With the recent drone problems at Gatwick Airport we were all glad we met up pretty well on time. Rosemary’s clubs were still at Gatwick, so we hired some for the first game and Gurdip’s suitcase also decided to have an extra day in the UK.
We had a perfect day at Quinta South and temperatures gently nudging the 70s. Despite some winter rust everyone hit some high notes during their games and the pair most on the song for the day were Richard and David with 38 points, pipping 3 pairs by a point. We also had an individual comp running alongside and winner on that was Bobby with an excellent 35 points with Doug in 2nd on 33 points. Dinner at the quaint Colombo’s in the Marina rounded off a super day.
The second day we went to the well appointed Laranjal, home of some superb contoured greens to test our putting. Weather wise temperatures were suitable for shorts and playing in the wind and mud of the UK seemed a long way away. Scoring today was excellent and we had a three way tie on 41 points with the teams of Richard & Julian, Bobby and Jennie and Alan & Mike all playing really well, As I don’t believe in card count backs and my concept of a sudden death playoff the following morning at 7.30am on the 18th wasn’t met with universal approval, a tie it was!
Christmas Day was such a treat at our firm favourite the Royal at Vale do Lobo. This is a very established course and winds it way through the Vale do Lobo estate, culminating on the picturesque 16th, the most photographed hole in Europe. After the close call the previous day, we had a comfortable winning pair in Ronnie and Geoff with 40pts with a three way tie on 37points of Jennie & Gurdip, Richard & Rosemary and Doug & Alan. Highlights were Alan’s excellent 2 on the tricky 7th, a super hybrid followed by a true 10ft putt into the heart of the hole. Without doubt shot of the week was performed by Gurdip on the fiendishly difficult par 5 11th, where he holed his hybrid from 130 yards for a stunning birdie! This is one of the 3 toughest par 5s in the Algarve!
Boxing day was a day for relaxing and lunching in the sun which everyone managed very successfully.
Our 4th game was at the perennial favourite The Old Course, which came on the scene in 1969 which in Algarve terms is prehistoric. The superb layout winds its way through the trees (which we all visited at least once!) to some great putting surfaces. The borrows here are perhaps more obvious, but none the less thought provoking to play. Today’s winners by a comfortable 4 point margin were Rosemary and Jennie who accumulated 41 points. According to their playing partners their golf was accompanied by singing (they allege it was in tune) and much hilarity which clearly is the secret of good golf (Tiger take note). Individual honours were taken by Les with a very steady days golf and 34 points. Doug once again was runner up and also his steadiness was a feature of the week. A reflective beer at the lovely clubhouse veranda ended a super days play and a brilliant dinner at a lovely Portuguese restaurant, a first class day.
We finished our week at the visually appealing Ocean Course at Vale do Lobo. The weather kept its benign feel and enhanced the super views of the sea on the back nine. Julian & Roger and Gurdip & Bobby scored 43 points. On the individual front Bobby got back to his winning ways and rattled up 38 points, with steely Les coming in second.
A grand week blessed with plenty of sunshine, laughs and memorable golfing moments. All in all we could want for Christmas.
Look forward to seeing you all again.
All the best