Jessica’s parents, Graham and Carolynne Hall, have been members at Four Seasons Fairways since 2004 and come to Portugal for two weeks every Christmas. Jessica started playing golf aged seven and was soon keen to compete with her dad and older brother George in The Fairways Masters – which she won the first time she played, aged eleven, in 2010. As six-time winner of The Masters, she has happy memories of playing the Quinta courses.
Her local knowledge stood her in good stead and helped her finish fourth in the 2017 Telegraph Junio Golf Championship, held on the Quinta do Lago North course, an annual televised event sponsored by former winner and golfing hero, Justin Rose. 2017 also saw Jessica come seventh in the Faldo Series Grand Final, held at Al Ain Golf Club, Dubai. Other achievements include winning three county championships, the first aged just 14. In 2018, she won two ladies scratch competitions including the Critchley Salver at Sunningdale. Jessica holds four course records in total, including nine under par at the Open Venue, Royal Birkdale.
Her golfing prowess soon caught the attention of talent scouts. Several American universities offered her a scholarship with the opportunity to compete for their university team at courses all over the States. Jessica chose Fresno in California, mainly because the good weather on this side of America gives her year-round golfing opportunities. When she’s not playing golf or training, Jessica is studying for a degree in Special Events and Tourism.
Jessica was able to take a break from her studies in America to join her family in Portugal for New Year´s Eve, where we caught up with her.
Have you played much golf while you’ve been here?
Rather than playing, I’ve been concentrating on practising and improving certain aspects of my game. Christophe Rindlisbacher, the golf director at Pinheiros Altos, has given me great support over the years and gives me free access to their facilities. He even managed to get me a wild card entry to the 2018 Portuguese International Ladies Amateur Championship, in which I achieved a top 20 finish.
Has being a member at Four Seasons Fairways helped your golf?
Being able to compete at a young age in the members’ competitions, and play and practise in the Algarve sunshine when the weather at home was cold and wet, definitely improved my golf. In my early years, I was coached by Four Seasons Fairways member and golf professional, Peter Hoyles, to whom I am very grateful.
What do you like about coming to Four Seasons Fairways?
It’s nice to come back every year to a place where I know everyone. It feels like family. And I love the changes to the Clubhouse – it’s now stylish and modern.
What’s your favourite golf course in the Algarve and why?
My favourite hole is the par-three fifteenth on Quinta do Lago South, even though my best score there is only a par. It’s a lovely hole to get to – I look forward to it. I relish the challenge, even though it’s only 125 metres from the red tees it’s a pretty intimidating shot over the water. However, my favourite course is the North, since it’s been redesigned. It’s a tough challenge and the changes have made a big difference. There are more slopes on the greens, with run off areas to catch you out, and the greens are lighting fast. I enjoy playing it because the short game is my favourite part of golf. It’s also the strongest aspect of my game.