Vale do Lobo – about
The Royal is a par 72 course, designed by Rocky Roquemore. Opened in 1997. It is one of two courses at Vale do Lobo. The other course is the Ocean, which I haven’t played.
A nice clubhouse meet you on arrival, with a well stocked pro shop if you should need anything. A practice putting green just outside the restaurant and a practice facility. The driving range was very disappointing. The longes club I could hit was a pitching wedge or a soft nine iron.
Vale do Lobo – Greenfee
Greenfee on both courses is around 190€. A bit to expensive in my opinion, however, you might find some better deals.
Vale do Lobo – The course
It startes off with a short par 5 (369 meters). The tee shot is narrow with houses on the left and a car road on the right. Not the hole I would want to start a round with (only hitting a wedge at the range). On the second hole you face a short par 4 with OB on both sides. Hole number 3. Again a narrow and slightly blind hole. It is an advantage to have played it before. The next is another short par 4, trouble left and right. There is more room then it looks like from the tee. Hole 5 is a decent par 5, the first hole with a little bit of room. The big waste bunker on the right is guarding the second and/or third shot. A long par 4 awaits on the 6th. Water left of the green and bunkers short right makes it a difficult approach shot. A short par 3 hole over water. You will have to hit a precise shot and be aware of the wind. Next up is a par 4, dogleg left. You will have to cut over the bunkers to shorten the approach. A nice but difficult par 3 finish off the back nine. It is a semi-island green with water in front, left and long.
Vale do Lobo – Back nine
Starting off with a par 4 dogleg right. A long iron is the safe play, the driver could get you in trouble. The 11th is a strange par 5. It is almost like a double dogleg. You will need a staight tee shot before a lay up into the first part of the dogleg. You can not go long because there is water. If you hit a good second shot, you can have a go at the green. The green is elevated and you will get loads of spin on the short approach. The 12 is a short par 4, dogleg left with a small green to hit. 13 is a straight forward par 4. Number 14 is a dogleg right from an elevated tee. The second shot is to an elevated green. The 15th is a very nice hole where you will have a nice view towards the ocean. The 16th is the signature hole on Vale do Lobo. A testing par 3 with the ocean on the left. A stunning view when you have to wait for the green to clear. Number 17, an elevated tee with a hotel appartments and cars to the left. Pull the shot a couple of meters and you might injure someone. The approach is long an up hill (if you have a ball in play). The last hole is a par 4, straight forward. Nothing special.
Vale do Lobo – would I play it again?
I might play it again sometime, but it is not my favorite. I could fancy a narrow course, but when you have buildings and car roads this close, it just ruins the fun. The course has some nice holes, but there are other courses I would choose before this one. Other courses in the area – Victora, Old Course