By Peter Finch
The winter months are very playable in southern Portugal's Algarve region, with average high temperatures in the 60s and lows in the upper 40s/low 50s.
Rain? Well, yeah, they get some rain. But not that much. Which led management of the Onyria Palmares resort to come up with an unusual promotion to demonstrate just how playable it is in November and February:
If you get rained out, you can head back to the clubhouse for unlimited free beer.*
I've heard of courses that adjust their pricing based on the temperature. At the Wilds in Minnesota, for instance, the green fee is $1 per degree, with a maximum of $65. But a course that offers free beer for a rainout? That was a first, in my experience.
The idea came from the resort's director of operations, Antonio Pinto Coelho, twin brother of sales director Joao Pinto Coelho. Their family owns the place.
The free-beer rule applies only to golfers who don't finish their rounds -- a rare occurrence, says Debora Andrade, assistant director of operations. They'll get Super Bock, a popular Portuguese brew.
Portuguese law prohibits bartenders from serving people who are obviously drunk, so perhaps "unlimited" beer is a misnomer. But play it cool, don't act like a fool, and you should get plenty of suds on your rain day.
Anyway, you really should be hoping for sunshine. The resort has 27 holes of golf designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. It's the third best course in Portugal, according to our most recent Planet Golf rankings.