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What Are The Most Interesting 9-Hole Golf Courses In Portugal?

Sometimes 18 holes can be too long and a quick loop round 9 holes is just right. When you have just bought a new driver or putter and you want to see how it performs out on the course, you only need 9 holes. When you are playing in the evening after work and the light is fading, playing 9 holes allows you to get done quicker. While 18 hole courses dominate the golfing landscape, there is a growing market of golfers looking for a scaled down version of the game, and I don't mean mini-golf. In this article I will discuss a few of the most interesting 9-hole courses in Portugal and what makes them so.

  1. The Vale de Milho course has 9 hole (all par-3's so no need for your driver) located near the village of Carvoeiro, in the Algarve. While a par 3 course overlooking the Atlantic Ocean might make you think you easily beat this course, with the large, undulating greens, tall trees, water hazards and bunkers, you'd be a fool to underestimate the Vale de Milho course. The interesting fact about the course is that Dave Thomas, who also designed “The Belfry”- a course that has played host to the Ryder Cup 4 times, designed it.
  2. Continuing with the Ryder Cup theme, the 9-hole Oceanico Academy course is sandwiched between two full courses designed by European golfing legends Sir Nick Faldo and Christy O'Connor Jnr. While the 9 hole Oceanico Academy may not have the length of the its two famous neighbors, it is ideal for those who want to focus on their short game skills around the green.
  3. There are two interesting features to this course:
    • The 7th hole has two teeing options depending on how you want to play the hole. Unfortunately, both play over the water hazard.
    • Nighttime rounds are no problem because of the floodlights. If you've never had the chance to play golf under the lights, the 9-hole Oceanico Academy course is where you can see how it is to play golf while everybody else is asleep.
  4. On the opposite end of the spectrum to the Faldo designed course at the Oceanico, we have the quaint Colina Verde 9-hole course located in the rural setting of Olhão and Tavira. If you are a beginner and you want to learn the basics of golf away from the bustle of the big resort courses; Colina Verde is the course where you can experience the rustic side of the Portuguese countryside.

While the game of cricket has developed shorter versions (20/20) of the "full" sport (test matches), you may see the same thing happening in golf over the next decade. To make golf more accessible to mainstream and beginner audiences, 9-hole golf courses will become more and more prominent.

“When you come to Portugal for a holiday, you will enjoy the cultural divide, the tourist attractions and most importantly interacting with the amazing people. For this incredible adventure, you will need to make sure that you plan ahead of schedule so that you have a better chance of enjoying a good time here.”

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