Algarve golf moves east

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By Sean Dudley

Golf development in southern Portugal is continuing apace. But with the main Algarve resorts to the west of Faro, the regional capital, now well provided with golf courses, developers are starting to look east, towards the Spanish border.

Opening this June is one such development, Monte Rei Golf & Country Club. Located close to the historic town of Tavira, the first course on the 400 hectare Monte Rei property has been designed by Jack Nicklaus' firm. The course offers sweeping of the Atlantic Ocean to the south and a backdrop of the Serra do Caldeira mountains to the north.

Measuring over 7,200 yards, the course is laid out on 70 hectares and has water hazards on eleven of the eighteen holes.

Nicklaus said: "When I design a golf course, my top priority is finding the features such as native trees, grade variations or natural wetlands that can enhance shot values or scenically frame a hole. I let the environmental surroundings shape the holes, so they fit the terrain. I never try and force an idea onto a piece of land and Monte Rei is no exception."

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