Jack Nicklaus made his second visit earlier this month to his first design venture in Portugal when he inspected progress on the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course he is creating for the Monte Rei Golf and Country Club in the Western Algarve.
The few changes that Nicklaus made – a larger bunker here, an increased gradient on a green there – are all in the pursuit of designing a course that is both a demanding test of golf for the accomplished player and a challenging, yet fair and enjoyable experience for the average player. He is intent on designing a course which challenges golfers to play intelligently rather than test their strength, believing strongly that golf is a game of precision more than power.
“I avoid disrupting the natural setting as much as possible,” Nicklaus said. “I believe it is important to preserve the natural features of the land and not go against what Mother Nature has created. Therefore, I let the surroundings shape the holes I create. Golf holes should fit the terrain; I never try to force an idea into a piece of land.”
This philosophy is very much in keeping with that of the developers, Aliber S.G.P.S. Lda, who want to create a golf and country club that is one of the most sought after and exclusive in Europe, yet is, at the same, in total harmony with its Algarve environment.
Jack Nicklaus’ enthusiasm for Monte Rei is such that he is planning another site inspection in the first quarter of 2005 prior to the greens being seeded.
Nicklaus Design, recognized as the world leader in golf course design, has been involved with 277 courses open for play in 27 countries and 36 states. Of those, Jack Nicklaus has designed, co-designed or re-designed 232 courses around the globe, 36 of which have been ranked in various national or international Top-100 lists. The Monte Rei Golf and Country Club hopes to join these rankings soon after opening in spring 2006.
Set in over 1,000 acres in the Eastern Algarve, between Vila Real de Santo Antonio and Tavira, Monte Rei Golf and Country Club has breathtaking views of the sea and is set against a backdrop of the dramatic Serra do Caldeirao mountains. Monte Rei will provide residences around the golf course, ranging from exclusive individual villas to town houses. Relative to other developments in the Algarve, however, Monte Rei will offer a lower density of housing, with larger-than-usual plots.
Those wishing to register interest can do so by calling the Monte Rei Sales Office on +351 289 392 167 or visit the website www.monte-rei.com.