Discover Azores' golfing gems

Three mid-Atlantic courses to savour

Bob Warters's picture
Fri, 23 Aug 2013

Discover Azores' golfing gems

Golf in the Azores - a group of nine Portuguese islands in the mid-Atlantic, just a four-hour flight from the UK - is a unique experience. 

There are few buildings on the horizon to spoil the view. All you see is nature and the ocean lurking around you. Walk any of the islands' three courses in this temperate year-round climate and you will have the chance to smell the flowers as well as brush up on your game in superb surroundings.

Amid arum lilies, hydrangeas and Japanese cedars, golf on San Miguel island can be enjoyed on a choice of two courses - The Furnas and The Batalha.

Set in mountains at an altitude of around 1500 feet, the Furnas course was first designed by the legendary Alister Mackenzie and Donald Ross in 1936 and upgraded later by Cameron Powell, it is considered one of its native Portugal’s most beautiful - despite the venues around Lisbon Silver Coast and The Algarve. 

It's 40 minutes from the city of Ponta Delgada and 50 minutes from the island's main airport and has a challenging par of 72 with breathtaking views all around. 

Batalha is a combination of a three nine-holes loops of links and woodland overlooking the Atlantic with large greens. Created in 1996, it's 30 minutes from Ponta Delgada airport.

Golf was introduced to Terceira Island in 1954, the islanders eventually inheriting the course from the United States when the Americans abandonned their air base at Lajes. 

The 18-hole course has been transformed since then to attract both locals and holiday-makers to its tree-lined fairways and greens, with rolling countryside reminiscent of Devon and Cornwall.

Playing golf in the Azores means guaranteed fine, mild weather year round with light winds, smooth greens and fast-running fairways with a price per round of about 40 euro.

You can even save money in airport charges by leaving your clubs behind. Quality equipment for hire is available at all three courses.

For more information visit www.visitazores.com

Click here to hear former Olympic javelin thrower turned golf coach Andre Medeiros, a former training partner with golf-medal heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill revealing the attraction of the islands' hidden golf gems.