Faldo course anchors Alentejo resort


Faldo course anchors Alentejo resort
Sean Dudley

Another recently announced project suggests the expansion of Portuguese golf away from the Algarve coastal strip is gaining momentum.

Nick Faldo’s design practice has been hired to design 36 holes of golf at the Monte Rocha resort in the Alentejo region. The 500 hectare resort, being developed by Roger Abrahams, the former owner of Quinta do Lago, will also include a five star hotel.

Faldo said: “The land that we have been given to work with at Monte Rocha is not only visually striking but wonderfully contoured, with a topography that lends itself perfectly to golf course design. This means that we should end up with three really natural looking golf courses that impose very little upon this lightly wooded, farmland location. Our layouts take full advantage of the elevation changes on site, playing up, down and across its rolling valleys. We’re keen to create three courses of very different character with the championship layout wrapped around the extremities of the site occasionally offering spectacular views down towards the Monte da Rocha reservoir.”

Monte Rocha is a flagship project aimed at bringing tourists to the Alentejo, a previously isolated region midway between Lisbon and the Algarve. The former military airbase at Beja has been converted into a civilian airport and is projected to open in the near future, and a substantial amount of the €22 billion of European Union funding allocated to Portugal for the 2007-2013 period is being invested in the region.