Dom Pedro Hotels & Golf Collection has carried out an extensive upgrade of the Victoria Course, host venue of the Portugal Masters, that will see it presented in its best condition ahead of a world-class European Tour field teeing it up from 24-27 October.
This is part of a wider €4.5m development strategy across Dom Pedro’s five championship courses in Vilamoura that, in the case of the Victoria Course, will provide a tougher test for the best players in the game.
Central to this has been the addition of a more resilient Common Bermuda grass to the rough and green surrounds. As a warm weather variant that uses water much more efficiently, this will allow the greenkeeping staff at Dom Pedro to alter the line of the fairways more easily and present the course in tournament-ready condition – both during the event and for golfers all year round.
Working closely with the European Tour, the upgrade has seen the strategic addition of new trees across three holes on the front nine. Intended to prevent the longest hitters from cutting the corners of doglegs on the 2nd, 5th and 10th holes, this will have an even greater bearing as the trees mature in the years ahead.
Dom Pedro’s usual 20-strong team of greenkeepers on-site doubles in size in the build-up to and during the Portugal Masters. This year they will have access to the latest Toro equipment following a recent upgrade, allowing for the course to be made firmer and faster for the Portugal Masters, with multiple mows per day, plus rolling and effective use of water, in addition to growing the rough – all ensuring a sterner test for the world’s best this October.
Simao da Cunha, Head of Golf Operations at Dom Pedro Hotels & Golf Collection, said: “We have worked very closely with the European Tour to improve the condition of the Victoria Course to provide a more complete test for both professionals and amateurs. This is part of a wider development programme that, with the addition of further trees and the strategic repositioning of bunkers in the years ahead, will establish the Victoria Course as one of the best in Europe.”
A new irrigation system has been installed this year that is 23% more efficient, saving 61.26 tonnes of CO2 and a staggering 177,000 kW every 12 months. Workingclosely with Grundfos, a market leading supplier of water pump solutions, the Dom Pedro system’s performance has been so impressive that it is now being sold across Portugal – further proof of the lengths the destination is going to in order to present the Victoria Course at its best for the Portugal Masters.
Jose Maria Zamora, the European Tour’s Tournament Director, said: “We have been visiting the Victoria Course for 13 years and have a very close relationship with the team there. Their commitment to the development of this course is evidenced by the work undertaken in changing the grass in the rough to Bermuda over the last two years. The course has always provided an interesting test and the changes being made will ensure it continues to be one of the finest-conditioned layouts we visit all year. I look forward to this year’s event and to working together with Dom Pedro going forward to make the Victoria Course the best it can be.”