Benamour Golf Course was first born when the Martins Dias family — owners of Quinta de Benamor — invited legendary British golfer Sir Henry Cotton (three times British Open Champion) to design an 18-hole course on a stretch of land they owned. Sir Henry is considered the grandfather of Portuguese golf and first settled in the Algarve in the mid-1960's. Shaping the Benamour Golf Course commenced in 1986 with Cotton finding inspiration in a curious wooden-made white church (dated 1750). The old church is now next to the clubhouse because Henry Cotton liked it when he saw it and decided to keep everything as original as possible.
Sir Henry Cotton died in 1987 and the project suffered several modifications over the years, mostly by Howard Swann and Raymond Jones, but has always stayed loyal to Sir Henry's ideal.
To arrive at the Benamour course from Faro Airport requires a 40-minute drive eastwards. The nearest city is Tavira (just a few kilometers away). You have the mountains of Barrocal to the North and the Atlantic Ocean to the South. The course measures 6.100 yards so it provides a test for both good players and high handicappers without being unplayable.
Many golf courses in the Algarve have houses and building complexes being built around all year round. This work inevitably leads to courses being redesigned, and constant noise of construction work going on around you. Belamour, on the other hand, sits in the peaceful surroundings of a construction free resort.
Get creative and you can combine lessons and 18 holes. Or 9-holes and half a day of lessons. Benamour also offers a full day golf clinic or a three-day golf clinic. You can even get off the driving range and get on the course and have lessons there. Rather than meet with your teacher on a teaching bay at the driving range, you can work with him/her on the fairways and greens and learn about course management and taking your game to the course.
At Benamour there is none of the stuffiness and discrimination against juniors that you find in British golf clubs. Every Saturday and Sunday the club hosts junior programs for boys and girls between aged eight and sixteen. If you want your children to develop solid technique and learn golf etiquette early, send them to Benamour on the weekends.