Interview with Brad Smith:
Q1: Can you tell us a bit about your background in golf and your connection to the Central Algarve?
Brad: "When I left education at a young age, I turned professional and then I became a member of the PGA and played in various tournaments but unfortunately i didn't hit the heights that I wanted so i came out of golf when i was about 27, 28. Then I went into the business world, in various businesses but always maintained playing golf. I played amateur golf for quite a while for Essex the County, I was the County Captain for quite a while and when I returned to 50 years of age, nearly 8 years ago, I decided to play senior golf, returned to the professional ranks a few years ago and rejoined the PGA."
Brad: "What brings me to the Algarve? Well, it's not just one answer really, it's many. It's the people, the food, the beaches, the golf especially and the weather. We get such fantastic weather here. I have a young son, who was 10 at the time who I knew potentially could be a very good golfer. We knew that by coming to the Algarve, we would give him every opportunity to really have a go at doing what he wants to do, doing what his passion is. He is now 15 and plays of +3 so my instincts were right and we made the right choice by coming to the Algarve."
Q2: What do you believe sets the Central Algarve apart as a golf destination?
Brad: "I think the weather is very consistent, you've got over 300 days of sunshine, you have a huge variety of golf courses. You have 34 in the Algarve which if, generally, you are staying in the Algarve, you'll fly to Faro, you can get to all of those golf courses in under an hour. If you're staying central Algarve you can get to everywhere within 35-40 minutes. There is a real big variety of courses."
Q3: Could you recommend a few must-play golf courses in the Central Algarve and what makes them special?
"Well I would say for starters, Ombria
, where we are today. It's a new golf course, very rarely you go and play a new golf course and you feel it has got some sort of maturity but yes it has. It's an enjoyable golf course to play.
You've got 2 golf courses I would recommend in Vilamoura
which is the Old Course, a very traditional Portuguese golf course and the Victoria which is in Vilamoura. The Portugal Masters has been played there in many many occasions. If you have watched that on TV, it's quite nice to go an play on a golf course that you've seen on TV.
And then you've got the 3 golf courses in Quinta do Lago
which is Quinta North, Quinta South and Laranjal. All under the Quinta umbrella, always in very good condition, and you get well looked after so they are the golf courses I would recommend must play when you come to the Algarve."