Nick Faldo and project architect Guy Hockley are close to completing Faldo Design's first golf course project in Portugal. With construction now at an advanced stage, Faldo is confident that his course will soon be ranked highly among the region's burgeoning collection of golf options. Faldo commented: "This is a very exciting stage of the design process, when you can really begin to see the layout taking shape, and I am delighted with the progress that has been made at Amendoeira. There's a definite feel of Arizona about our course and this will be reflected in the many desert-style features we have incorporated. In terms of strategy, this will be a course that will demand, and reward, a very thoughtful approach. This, coupled with the vastness of the landscape here, will make for a dramatic and entirely engaging round of golf. We'll be bringing a flavour of the American southwest to the Algarve and once our course at Amendoeira is completed I think that it will go on to be recognised as one of the finest examples of desert-style golf in Europe." Oceânico Group's €500 million Amendoeira Golf Resort covers 640-acres on the Algarve, near Silves and is scheduled for Phase 1 completion in spring 2008. Faldo's course occupies the arid hillside, while the second course, also currently under construction, and designed by Christy O'Connor's practice, is situated lower down in the valley.
Course manager Steve Richardson told GCA: "Everything is on schedule for completion this year on the golf courses and all planting and seeding is to be carried out by October. Subject to weather conditions this winter we expect to open both courses on March 17, 2008."