Sheraton Pine Cliffs Course, Portugal

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The Pine Cliffs Golf course is located between Vilamoura and Albufeira, Portugal and made its debut on the early 90’s designed by Martin Hawtree. This well maintained 9 holes course is situated on a cliff top overlooking the ocean and the long Falesia beach, enjoying spectacular views; the course is managed by the adjoining Hotel Sheraton. Made famous by it’s first president Nigel Mansell and frequented by tour professionals as a valuable practice venue during the winter break from the European Tour, the jewel of the crown of the course is its 9th hole over a ravine with beautiful views down on the sandy beach, locally nicknamed the “Devil’s Parlour”.

This Par 33 and 2,025 meters course has one par-5 hole, its layout is set amongst umbrella pines, although narrow, undulating fairways. Playing at Pine Cliffs demand accurate placing of shots, presenting an interesting challenge for the golfer, regardless of handicap. The opening hole is a par 4 with a drive through an avenue of trees to a generous fairway. The approach is a mid-iron to a large, undulating green protected by bunkers. From there onwards, the holes follow a path through the estate. The finishing two skirt the cliff top with the hotel providing a backdrop. The famous par-3 ninth (The Devil’s Parlour) requires a 205 meters carrying shot right over the beach to land on a deep but narrow green. Another memorable hole is the short par-4 2nd where one is tempted to thread the drive between two tall pine trees not far short of the well-guarded green.

“This is not a course to play in a hurry. It is necessary to take time to savour the peace and magnitude of the place”. Martin Hawtree, course architect.

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