Monte Rei North Course Feature Review
Review by Golfshake's Kevin Paver
Monte Rei Golf & Country Club is about 30 minutes away from Faro airport in the Eastern Algarve. Located between the Serra do Caldeirao mountains and the Atlantic Ocean, and just 10 minutes from the beautiful town of Tavira, it really is something special.
It’s one of only a handful of Jack Nicklaus ‘Signature’ courses in Europe and the only one in Portugal. The par 72 Championship golf course measures 6567m from the Tournament tees and has water coming into play on eleven of the eighteen holes.
Monte Rei has won many awards and accolades, is consistently rated the number one course in Portugal, and just looking through the most recent reviews, is very high rated with Golfshake users.
PRE ROUND THOUGHTS
From the minute you drive into the estate, through the security guards and get your first glimpse of the golf course, you know this is going to be something special. When you arrive at the clubhouse, you are immediately struck by the sheer quality of everything on offer here, from the professional shop to the locker rooms, it really is first class.
As you drive up to the entrance, a member of staff greets you as you arrive and welcomes you to Monte Rei, as another staff member parks your car, puts your clubs on a buggy waiting for you to be re-united at the practice area. Your buggy is labelled with your name and tee time too, the attention to detail is incredible.
You are then taken to the practice area and presented with a pyramid of golf balls, which is one of my most favourite things in golf. What is it about a pyramid of balls that is so pleasing?! It’s a fantastic practice area too, with a great range, chipping area and putting green - the perfect way to get prepared before you head to the first tee.
FRONT 9 OVERVIEW
As you are escorted to the first tee and get your first look at the opening hole, you know this is going to be special. Before you tee it up, just take a second to have a look around and take in the surroundings.
A par 4 dogleg right awaits from an elevated tee. The big hitters (aka show offs!) can drive over the right hand corner of the dogleg and leave a short iron to the green. For most of us, take aim at the fairway bunkers left and let the slope run it to the middle. The green is protected left with a deep bunker and a runoff area right. The green is steeper than it looks and can easily reward you with a three putt.
The 543-yard, par 5 8th hole appears straight forward on the card. But don’t be fooled. Yes, there is no water, but you will need to hit your drive up the left to have a decent shot in. Feeling brave and like you can reach in two? Watch for the HUGE greenside bunker at the front left, giving the green some almighty protection to this long sloping green.
The 9th is an amazing hole. Make sure you pick the right club for this relatively short par 3. The bunkers here are well renowned and surround the green. If you do manage to avoid them all and land your ball on the green successfully, you’ll need to negotiate the sloping green to avoid a sneaky three putt, which could be easily done.
BACK 9 OVERVIEW
What a hole the 13th is. 441 yards off the tee, you need to be aiming short of the two bunkers, which is only a fairway wood. The backdrop of this green is a beautiful lake, and it’s a narrow green to aim at so you need to be precise. There’s no bail out either, so you need to be confident with your second shot. This was probably my favourite hole on the course, well, one of them! Just spectacular.
The 14th is a superb hole. 197 yards from the tournament tees with water along the left-hand side of the hole and a bunker at the back right of the green to mop up anything long. There’s a pretty big bail out area at the right of the green if you don’t fancy flirting with the water. Just make sure you get the chip right as it all runs towards the water. The wind really comes into play here too, so choosing the right club is crucial.
The final hole on the course, and what a brilliant finishing hole it is. A par 5 and 547 yards of pure golfing beauty to savour. Aim left down the forgiving fairway, hoping for a good drive, which will kick forwards. There’s a good chance to get close in two, if the water to the right does not faze you. Just forget it’s there and go for glory! An absolutely fantastic hole to finish the round.
Where can I start? How about this, Monte Rei is stunning. Simply stunning.
The whole experience is one that you never want to end. The customer service is exceptional, and the golf course is to die for. Every hole you feel like you are the only people on the course, and it helps that every hole is amazing. If I could only play one golf course for the rest of my life, it would be this one.
If you are heading to the Algarve to play golf, Monte Rei absolutely HAS TO be on your list. Yes, the green fee is on the more expensive side, but this is more than just a round of golf. It’s a golf experience. It really is the most special of places.
And will soon become even more alluring with the introduction of a second Jack Nicklaus Signature Course.
OVERALL RATING – 10
Course (Conditions) - 10
Course (Hole Variety/Layout) - 10
Course (Green Condition) - 10
Course (Challenge/Difficulty) - 10
Club Facilities & 19th/Clubhouse - 10
Practice Facilities - 10
Friendliness/Hospitality - 10
Pace of Play - 10
Value for Money - 10
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|Monte Rei Golf & Country Club
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