Great opening hole at MontadoBunkers at the dogleg 16th 17th green with view to the 8th
The course at the Montado Hotel & Golf Resort was originally designed in 1992 by Duarte Sottomayor and was completely redesigned by Jorge Santana da Silva in 2005, culminating in an island green at the 18th. The course has many highlights before you get to that point, but it also has some very average holes. What you have to bear in mind when you stay at the Montado Hotel & Golf Resort is that it is exactly that Ė a resort course.
But having said that, when you stand on the first you are welcomed by a great-looking hole. Itís not that long at 392 yards and has a wide fairway and a large green to aim at and sits on the eye very well. Youíll need to play over water to reach the greens at both the par-5 second and par-3 third, but the highlight of the front nine is the par-4 ninth played round a lake. You really need to be in the right position from the tee if youíre going to go for the green as the trees can block you out.
I do feel the back nine was the better of the two halves, offering more variety and looking interesting on the eye. Again the back nine starts off with a nice-looking hole that doglegs to the right, and with only a nine iron or wedge into the green it should give you a good start before you hit the hardest hole on the course which is the par-4 eleventh that measures some 465 yards and runs along side a vineyard. If like me you hit your drive down the right, you have the chance to taste some of those wonderfully juicy grapes as you look for your ball!
For me the 12th marks the start of some wonderful holes starting with the 164-yard par-3 that plays slightly downhill to a shallow green that runs across you. A stream runs all the way along the par-4 13th so make sure you stay on the left side of the fairway and donít over-shoot the green or go right as you will find stream.
The next three holes include two par-5s that give you a chance to gather some birdies before you stand on the 18th to the aforementioned island green. Itís a deep green so donít be scared of going long Ė itís the signature hole and one that can wreck you card. While I am sitting enjoying a cold beer I watch several people find a watery grave. Hopefully you wonít!
The second green with the par 3, 3rd green behind © James Mason, photography taken on the day of play