Feature Review Oceanico Faldo
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 Faldo course.
The Faldo course is one of two courses on The Amendoeira resort and boasts a different kind of test to the sister O'Connor course. When Sir Nick Faldo designed this course he said he wanted to design something that makes whomever plays it feel like they have had a real challenge. He got it spot on!
I expected the course to be fairly similar to the O'Connor......how wrong was I.....
Whilst the O'Connor was all about the water The Faldo is all about the sand. The course is set up around rolling hillsides and it offers up some stunning views, particularly on the back 9 as you start heading back towards the clubhouse.
You can try and use words to paint a picture of just how stunning this place is but it wouldn't even come close to doing any kind of justice. You could almost be forgiven for forgetting you are playing a round of golf.
This is another golf course that will play perfectly all year round. As with all Oceanico course the condition of the greens are absolutely perfect and a delight to be able to play.
There are 4 par 3's on The Faldo and the 2 on shorter holes on the back 9 are both really gems.
The 11th is nothing more than a pitching wedge over the water and deep front bunkers to a narrow green that slopes back towards the water. Getting your ball low of the pin is the aim but is not as easy as it might seem!
The 16th at 120 yards is all about the club choice as the green sits 50-60ft below the tee box. The more you think about it you realise how clever the design is because the green is protected by the bunkers front back and right so plays twice as hard as it looks. The 16th also provides stunning views of the complex and the Par 3 floodlit academy course.
On the 8th you have a large bunker running right up the middle. Smartly designed so that there is more room to the right of the bunker but will leave you a lengthy second. The risk and reward here is to head left side of the trap but the fairway is narrow and you will have the OOB left to contend with.
It would be wrong of me to talk about the par 4's and not mention the 10th. Whilst the tee box is slightly elevated its doesn't really help as you tackle all 475 yards. 2 very very big hits are required to make GIR but don't push yourself.
My favourite par 5 was the 4th. At 522 yards it's easily reachable if you take on the rocky terrain from the tee. Take off too much however then don't even bother looking - just reload.
The way the hole declines from start to finish means you dont have to be the biggest of hitters to be able to have a go in 2. For the smart ones amongst us though there is a second shot over the narrow water hazard in order to safely get on in 3.
Stand Out Stretch - 12th, 13th, 14th
The 3 hole stretch consisting of the 12th, 13th and 14th holes are a combination of extreme quality, postcard views and testing golf.
Whilst playing longer than the card would say due to the sheer incline the 12th demands a exceptional tee shot - towards the left hand side of the left to right dog leg - if you will even get a sight of the pin let alone the green. Anything down the right and all you're left with is a hit and hope. Once you finally arrive on the green your met with the most spectacular view of the entire resort, clubhouse and surrounding area.
The fun continues on the 13th as you start to head back down. A 570 yard left to right par 5. Everything here will role left to right so any tee shot started out straight might not look so pretty when you start making your way down. Take a brief moment to stop by the champ tees here - a whopping 670 yards from the green!
The 14th plays longer than it looks too and complements the 12th and 13th really well. Actually being able to see the green your heading to for the first time since the 11th is rather welcome at the stage. But continuing down it gives you the impression the the green is reachable. Don't be fooled. The hole takes another dip down before you can think about taking your putter head-cover off.
I felt that this was the tougher of the 2 courses on site at The Amendoeira Resort and even a mid handicapper could return quite a high score here but when you play a golf course such as this the score is totally irrelevant.
It is highly recommended to take a buggy for this course.
Once again the views looking over both courses is the perfect setting for the post round beer.
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|Oceânico Faldo Golf Course
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