Having tried a couple of January golf weeks elsewhere in recent years, but returning to Tavira for the past two, I think it fair to say for a late January golf break it ticks the right boxes. The Vila Gala Hotel has been upgraded, the staff are friendly and helpful, while the delightful town of Tavira is on the doorstep.
Part of the enjoyment of this week is ambling into town in the evening to enjoy dinner together. One can only say our favorite restaurant, Brisa do Rio, yet again came up trumps. Octavio and his staff have looked after us royally for quite a few years and although moving to a larger premises in recent times, their standards have remained superb. It’s a must visit anytime in Tavira. To be fair, there are other good, friendly eateries in the town and this years “find” was Nikita, thank you to David, Ronnie, Steve and Hazel for the discovery!
A tried and tested venue is also complimented by tried and tested golf, although this year we did wander over the border to Spain and play Isla Canela G.C. One always has to remember the one hour time change as many a tee time has been missed!
Benamor was our opening round and what a pleasure it is these days. The layout has not been changed, but a considerable effort has been made to upgrade the condition and general appearance over the last few years and it is now a real joy to play. Rosemary, Hazel and Steve won the team competition, while Mike took the first day lead in the individual event.
Isla Canela proved a tougher challenge. A strong wind and fast, true greens maybe winning the day, although Alan seemed to find this to his liking producing the best individual score with himself, Liz, Hazel and Neville the leading team.
Back in Portugal to Quinta da Ria and our Christmas week winner, Dougie, showed us he is the form horse on this course, while the ladies team of Liz, Ronnie, Rosemary and Alison won comfortably. Dougie taking a good lead into the final day of the individual competition, but no fewer than eight others within 3 shots of each other.
Following a free day away from the golf, the very popular Laranjal course saw the individual competition completed. Dougie (below) duly wrapping up a well earned victory in blustery conditions and everyone endured a heavy 15 minute downpour, which thankfully cleared, and while unpleasant, the only rain we have seen on the golf course throughout Christmas, New Year and our two January events. Rosemary claimed 2nd spot, while Alan for the second time this week led the scoring with a good 30 pts. in the prevailing conditions.
For the final days 4BBB at Quinta do Cima we paired top with bottom of the individual league and, lo and behold, Dougie and Steve, Rosemary and Neville led scoring on a brighter but windy day with 38 pts. the former winning on the last six!
A most enjoyable week played in great spirit and topped off with another excellent dinner in Brisa do Rio. I see no reason to look for a different venue for next years edition of this popular mid winter Golf Week, which despite my intended personally reduced program, I hope to be hosting.
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