The Algarve's first dedicated FootGolf course opened in April - an innovative, new nine-hole ‘desert' course: all sand, but for its artificially surfaced greens and tees, and its rock outcrops.

The course, set among pine trees close to the renowned golf destinations of Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo, was conceived and designed by Golf Consultants Association chairman Howard Swan, an architect at Swan Golf Designs (SGD).

And its development and construction, which took just 10 weeks, has been project managed throughout by SGD.

The par-36, 545m course is split equally between par-threes, fours and fives, with the holes varying in distance from 25 to 100m. There are two tees on each hole, while each contoured and testing green and collar covers more than 100m2.


The FootGolf course is an element of the Algarve Tennis and Fitness Centre which enjoys has a substantial local membership. The course sits alongside tennis and padel courts - a racquet sport - a yoga and Pilates studio, a table-tennis facility and a sports bar.

Drew Kirby, development director for International Golf Development, which has supported the investment in the facility, said:

"I am simply delighted with what has been achieved in such a short time, in transforming this small parcel of land into a beautifully natural course.''

"We have used all the wood from the site, chipping timber to create the areas of roughs and surfaced the whole of the playing area with sand found on the land ... a highly responsible approach to conservation and a sustainability result."

Swan believes resort destinations will see a growth in these facilities - "with sand, no grass, no irrigation, and no expensive maintenance" - and feels that if playing FootGolf provides participants with enjoyment and real family fun, then he has gone a little way to encouraging more people to take up golf.

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