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Interview with a Golf Pro: Insights into Central Algarve's Golf Scene

Interview with a Golf Pro: Insights into Central Algarve's Golf Scene

The Central Algarve region is renowned for its stunning golf courses, attracting golf enthusiasts from around the world. To provide you with an insider's perspective on what makes golfing in this region truly special, we had the privilege of interviewing our brand ambassador, Brad Smith, who is also a local golf professional. In this exclusive interview, we delve into the unique aspects of the Central Algarve's golf scene, uncovering valuable insights that will enhance your golfing experience in this picturesque part of Portugal.

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?

Brad: "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."

Q4: Are there any particular challenges or strategies golfers should keep in mind when playing in the Central Algarve?

Brad: "That's a good question. I would say one thing that is very common in the Algarve is that you got Bermuda grass on the fairways and around the greens. You tend to find, when you have Bermuda grass, when you're chipping, if you get the grip too far ahead and when you chip, the clubhead gets into the ground, you tend to find that it will stop into the Bermuda grass. So ideally what you would like to do, is just use the bounce, which is this part of the golf club, you want to try and have your hands levelled, let the club just brush through. What you don't want to do, is have your hands forward and dig into the grass as you see a lot of golfers, they drive the pitching wedge into the ground and the ball doesn't go anywhere, and you have given away your shot. That is one thing i would say is very common in the Algarve."

Q5: Do you have any insider tips or secrets that only locals know about when it comes to golfing in the Central Algarve?

Brad: "I don't know if you would say they are a secret, when you are playing any of the golf courses in the Algarve, especially if you have a flag on the front of the green, don't be greedy and try just get on the green, make sure you go slightly beyond the flag. You'll find in the Algarve, the way the golf courses are designed, there is lots of falls to fronts on the green. So if you're greedy, when you try and pitch the ball close to the flag, the ball will roll right back. So that's one. 
And use sunscreen! Quite a lot of people from the UK or in countries where there isn't a great deal of sun, the UK is one of them, they tend to come over and don't use their sunscreen which is really important. I don't mean factor 8. You need to put factor 50 on your face because the sun is very strong here!"
End of interview with Brad Smith
Our interview with Brad has shed light on the unique aspects of golfing in the Central Algarve. From the diversity of courses to the regional challenges, the Central Algarve has much to offer both seasoned golfers and those new to the sport. Whether you're planning a golfing vacation or looking for insider tips, the Central Algarve should be high on your list of golf destinations to explore. Happy golfing in the Central Algarve!
For more information on property in Ombria Resort or property in the region within easy reach to the golf courses please do get in touch. You can watch the full interview below.