The Inaugural Fairway Golf Group Algarve Championship took place from 10th-17th April, played over 5 of the Algarve's finest Courses, this really was a treat for the players involved.
Our base for the week was at the beach front Vila Gale Ampalius in Vilamoura, a great hotel in a great location with a short walk to the restaurants and bars of the lovely Marina.
The week started with the players meeting on Sunday night for free welcome drinks in the bar, followed by a 3 course meal (with drinks included), this is were myself (Sean Coyle) can go through the itinerary for the week, and pray for some nice weather. With the welcome night being on the same night as final day of Masters most of the players stayed up in the bar to cheer on Englishman Danny Willett take the green jacket, well done Danny.
Day 1 took place at the beautiful Quinta do Lago South, host to Portugal Open on no fewer than 8 occasions, weather was a little wet when we players teed off but most of the day was played in sunshine, course and greens especially were in fantastic condition. The first day saw a tie for first place between Derrick Mullard & Gareth Chapman on 34 points, with Derrick taken the day on back 6 count back/
Each night the players would meet in the bar at 7.30 with there partners for on there own for a drink and we would then choose where to eat.
On to Day 2 at Victoria, home of Portugal Masters for the past 9 years, weather forecast was not to pleasant, but apart from a few small showers the conditions were fine for golf, course was in the best condition I have seen it for quite a while also. As on day 1 the top two where Derrick Mullard & Gareth Chapman, with Derrick just edging it by 1 stroke on 33 Points.
The longest journey we had was one Day 3 to the outstanding Palmares, this truly is a wonderful venue, not only is it a wonderful course the views of Lagos bay are amazing, especially as we had had a beautiful sunny day with no wind. Scores were a lot more consistent on day 3 apart from yours truly, John Robertson 34 Points taking the spoils by 1 shot from Mr Consistent Gareth Chapman.
Once again Day 4 followed the pattern of previous day, a glorious sunny day from start to finish as the players took on Vale do Lobo Royal, famous for the par 3 16th, the greens were receiving a little treatment and were not up to the standard they usually are but still running well, the whole set up at Vale do Lobo oozed class, with a an outstanding clubhouse, bar, pro shop, etc. 2nd place on the day went to Dave Allen on 31 points, with Gareth Chapman finally winning a day on 34 points.
Final day of the Fairway Golf Group Algarve Championship, saw another quite long journey to Algarve's finest course Monte Rei, from the minute you arrive there the service is first class, to go alongside an outstanding golf course. Final day saw the toughest conditions of the week with winds of up to 40 mph. On the final day we had a longest drive and nearest the pin, longest drive going to Dave Carr, with Gareth Chapman taking the nearest the pin. Gareth Chapman continued his outstanding consistency taking 2nd place on 28 points, but without doubt the round of the week in very tough conditions went to John Robertson on 32 points.
Most of the players and myself went for a meal that evening followed by a few drinks were we could let our hear down (some great dancing or maybe not) with no golf the following day.
As mentioned Saturday is a rest day were players and guests can relax before getting ready for Gala Presentation, free drinks in the bar, followed by an a la carte menu again drinks included, again where players can let there hair down and reflect on ifs & maybe's.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about The Inaugural Fairway Golf Group Algarve Championship, next years Championship will take place in October 2017 (same week as Portgual Masters) date to be confirmed when date of Masters released. Next year will be a 4 day Championship giving players & partners a little more time to themselves, that said extra golf can be booked at a discount rate, it will also include FREE entry to the Portugal Masters on the Saturday of the Championship.
This Years Championship was run in a very relaxed