lake and a favourable run around to the left hand side of the lake and into the green. If one wants to bail out, pivot left and chip on. Don’t be afraid to drop a shot here.

15th Hole - Par 4
Here I have a really nice par four, where the river has been moved slightly to accommodate the hole, to the right. It is going to be an absolutely beautiful par four because you find the river on the right hand side, out of bounds on the left. It is a real driver’s golf hole, now that the fairway is broken by the river crossing back into its’ original run. You have to hit over that to another section of the fairway and onto the green.

16th Hole - Par 5
There aren't any tips yet available for this hole.

17th Hole - Par 3
The last of my par three’s, a really nice par three before you pass back over the road, about 185 yards. Again, the water off 16 comes slightly into play off the right hand side of the green. Again, bail out left here, and I think a three will be very possible on this hole.

18th Hole - Par 4
This is a humdinger! The main river that straddles the whole land, runs all the way along the right hand side. But on the left hand side for the first time we meet the hills, and that will guard the fairway. There is beautiful cover and vegetation so I was never going to take that out. There is an acute dogleg right to left up the hill. This is a really nice finishing hole, not too hard a climb because we’ve had none throughout the whole golf course. I would say a drive and a four or five iron for the average hitter. But once you get up here and look down on the golf course you will feel you have been blessed.

Oceânico O'Connor

O'Connor Golf

O'Connor Golf



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