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Oconnor - Silves

Perfectly complementing the Faldo Course, whilst taking advantage of the rich valley soil in contrast to the arid hillside, Christy OConnor Jnrs course at Amendoeira offers no less of a challenge.

Large areas of water demand accurate play and creative shot making, and these lakes and streams are to be maintained as a wildlife sanctuary.

He explained:
- I wanted one hole where it was just oranges---the whole of this part of the Algarve is blessed with thousands of acres of orange groves and I wanted to bring some inside the course as well.

- I have managed to create such a hole, the fifth, which has orange groves left and right and should be a real beauty to play. There is also a huge orange grove off to the left on the fourth hole.

Christy smiled:
- The course also has my version of the Amen Corner, starting at the seventh. We have a lake which runs from the 9th, through the 8th and into the 7th, so it is a kind of a chain reaction and the 7th will be the first of it.

- The 9th is a real, real key hole of the golf course, the lake running not only to the right off the tee, but also to the left of the second shot. It is almost a two-part golf hole.

Christy says the 12th hole is steeped in modern history.
- This hole is guarded by the same lake that runs along the 8th hole, sitting on the lake with the water this time on the right, just to give a bit of variety, he explained.

- It is very, very playable and steeped in history because the main buildings for the greenkeepers will be here and they were the home of a famous equestrian family who won, I think, two Olympic gold medals for showjumping.

- I just imagine myself driving down there with the buildings on the left, knowing the history, and going onto a really nice green with the river sitting at the back of it.

But Christy plans that the history surrounding the following hole, the 13th, will reflect back over the centuries, to the time of Moorish rule in this part of Europe, which ended in 1250.

The 13th will again have those famous buildings on the left but I am going to try and incorporate Moorish-type walls into the green, building something that reflects the Moorish heritage of what the Arabs once called Al-Garbe, and which became the Algarve.

Christys 18th hole brings the course to a fantastic finish, a gentle climb with the river running along the right hand side.

This hole is a humdinger, he smiled. And once you get up here and look down on the golf course, you will feel you have been blessed.

No. holes 18
PAR 72
Length 6719
Architect OConnor Course

Handicaps:
- Men, 28
- Ladies, 36

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