The course: Tour professionals like Ernie Els and Padraig Harrington, who recently dropped in for a quiet recreational game, believe this to be the best course in Portugal. Rolling hills, lakes and olive groves provide a spectacular setting for Jack Nicklaus’s 7,181-yard course, which features five threes and five par fives. From the palatial clubhouse, British Golf Director Iain McInally maintains exemplary practice facilities, course condition and caddy service. The €75,000 family membership is available with a property purchase and transferable when you sell. A second course is planned with a future Ryder Cup bid on the cards.
The location: The eastern Algarve is relatively undiscovered in comparison with the ‘golden triangle’ further west around Almancil, and consequently has lower property prices. The quaint old fishing town of Tavira, with its excellent Pousada hotel and Camera Obscura is 10 miles from Monte Rei. Faro airport, with good cheap flights to many British airports, is a 35-minute drive to the west, while to the east, the Spanish border is only 20 minutes away, and Seville two hours. A boutique hotel and beach club are on the drawing board, but the clubhouse chef, from El Bulli, is already making kitchen magic.
Get your own clubhouse at: With building plots starting at €997,000, linked three-bedroom townhouses going for €1,175,000, and four-bedroom ones costing €1,510,000, this is an up-market, low-density development. From August 2010, the 37 townhouses are also available for holiday rental – a good way to look at the development.
Celebrity members: Seventies Blackburn footballer, John Waddington, made millions from Greetings Cards and is now building his 4,500 square foot dream house overlooking the 6th fairway. He believes Monte Rei is like the famous Quinta do Lago in the central Algarve, 20 years ago.
Read more about the other Primelocation.com Top 20 Best Golf Resorts.