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Daniel Warwick

Daniel Warwick

A View From the Cliffs writer on Algarve Golf Online

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It has been another fabulous week for weather in the Algarve, many hours of sunshine although the temperatures have dropped a little. It has been around 17/18 degrees this week, still considerably warming than the UK and making great conditions for golf. The courses are still fairly busy and as always, in fantastic condition.

Now we are into November the Algarve is starting to quieten down a little. October is the peak golfing season and with half term at the end of the month it tends to mark the end of the summer. Although we have been quieter this week I have still been coaching, introducing new pupils to the game as well as improving established golfers and with our 3 for 2 promotions on lessons through November we have generated some interest in and around the academy here at Pine cliffs.

COURSE INSIGHT:
Each Article I write I will try to give you an insight to the golf courses I have played in the past weeks here in the Algarve. Last week I was very fortunate to play the beautiful Jack Nicklaus signature course, Monte Rei. Located in the seaside town of Tavira toward the Spanish border, this course really is a gem. Set over a massive 1000 acres and only opened in June 2007 it has already been ranked number 1 golf course in Portugal. The course is measured at 6567m winding through valleys with many streams, lakes and large sculpted bunkers giving the course an American design feel. The immaculate condition of this golf course is truly breath taking, the greens are fast and the fairways are like carpet. On each tee you stand you will be blown away, you only see the hole you are playing which is set in a valley, giving a very peaceful feeling when you play here. The exception service you receive at Monte Rei gives you a felling of a very special day out. A Green fee here may cost you more than other courses around the Algarve but it’s defiantly a golf course you have to play.

Monte Rei

During the winter I get a chance to play and practise more myself. As a professional golfer, I need to maintain my own game to the high level I reached when I turned pro 10 years ago. I try to play at least once or twice a week and hit balls a couple of times as well. Remember, winter is a great time to start practising, just because the summer is over and the weather is not so good, doesn’t mean you should stop playing regularly and more importantly practising regularly.

TIP:
Improving your putting is the easiest way to lower your scores, especially short putting. If you can hole out from the 3-4 ft range you will improve your scoring considerably. I find the best way to practise this is to use the clock exercise. Place 4 or five balls in a circle around the hole, if you do this on a slope it will make it more difficult as all the putts will be completely different. Once you hole them all out. Spread out to make it harder.

Putt Drill

Good golfing and keep practising.

Daniel Warwick

A View From the Cliffs

Welcome to my new column from the golf capital of Europe “The Algarve”, currently 24 degrees and blazing sunshine. Host to the European tours Algarve Masters during October, our region stretches 240km from the furthest west point in Europe to the Spanish border. We have 37 golf courses along our beautiful coastline including some of the best in the world.

I am the resident golf Professional at Sheraton Pine Cliffs, one of Europe’s leading golf resorts and Portugal’s #1 family resort. We are currently amid the busy golfing season when many groups of golfers are taking advantage of our fantastic courses and mild climate temperatures. Vilamoura is one of the best places to stay with its large hotels surrounding the picturesque marina within close proximity of long golden beaches. This makes the area very popular with families in the summer and golfers during the winter months.

We recently hosted the European tours Algarve Masters at the Arnold Palmer designed Victoria course at Vilamoura. The sun was shining and the golf course was in great shape which provided great scoring conditions. Congratulations to Richard Green from Australia who finished on a very tidy 18 under par to win by 2 shots from a group of 4 players including Robert Karlsson and Francesco Molinari who himself shot 74, 62, 74, 62 which unbelievably shows how your game can change from day to day. Two rounds of 10 under par in the same week. Very Impressive.

Portugal Masters

Our resort and local area is very busy at the moment due to half term in the UK. The Algarve has become a very popular destination with the British due to high quality golf courses, fine restaurants, leading hotels and some of the best beaches in Europe. Many kids are getting into golf this week and joining our junior golf clinics. With some of them as young as 5 years old it’s a great age to start.  We’ve had some real natural talents, maybe some pros in the making!

Portugal is one of the leading contenders for the 42nd Ryder cup bid for 2018 among five other nations including France, Germany, Holland, Spain and Sweden. Portugal´s bid is called “Got game, got Garra”. The pace is really picking up for these bids now with each Country having submitted their bid, the best will be chosen by a select committee from the PGA and PGA´s of Europe which is set to be announced in 2011. Fingers crossed for that, good luck Portugal. I’ll keep you updated!! Check out my link below for Portugals bid, looks impressive!! - Click here to view the video

That’s all we have time for this week and I look forward to keeping you posted about what is going on here in the Algarve on my column “A Views From the Cliffs”.

Good golfing

Daniel Warwick
PGA Professional
Sheraton Pine Cliffs