Sir Henry Cotton’s influence on golfing splendour in Portugal

Sir Thomas Henry Cotton, MBE, left an indelible mark on the world of golf, not just as a three-time Open Championship winner but also as a designer of some of the most iconic golf courses, particularly in Portugal’s Algarve region. Born in 1907 in Cheshire, England, Cotton’s journey to golfing greatness began when he picked up the clubs at the age of 12, transitioning from his previous love for cricket.

Cotton’s legacy in golf extends far beyond his victories on the course. Renowned for his charismatic personality and penchant for the finer things in life, he brought a sense of glamour to the sport, embodying a blend of cosmopolitan flair and disciplined athleticism. His mantra, “The best is always good enough for me,” encapsulated his attitude towards golf and life.

In 1934, Cotton claimed his first Open Championship title, a feat he would repeat in 1937 and 1948, establishing himself as one of the preeminent British players of his era. His success wasn’t confined to individual accolades; he also played a pivotal role in elevating the status of professional golfers, advocating for their recognition and respect within the sporting community.

Henry Cotton’s legacy in Portugal

After retiring from competitive play in the 1950s, Cotton transitioned seamlessly into golf course design, leaving an enduring legacy in Portugal, particularly in the Algarve region. Among his notable creations is the Sir Henry Cotton Championship Course at Penina, the first 18-hole course in the Algarve. This course has hosted the Portuguese Open multiple times and is revered for its challenging layout and scenic beauty, characterized by streams, water hazards, and elevated greens.

Another gem in Cotton’s portfolio is the Benamor Golf Course in Tavira, Algarve. Inspired by the picturesque surroundings and the site’s historic church, Cotton crafted a par-71 course that offers a delightful playing experience amidst stunning views of the mountains and sea.

Vale do Lobo Royal Golf Course is a testament to Cotton’s architectural prowess, featuring challenging holes against breathtaking landscapes. Though initially conceived by Cotton, the course bears the mark of Rocky Roquemore, yet it remains a testament to Cotton’s enduring influence on golf course design in Portugal.

At Tee Times Golf Agency, we are proud to offer golfers the best experiences for their Portugal golf holidays, with these golf courses bearing Henry Cotton’s seal being part of our extensive portfolio.

Henry Cotton’s contributions to the sport

Cotton’s contributions to the sport earned him widespread acclaim, including induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1980 and a knighthood in 1988, a fitting tribute to his lasting impact on golf as a player and a visionary course designer.

The Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year distinction, named after the English three-time Open Champion, honours the highest-placing rookie of the European Tour of each season. Established in 1960, it precedes the official start of the tour in 1972. Selected by a panel comprising the European Tour, The R&A of St Andrews, and the Association of Golf Writers, the award celebrates emerging talent in the world of golf.

To be a champion, one must act like one, as famously remarked by Henry Cotton. His legacy lives on in the trophies he won and the courses he crafted, leaving an indelible imprint on the rich tapestry of golfing history, particularly in the sun-drenched fairways of Portugal’s Algarve. With his name associated with some of the most iconic golf courses in the region, Henry Cotton will always be remembered as a visionary golfer and a design mastermind whose influence on the sport continues to inspire generations of golfers.

Photos by: Henry Cotton’s and Tee Times Golf Agency.

Portugal Golf – Two´s company, Three’s a crowd, Four’s a flight!

Portugal Golf - Two´s company, Three’s a crowd, Four’s a flight. Boavista Golf Course

Two´s company, Three’s a crowd, Four’s a flight!

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Espiche and Boavista Golf Courses

Benamor and Quinta do Vale Golf Courses

Quinta do Lago Golf Courses

Vale do Lobo Golf Courses

Isla Canela, Valle Guadiana and Quinta da Ria Golf Courses

Dolce Campo Real Golf Course

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Portugal Golf – Fauna: golf courses are safety

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San Lourenço golf course

Fauna: golf courses are safety

Golf courses represent safety for all animals, whether they are “residents” or just passing through during migratory seasons.

There are golf courses that are authentic “reserves” due to the diversity and quantity of animals that visitors may observe while playing.

In the lakes of the S. Lourenço golf course (Quinta do Lago), next to the Ria Formosa, hundreds of birds can be seen all year round, and during the migration period, thousands of them stop off there, like at an airport… (the observation posts around the course are always very popular).

At Castro Marim Golf the diversity of birds is abundant, but the majority are rabbits and partridges, as on many other courses in the Algarve.

At this time of year, the golf courses with many fig trees (Palmares, Vale do Lobo, Vale da Pinta, Benamor, Quinta da Ria, among others) are a permanent habitat for birds.

Morgado do Reguengo e Álamos (Monchique) is the preferred resort for storks, the dominant species, but there are also frequent encounters with rabbits and partridges. Yesterday afternoon, around the lake bordering Holes 1 and 2 at Álamos, hundreds of storks sought the cool waters.

On all the golf courses, the only species that is not well received, but unfortunately “visits” many, is the wild boar, because of the huge damage it causes.

You can also read other posts about Golf in Portugal:
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