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Algarve on Top at Vilamoura


Arnold Palmer is to design a fifth golf course at the Vilamoura complex in the Algarve. The new layout, the final stage in the owners' golfing plans for the resort, will cost 5 million to build and is due to open during the first quarter of 2002, according to developers Lusotur.

Meanwhile, the fourth course on the estate, the Millennium, will be officially opened on May 4 this year when Palmer will be present to unveil his plans for the fifth layout.

Golfing turnover at Vilamoura's three championship courses and Butch Harmon golf academy currently exceeds 230 million a year, and when the two newest courses are in operation that figure will be expected to break the 300 million barrier.

Vilamoura was the venue for the recent International Golf Travel Market, and it came as little surprise when the Algarve was named worldwide golf destination of the year at the Hertz awards gala dinner.

Readers of golf publications around the world put forward nominations in 14 categories and a panel of experts chose the overall winners.

*British Airways Holidays, named golf tour operator of the year, are offering seven-night bargain breaks in the Algarve, Costa del Sol and Florida. For return flights, car hire, twin-bedded acommodation and breakfast, the costs are as little as 309 per person at the Dom Pedro Marina, Vilamoura, 369 at the Alay Hotel, Benalmadena, and 519 at the Treasure Island Inn, Daytona Beach. For a brochure or reservations, call 0870-2424249.