Praia D'El Rey

Gallery
Praia D'El Rey
Praia D'El Rey
2nd
2nd
Unveil the Splendour
Unveil the Splendour
4th
4th
Glorious!
Glorious!
5th
5th
8th
8th
Shades of Augusta
Shades of Augusta
Framed Against the Azure Atlantic
Framed Against the Azure Atlantic
Stunning!
Stunning!
13th
13th
13th
13th
14th
14th
15th
15th
Coast is a Constant Companion
Coast is a Constant Companion
17th
17th
18th
18th
Crashing Surf of the Atlantic!
Crashing Surf of the Atlantic!
Golf at its Finest!
Golf at its Finest!
Splendour, Splendour Everywhere!
Splendour, Splendour Everywhere!
10th
10th
Emphasis on Accuracy
Emphasis on Accuracy
Amen Corner
Amen Corner
Terrific Terrain
Terrific Terrain
Sheer Bliss!
Sheer Bliss!
A Place of Superlatives!
A Place of Superlatives!
Majestic!
Majestic!
As Good as it Gets!
As Good as it Gets!

GOLF AT ITS FINEST! 

Stunning, Amazing, Dramatic, Awesome, Glorious, Praia D’El Rey a place of superlatives of which the list could be endless.

Spectacular holes that overlook the crashing surf of the Atlantic Ocean, utilising the beachfront topography in abundance. Scenic and challenging, no fewer than ten of its holes provide an exhilarating vista across the majestic coastline, the remaining holes being cloaked in undulating pine forest.

Cabell Robinson takes the architect’s accolade and it's true that many of his trademark traits can be detected in its design, rolling, contoured fairways, undulating greens and enormous bunkers, but this time they have been fashioned by nature with a helping hand from Robinson. In his own words “It is a gorgeous site which only an incompetent fool could have made a mess of”. Rest assured Robinson is neither incompetent nor a fool!

A relatively innocuous introduction to the round quickly brings you to the 2nd tee and the course unveils the splendour of its setting for the first time. Measuring 510 yards from the back tee, a birdie is certainly in your thoughts, but only the brave will attempt the ballistic blow required to carry the corner of the lake, essential if you are to have any chance of getting up in two.

The course now turns back inland and the 4th is a tremendous teaser of a short par 4. Those with prodigious power will go for the green. Position is paramount as any shot tugged to the left will be swallowed by a huge dune come sand-waste area. The green slopes severely and any approach above the hole will throw up more than the odd three putt.

 Pine trees are more prevalent now and the emphasis is definitely on accuracy from the tee. The 8th is the signature short hole. Set in a delightful dell, the shallow green is precariously positioned beyond a large lake. Club selection is crucial with two large bunkers waiting to snaffle shots from golfers who take too much club. In many ways the hole has striking similarities to the 12th at Augusta National, not in the least because it sits in the middle of Praia D’El Rey’s own Amen Corner!

The back nine unfolds with a panoramic par 5. From the elevated tees the views are incredible and the fairway below rolls out before you like a verdant green carpet, beyond which the whitewashed walls and terracotta tiled roof of the hotel are framed majestically against the azure Atlantic. Sheer bliss! A well struck drive should bring the green into range, but beware the second shot can be treacherous with a deep bunker to the left and an even deeper lake lurking to the right.

A tantalising teasing taste of the dramatic dunes was given like a peep show at the start of the round before the course turned its back on the ocean and headed inland. The anticipation of its impending return has been building into a crescendo until finally the downhill par 5, 12th hole, tumbles toward the stunning stretch of shoreline. Tufts of wispy fine fescue sway softly in the Atlantic breeze, the fairways snake between humps and hillocks flanked by pure white sand dunes covered with indigenous ice plant. What a terrific tract of terrain!

The short par 4, 13th is another tempting gem. Gallant golfers will grasp the gauntlet, gird their loins and go for the green. God forbid if their ballistic belt falls foul of the bevy of bunkers that lie between them and the green.

The coast is now a constant companion over the next few holes and it’s difficult not to be overawed by the magnificence of the moment.

The 15th tee sits adjacent to Praia D’El Rey’s iconic sentinel of the shore, the disused coastguard look-out post. Before despatching your drive pause for a moment to soak up the scenery, imbibe the intoxicating atmosphere, surely this is what Betjeman was so eloquently encapsulating in his poem, Seaside Golf. “Glorious, sailing, bounding drives that made me glad I was alive!” It doesn’t get any better than this! It will be if you conquer the cunningly contoured green to claim a birdie!

Turn for home to face a trio of tremendous tests, with a combined measurement of just under 1500 yards from the Tiger tees and all uphill. The last of the five par 5’s, the 17th, is a monumental monster measuring just under 630 yards when stretched to the limit and you will have done well if you make the putting surface in the regulation three shots. Not that you need to play from the back tees, Robinson has designed the course with a plethora of tee options ingeniously tucked away in all manner of nooks and crannies that not only change the length but also the characteristics of how the hole plays. 

You could be forgiven for wishing that the clubhouse was behind the 17th green, I’m sure Robinson did, such is the magnitude of the last six holes. Not that the home hole is an anticlimax, far from it. Flanked by fragrant pines it is a tough, uphill par 4 needing a strategic drive if par is to be achieved. Should a par prevail you will slake your thirst with satisfaction, but a bonus birdie will make that beer taste even better.

Whatever your score, reflect on the majestic splendour of the course because you will appreciate that this is.....

GOLF AT ITS FINEST!

Course Facts- 

 

  • Opened 1997
  • Architect- Cabell Robinson
  • Length- Championship Tees 7077 Yards
  •               Medal               Tees 6773 Yards
  •               Ladies               Tees 5754 Yards
  • Par 73
  • Buggies, Powered Carts, Club Hire (not pre-bookable)
  • Soft-Spikes Required

 

 

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