A smaller group, and most unusually all men, congregated Saturday evening at the Tavira Vila Gala Hotel for our annual mid winter Algarve Golf Week. For the most part we played in sunny, balmy conditions throughout and shirt sleeves rather than waterproof jackets were the attire of the week.
The opening round at the ever improving Benamor saw Michael C take the lead in our individual competition, while myself, Dougie, Phil and Phillip led the team event. In the evening we walked out to our favorite restaurant, Brisas do Ria, where Octavio and staff recommended excellent, reasonably priced wine and the calamari starter is still as good as ever!
Monday took us to Quinta da Cima, where Peter was leading individual and along with Robert, Martin and myself was also in the winning team. Many restaurants are closed on Monday and some for the winter months, but it was no hardship to return to Brisas do Ria and wash down more Calamari with Octavio’s red wine.
Tuesday we ventured to Quinta da Vale, a course I’d only played once before in extremely high winds and was looking forward to playing it in more the more benign conditions we had. With water and streams crossing fairways, there are many lay up or go for it decisions to be made on this Seve layout, with six of each par 3, 4’s and 5’s. Phil obviously made the right choices and brought home the winning team with Phillip and Robert, as well as having the day’s best score.
Following a day off the links we arrived at Quinta da Ria golf on Tuesday to a sea mist blanketing the courses. With two busy courses play was looking like being delayed until the afternoon, however, the fret lifted earlier than expected and the golf club did a fine job of juggling groups between the two courses and, by swapping courses, we teed off just half an hour late. This was the final day of the 4 round individual competition and Monday’s winner Peter, managed a one point win on the day to be our weeks champion finishing a couple of points ahead of Robert, who in turn, was one point ahead of Dougie. Phil and Phillip, ably assisted by Martin and Liz, made it a hat-trick of team wins.
Throughout the week the scoring had been close and for our final days 4BBB we returned to Benamor where it continued to be so. The lowest score was 36 points while two pairs tied on 39; Phillip and Robert winning from Dougie and James on the back nine.
Having dined well at various restaurants mid week, we returned to Brisas do Ria for our “last supper” and by general consensus it is still top of the pile! And it wouldn’t be right not to mention the Vila Gala Hotel and friendly staff. Refurbed over the past year or two, positioned within the lovely town of Tavira it makes an ideal base for our annual Golf Week where I hope next year we will enjoy female company too!
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