How to Get into Golf in the Algarve and Increase Your Life Expectancy By Five Years

Golf is a sport that can be enjoyed long into retirement and offers numerous health benefits

– May 29, 2023 | By Mark Hirst


Golf is a sport that can be enjoyed long into retirement and offers numerous health benefits. But getting started can seem intimidating. If you’ve ever considered playing golf, but don’t know where to begin, read on as we show you how to get into golf in the Algarve. No previous experience is required!

Portugal is blessed with some of the finest golf courses in Europe. The Algarve alone boasts 39 golf courses. Its year-round temperate climate, with an average 300 days of sunshine per year makes it the perfect suited for the area.

It’s never too late to get into golf, with many people enjoying the sport well into their eighties. It has numerous health benefits and is a great way to get fit, meet new people and discover new and exciting places.

If you’d like to try golf, we’ll show you the best golf courses for beginners, where you can play in a relaxed, friendly environment. The courses aren’t demanding and are very accessible. All courses offer club hire too, so there’s no need to spend on expensive equipment.

If you fall in love with golf, we’ll also show you where you can get lessons with a PGA professional. There are several excellent golf academies in the Algarve that can teach you the basics and take your game to the next level.

Golf Health Benefits

A study by Swedish researchers showed that active golfers have a 40% lower mortality rate than inactive individuals. The study suggests that this equates to a life expectancy that’s five years longer than those that live a sedentary lifestyle. Whilst you might take that stat with some scepticism, the study also found that golf reduces the risk of over 40 chronic conditions, including ischaemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, colon and breast cancer.

Interestingly another study published in the BMJ found that injury rates from playing golf were very low compared to other sports. The study found that there were only 0.28–0.60 injuries per 1000 hours played in amateurs.

Calories Burned

An article by Harvard University states that golfers burn 200 calories every 30 minutes. Given that a round of 18 holes of golf takes 4 hours to complete, that equates to approximately 1600 calories burnt if you carry your clubs. Play twice weekly, and you can burn 1lb of fat assuming you don’t change your diet.

Best Algarve Golf Courses for Beginners

If you want to give golf a try, you’ll need to find a golf course that’s suitable for beginners. We’ve selected five excellent golf courses in the Algarve that are accessible to newcomers. You don’t need a handicap to play them and all offer club hire as part of the package.

Balaia Golf Village

Balaia Golf Village

Situated in Albufeira, Balaia Golf Village has a nine-hole par three golf course that perfectly introduces golf. A round of golf here costs €40, or €60 if you want to hire clubs as well. Golf lessons are available too and cost €90 for one hour or €250 for a three-hour package.

Penina Academy & Resort Courses

Penina Academy & Resort

Penina Hotel & Golf Resort, north of Portimão, has three golf courses, two of which are perfect for beginners. The Academy course costs €31 for nine holes and €34 if you want to do two loops of nine holes. The Resort Course costs €34 for nine holes and club hire is €25 per round.

Golf lessons are available at Penina and cost €38 for 30 minutes and €60 for one hour.

Vale de Milho

Vale de Milho

Vale de Milho is a none-hole par-three golf course in Carvoeiro. The website states it’s a “scaled-down version of a full-sized course”. Nine holes of golf costs €20, and club and bag hire is an additional €10. Lessons are available from PGA Tour Professional Jimmy Cruz.

Amendoeira Academy Course

Amendoeira-GOLF Resort -clubhouse

The Academy Course at Amendoeira Golf Resort in Alcantarilha offers the only floodlit golf course in Portugal so that the golf can continue after dark. Nine holes at the Academy course costs €17. Golf Lessons are available and cost €40 for juniors and €60 for adults for one-hour tuition.

Golf Coaching in the Algarve

If you’ve had a go at golf and want to improve your game, several golf academies in the Algarve offer individual packages and workshops that will take your game beyond the basics.

Pinheiros Altos Golf Academy

Pinheiros Altos Golf Academy

Kenny Fairbairn heads up the Pinheiros Golf Academy in Quinta do Lago. A PGA professional since 1995 and oversees teaching at Pinheiros.

There are three and five-day packages to choose from. The five-day package includes golf clubs, unlimited balls during lessons, video analysis and green fees.

On day one to four you’ll complete two hours of tuition at the driving range and on day four you will spend two hours on the course with a PGA professional. Prices start at €950 for two people.

Algarve Golf Academy at Santo Antonio

Golf Santo Antonio (2)

Ian Stellard runs the golf academy at Santo Antonio Golf Course. He offers two, three and five-day packages for beginners covering the fundamentals of the game, including swing basics, chipping and putting. The five-day course costs €450 per person.

Peter Lester Golf School in Vilamoura

Lester's Golf, Algarve Vilamoura

Peter Lester Golf School offers three and five-day packages for golfers of all abilities. His five-day beginner course includes:

  • Equipment explanation
  • Swing fundamentals and development
  • Pitching and chipping practice
  • Woods lesson, from tee and fairway
  • Putting practice
  • Overview of rules and etiquette

To Conclude

Golf is an excellent way to exercise, get fit and spend time outdoors. The Algarve’s perfect climate is ideally suited to golf, with a wide range of excellent courses just waiting to be discovered. Why not try golf today and experience these tremendous benefits for yourself?

About the Author

Mark Hirst is the founder of Getaway Golfer, a site dedicated to helping people discover the best golf courses and hotels worldwide. His writing has been featured in National Club Golfer, Luxuria Lifestyle and many other publications.


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