Feature Review Oceanico Victoria
We recently sent Golfshake ambassador & feature writer Matt Holbrook to play the Oceanico courses at the Amendoeira Golf Resort in Vilamoura. This is the review for the Victoria course.
The Victoria course is regarded as 'The jewel in the crown' of The Oceanico courses and you can see and feel why as soon as you arrive. Home of The European Tours Portugal Masters The Victoria's impressive club house and facilities are not really taken in until you are further away from the building.
Opened in June 2004 and designed by none other than Arnold Palmer, the course, which was also home to a WGC event in 2005, sits on open land just on the outskirts of Vilamoura and will offer a dreamy round for all.
You will be sure to receive a warm welcome from the pro shop and, as standard across all Oceanico course, you collect your ticket from the receiption desk and head out onto the warm up area where you will be greeted by one of the largest putting greens you're likely to use. Another world class grass driving range with numerous targets awaits along with chipping green and practice bunker.
Like all of the Oceanico courses you will be greeted on the first tee by a starter, receive your score cards and then get to listen carefully to any tips and hints you might get!
With undulating fairways and greens with some of the fastest, but true, greens alongside the aura and the presence of clubhouse and facility that engulf the skyline, you are about to play on one of the worlds best all round course.
The 440 yard opener give you a real feeling of what is going to be a difficult course that has been designed with a professional in mind but wow what a course this is !
What seems like sheer length of the 3rd due to the amazing view from the tee will get your golf juices flowing. Tree protruding the left hand side of the fairway. The large cluster of bunkers waiting on your second and if that wasn't enough the tour like run off areas around the green will swallow up any stray pitch.
Another testing hole was the 7th stroke index 1 at a similar yardage from the opener. Here the large pond comes into play off the tee. Big hitters will fancy it but a gentle left to right will keep your ball dry. The more you take on the shorter you will have for a second but you won't want to leave yourself too much!!
Any golf course designed by the king Arnold Palmer and chosen to play the Portugal Masters on is going to be Amazing. The run of holes round the water is fantastic 11, 12 and 13 and are affectionately known as 'Victoria Corner' as the 3 hole loop, consisting of a Par 4, 5 the 3, will take you round the large, clear blue lake.
The 11th runs with water up the left hand side of the fairway and sending a tee shot out over the water will trim the hole down in length. The green is protected by a 'beach' style bunker at the front adding for a picturesque finish.
The 12th is a testing 530 yard par 5 with 2 big hits in order to carry the water on the second to make a green in 2. The safe play is to lay up with your second shot but that will still leave you a lengthy 3rd in order to make the putting surface.
The par 3 13th - to finish the loop - Measures at 170 yards and whilst the water does feature it shouldn't come into play. However the monstrous front bunker will!
With a double fairway - separated by another water feature - the 14th gives you lots to think about. A real real classy risk and reward hole - one of those holes you want to play immediately a second time!
The 16th measures around 200 yards and it plays every bit of that! But its not just the length that can make this a real tough encounter. The deeps green side bunkers on both side of the elevated green make you feel 4 is a real solid score.
With the finishing hole positioned where it is, with the water in front of the green, you can be forgiven for summarising what is a golfing experience of the highest standard before the round is even finished. You get the sense that this place is there for the worlds greats - and you have just played it!!
Grabbing a beer and sitting looking through the giant windows there are golf courses as far left and as far right as far as you can see which makes the perfect setting to refresh and reflect.
This course is world class - every inch of it.
Due to the openness and design it can be exposed to the elements which adds to the test of golf faced but regardless of this it will still be enjoyed by one and all.
A definite want to play again golf course, some times you play on a golf course that has some holes thrown in to make 18...... not this one. From start to finish it's a great challenge and with a bit of wind it shows its teeth.
Another highly rated course in the portfolio and well worthy of out of 10.
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|Oceânico Victoria Golf Course
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