Hard work - but worth it
Played this course twice - first time I pulled a trolley - big mistake, an electric trolley is ok a buggy is much better. Lots of hills to climb, a fair distance between green and tee.
The course itself is the dearest to play on the Pestana hotels fee sheet and I can see why. Of the three Pestana courses I played it is the outstanding one. Tee boxes are good, fairways are in good repair - divots 'fixed' greens are cared for and run very true, bunkers have good sand layer.
The course is fairly forgiving and as long as you stay away from the hazards you'll enjoy, there is water on the 4th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 17th BUT even I missed it. Greens are tricky in places, and you may find your ball wants to have another chip!
4th is a par 3 over the pond, and looks more daunting than it actually is. The 5th is a blind par 4 up and around the top of a hill - watch the breeze from the left. 8th is a short par 4 that is driveable - if you aren't afraid of the trees on the mound. On the 13th you can cut the corner, but then you may have a chip over the trees. The 14th and on have twin greens - check the sign before you enter the area, but get to 16 and it is in fact a horseshoe green. the 18th is a lovely par 5 uphill to the clubhouse, complete with the captain's bunker in the front - the club house staff have no idea where the charity 'jar' is though.
Will happily play this course again in the future.
Top golf ...
Gramacho is again a great course again designed by Ronald Fream but with the help of former world no.1 and Open Champion- Nick Price.
The layout is forgiving, open and attract on the eye. The fairways are wide (mostly) and rewards the big hitter, as many green are drivable if you take the right line. But don’t be discouraged if you aren’t, good placement will also be rewarded.
After a simple start you are then tested by some undulating holes with neatly placed stone walls and palm lined fairways. The course loops away from the clubhouse and only returns back at the 18th. Again you are met with two main water features with fountains and palm shade but don’t stop to admire the course too much, you will need to concentrate to tackle the many sloping greens, where a three putt is common and four putts are not unheard of.
I really liked this course. All the tee boxes were in good condition and despite the finishing holes being in the sunset line (Why?!) I would love to play this again. If there was one point to note for the greenkeepers – I heard one of our party mention that ever Par 3 was the same distance 150m and they all required playing the same club – a fair comment, I myself used an eight iron on every one. So perhaps something to consider when laying out the course in future.
That aside, all the staff were friendly and couldn’t look after you enough and very polite. We were even greeted by owner on 1st tee!
Great, hilly course
This is a great course, but you either need a buggy or to be a mountain goat! It's quite a hilly course.
Some fantastic views from the tees and looking back from the greens.
Two greens on some holes (used to be a 9 hole course with two greens on each hole)
Well worth playing.