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Western Algarve has sustainable golf course

1st August 2012: Algarve Property News



According to ''Algarve Resident'' a new golf course built on an ecological reserve in the western Algarve is promoting sustainable practices while working alongside researchers at the University of the Algarve to ensure protection of the land and surrounding environment.

Espiche Golf, which held a soft opening on February 15, is the dream of three entrepreneurs, Peter Tacon Thornton, Paul Langley and Rob Cawthorn, who, on a visit to the Algarve to look at investment land, found a site at Bago de Uva, north of Espiche and west of Lagos, and instantly envisaged a naturally landscaped course nestling in the countryside.

The 18-hole, par 72 course has been designed by South African golf course architect Peter Sauerman and with the backing and support of a group of investors and builders, the three founding members were able to build and landscape the design to integrate into the surrounding scenery.

Espiche Golf is a monitored course on an environmental programme linked to the University of the Algarve and various departments within the Algarve’s Commission for Regional Development (CCDRA) as the land on which it is built is classified as an Ecological Reserve.

The land is made of a geological structure of a karst rock (lime stone) which has a water lens aquifer below it.

Paul Tacon Thornton told the Algarve Resident: “Espiche Golf has a history in environmental research. The covering landscape is of a fragile morphology that has taken hundreds of years to establish.

“This morphological structure stops the erosion of the land and helps the percolation of water through its root system to enable the replenishment of the aquifer below in times of rain fall.”

He added: “Espiche Golf takes an exceptional responsibility in the way it carries out its course maintenance, thus ensuring the quality of the aquifer and its surrounding landscape.

“We are committed to an ongoing process of research and development for sustainability.”

Players will notice that there is a mixture of grasses differing from those on other courses. The grass on the greens is Paspalum and elsewhere, including the fairways, Bermuda grass has been established. This is to ensure a playable sustainable course that is environmentally compatible with the existing landscape in the Ecological Reserve.

Paul Tacon Thornton said: “The ethos at Espiche Golf is to provide a great golfing experience within a stunning natural environment. Golfers who value charm, variety and challenge in their game will derive great satisfaction as it will take time to appreciate the many subtleties of this par 72 course.”

The fairways make full use of the natural undulating slopes and hollows calling for precise and thoughtful driving while the sculptured and sited greens require the player to use the whole variety of pitch shots. There are two starting points from the first and the tenth tees.

Future plans for Espiche Golf include a clubhouse with bar and restaurant, Pro Shop and putting green, all due to be completed by the end of the year.

At the neighbouring Espiche Golf Village, villas will be available for sale and rental and there are also plans in place for a five star hotel and sports centre.

Promotional green fees include 18 holes for €35, nine holes for €25 and 18 hole buggy hire for €20.


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