English golfer Tommy Fleetwood. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Algarve’s Portugal Masters makes seasonal switch to spring

The Algarve’s Portugal Masters golf competition will be taking place in the spring next year instead of autumn. The annual 72-hole battle will now be held from April 28 to May 2 at Vilamoura’s Dom Pedro Victoria Golf Course.

Organisers have announced that the event has made a “seasonal switch” for the 2021 Race to Dubai due to a “revamped schedule of tournaments”.

“Alongside the recent positive news on vaccines, the announcement represents some extra encouragement for golfers to plan their own spring return to the Algarve’s cherished fairways,” says the Algarve Tourism Association (ATA) in a communiqué to the press.

“The spring season is traditionally hugely popular with visiting golfers, thanks to the destination’s warm temperatures and manicured courses.”

As the association points out, the Portugal Masters is one of the “big-hitting events” on the European Tour and was praised for its “superb organisation in 2020, where a successful Covid testing programme allowed the event to run smoothly and also saw the European Tour host its pilot pro-am event, supported by the Algarve Biomedical Centre.”

The Algarve has implemented extensive Covid measures in recent times for guests to feel as safe as possible on the stunning southern Portugal coastline and to maintain their confidence in the destination, adds ATA.

A spokesperson for the association said: “It is always an honour to host one of the European Tour’s most popular events and everyone took great pride in the way the tournament was staged in September with so many new safety measures in place.

“This is extra recognition of the trust placed in us to deliver another safe and successful tournament for many of the world’s top golfers and we look forward to welcoming them all once again to the Algarve in April,” the spokesperson added.

Algarve golf writer Tom Callan said: “The announcement is fantastic news not only for golfers, but also for Portugal, and especially the beautiful Algarve. The spring season is traditionally extremely popular for visiting golfers, thanks to warm temperatures, manicured courses, and the added attraction of one of golf’s top international tournaments presenting an unbeatable combination.

“While the situation regarding the number of spectators able to attend the event is obviously unclear at the moment, the guarantee of a live, worldwide TV audience ensures that the beautiful Algarve will be showcased in all its springtime glory.

“An earlier than usual return to top golfing action at Vilamoura provides significant endorsement of the region’s reputation for safety, and the capacity to host world class sporting events.

“With the countdown now started for the 2021 edition of the Portugal Masters, top international golfing stars will already be looking forward to competing on the Algarve’s renowned fairways next spring. Such tremendous news provides the perfect tonic at the end of a year overshadowed by the effects of a deadly virus, and provides a sporting beacon of light and optimism for the weeks and months ahead.”

Additional incentive to visit the Algarve this spring is being provided by the “Golf Clubs are on Us” promotion, which covers the costs of golfers taking their clubs on flights for travel up to the end of May. Bookings, however, must be confirmed by January 31 to avail of the offer.

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