10 Important Characteristics Of St. António Golf Course In Portugal
Pepe Gancedo altered little of the terrain when he designed Santo Antonio near the village of Salema close to Costa Vicentina Nature Reserve and Lagos in the Portuguese Algarve. It is a course that looks very natural with ravines and valleys where olive and palm grow. It is a Par 72 at just 6200 yards yet the challenge is not the length but the variety of the holes. This is an inexpensive course by Algarve standards with prices slightly higher in spring and autumn than in the height of summer.
Lagos is an ancient town with plenty to offer other than golf. It is at the mouth of the Bensafrim River and has developed a good tourism infrastructure to cater for the numbers that visit each year. When it comes to golf, Santo Antonio will provide all the enjoyment and challenge that any golfer would want.
Its features include:
- Undulations and some sloping fairways.
- Small greens.
- Plenty of bunker protection.
- A challenging opening, an extremely long Par 4 on what is otherwise not a particularly long course by modern standards.
- A very interesting Par 3, the 5th, which at less than 130 yards calls for a short, but extremely accurate iron because it is the green or nothing.
- The closing hole on the front 9 is stroke index 1, a real tester which calls for the third shot over a ravine.
- Water protects the 11th.
- The Par 3 15th from an elevated tee requires a shot over a lake.
- 16 and 17 are protected by water but there are rewards for the brave.
- The 18th is a fine finishing hole bringing golfers back to the clubhouse.
After finished a round there are few better places to enjoy a drink and discuss the round than in the clubhouse at Santo Antonio looking over as many as eleven holes of the course and mountains and sea.
There are other courses in the area for those that decide to make Lagos their base. Boavista, Espiche and Palmares are just three of the alternatives. That is not to say that a day trip to Santo Antonio is not worth consideration for those selecting a base elsewhere. There is plenty of information online about the course and the nearby town. Faro, the regional international airport, is around an hour away but the drive will be worthwhile for the experience that the course provides.