The Penina course created by
Henry Cotton, is now a monument to his memory. Penina
was the first course to be built in the Algarve and
it was inaugurated by the President of the Republic
in 1966. The area used to be a rice-field and it is
now surrounded by tall, wide-trunked, trees.
Cotton used the drainage ditches of the rice-field to
define fairways in some places, and hazards in others.
He enlarged them at strategic places modifying their
banks by raising them and concealing the water hazards
from the less cautious golfers. More than 360,000 trees
were planted, dividing fairways, defining greens, giving
a different character to each hole.
In front of the hotel, a new nine hole course called
Resort course (ex - Monchique) was created later on,
to satisfy the needs of more and more clients and to
allow for maintenance on the main course.
A small layout with very short holes for beginners,
the Academia course (ex - Quinta), was also built, among
the fairways of the Championship course. The extensive
driving-range is very well managed and there is also
a huge putting-green with an area of about 1000 square
metres, making Penina a superior quality practice centre.
The par of the Penina course is 73 (35+38) with the
second nine both beginning and finishing with two consecutive
par 5's, which is not usual. The first hole, a 411 -metre
par 4, almost long enough to be a conventional 5, is
rather difficult and has a green which is more than
35 metres long, requiring careful choice of the approach
iron to be played.
To close the first nine there is another hole over 400
metres long with a dogleg to the left and also a long
double tiered green, well defended by three bunkers.
The 13th hole, a 208-metre par 3 lies alongside a lake
with a bunker defending the right of the green and is
one of Penina's challenging holes.