Grade “A” Architecture

Dom Pedro Hotels & Golf Collection

Architecture – Dom Pedro Hotels

Victoria Course
17th Hole / Par-5 / 538 Yards
Vilamoura, Portugal
Architect: Arnold Palmer with Ed Seay (2004)

Architecture - Dom Pedro Hotels & Golf Collection

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

The Portugal Masters was played for the 15th consecutive year from November 4-7 and was once again the event played on the Victoria Course at Dom Pedro in Vilamoura.

Architecture – Dom Pedro Hotels

The 18-hole layout is one of several on the property and is a 2004 design from Arnold Palmer and his lead associate Ed Seay.

The penultimate par-5 hole provides an engaging opportunity for major swing changes as players battle for position in their attempt to secure the coveted title.

Architecture - Dom Pedro Hotels & Golf Collection

Architecture – Dom Pedro Hotels

Few people know the hole as well as Rui Grave. He has led the greenkeeping team at all of the Portugal Masters (2007-2021) and this year’s edition marked his 15th consecutive year working the European Tour event. His duties cover all of the five courses that comprise the sprawling property

“The 17th hole on the Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course is one of the best that can be found within the collection at the resort. It is a magnificent par-5 and one of the most important when it comes to playing well at the Portugal Masters, as there is always a lot of pressure to take advantage of a good scoring opportunity towards the end of the round,” said Grave.

Architecture – Dom Pedro Hotels

“Players must always look to birdie the hole, especially if they are fighting to win the tournament. It is a decisive hole in any round of golf, as well as a very photogenic hole that is good for showcasing the quality conditions of the Dom Pedro Golf Courses throughout the tournament.”

Interestingly, no changes have been made at the hole since its original design by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay dating  back to its opening in 2004.

“The best possible way to play the hole is to line the ball up on the right-hand side of the tee box and then strike the tee shot over the bunker that is located 250 metres away into the centre of the fairway. This will then leave golfers with either a decision to lay up before the water to leave a short pitch into the green, or go for the green in two that requires a direct shot of about 230 metres over the water. It is a hole that can make or break a player’s championship hopes,” said Grave.

Architecture - Dom Pedro Hotels & Golf Collection

Architecture – Dom Pedro Hotels

The 634m² green is a difficult target to find when varying wind conditions are happening — most notably when the pin is located in the front right section nearest to the water.

“The biggest challenge players face is the second shot to the green, especially if the pin position is placed in a “tricky” zone, either to the right of the green or even at the entrance. This is because the green is protected by a large lake that sits in front of it. If the pin is located in a dangerous position, the best option is to hit the middle of green and then two putt for a birdie,” said Grave.

Wind conditions are also a critical factor to calculate given the exposure of the hole to the elements and the general lack of trees on the layout.

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Architecture – Dom Pedro Hotels

“The prevailing wind comes from the South or Southwest, which helps the first shot a lot as this is often the direction in which the players will be hitting their tee shots. This was the direction of the wind that was registered the most on this hole during the duration of the last Portugal Masters in 2020,” said Grave.

Clearly, the 17th hole plays a major role in one’s overall success or failure. Elevating those able to summon up the requisite execution and having the mental fortitude to push aside all the distractions that can lead to scorecard ruin. Undoubtedly, a penultimate hole that leaves a lasting memory.


For more info go to:

Dom Pedro Hotels & Golf Collection | Golf Courses in Vilamoura (

All pictures courstesy of Dom Pedro

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