Lisbon, Portugal: golf guide

Lisbon is littered with some of Portugal's premier tracks - we list them

Charlie Lemay's picture
Fri, 26 Feb 2016

Portugal's Algarve has long been a favourite for Europeans seeking sunnier climes, or a change of scene, which has led to price hikes and all that mass tourism brings. 

Lisbon, just a few hours' drive north of the Algarve, has emerged as an enticing alternative, thanks to an abundance of tantalising top tracks, a tranquil atmosphere, and lower prices.

Feature: Algarve golf guide

The Portuguese capital is served by direct flights from all over Europe, with a plane ride from London taking under three hours.

We've taken a closer look at 14 of Lisbon's best courses. 

Lisbon's finest

Oitavos Dunes

Located in Sintra-Cascais National Park in the resort of Quinta da Marinha, outstanding Oitavos Dunes cut the ribbon to its tee boxes in 2001 – a dazzling new addition to the region.

Plonked on the most westerly tip of Europe, the layout boasts beautiful views of the Atlantic, with a wondrous backdrop of the Sintra Mountains to boot.

The opening stretch is comprised of woodland holes, before the course turns into a links-style layout. A final flourish of inland holes tests the nerve of any golfer, with multiple hazards lining the fairways.

Sandy dunes pepper the course – hence the name – thanks to the close proximity to the sea.

Viewed as one of the best courses in Portugal.

Par: 71
Length: 6,900 yards
Price: €136 peak price

Head to the Oitavos Dunes website for more information. 

Troia

A short ferry trip to the south of Lisbon will take golfers to the Peninsula of Troia, which houses this golfing wonderland.

Sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean, the Sado Estuary and the Serra da Arrabida, the Robert Trent Junior Senior design was opened in 1980, and hosted the Portugeuse Open in 1983.

Pine trees line the fairways, with strategically placed bunkers, raised greens and doglegs make this one of the toughest layouts in the region.

Regularly voted as one of Portugal’s best layouts.

Par: 72
Length:
6,900 yards
Price:
€102 peak price

Praia D’el Rey

Located to the north-west of Lisbon, Praia D’el Rey is just a one hour drive from the hustle and bustle of lively Lisbon.

Designed by American Cabell Robinson, the course opened for play in 1990 and pays respect to the gorgeous natural setting.

With numerous holes hugging the coastline and boasting views of the Atlantic Ocean and nearby Berlenga Islands, there’s a lot to look at as you make your way around.

Multiple bunkers guard the slick greens and sandy dunes dot the fairways, while undulating fairways spice up approach shots. When the wind whips itself into a frenzy, the test becomes an even more daunting one.

Par: 72
Length:
7,000 yards
Price: €68

Head to the Praia D'el Rey website for more information. 

Penha Longa

Bordering the west of Lisbon is the Lisboa e Vale de Tejo region, the location for Penha Longa.

Part of the Sintra Cascais Nature Park, the layout is wedged between the Atlantic, to the north, and the Sintra Mountains.

The Atlantico Course, a Robert Trent Jones Junior design, opened in 1992 and makes the most of the lush surroundings.

The layout winds its way up and down the hills, offering panoramic views of coastal views Estoril and Cascais.

Demaning roughs ensure players need to stay on the fairways in order to score well, a mean feat when the wind blows.

Par: 72
Length: 6,100
Price: €130

READ: GOLFMAGIC HELPS UK DEFEAT EUROPE AT PENHA LONGA

Head to the Penha Longa website for more information.

Best of the rest

Royal Obidos

Designed by the late Seve Ballesteros, but sadly the great Spaniard passed before he was able to see the finished product.

The grandeous modern clubhouse, which has an incredible glass-fronted veranda, backs onto the course, allowing players to enjoy some refreshments after 18 holes overlooking the course.

Water is prominent throughout the round, and may spoil the scorecard of errant golfers. Famed for its large undulating greens, which are of the highest quality.

If played off the back tees, you may want to add an extra Weetabix to breakfast – it’s a long layout to say the least.

Par: 72
Length: 7,300 yards
Price: €100 peak season

Head to the Royal Obidos website for more information. 

Belas

Belas is located between the towns of Belas and Vale de Loba, a short distance from the Lisbon.

The course, another Rocky Roquemore design, works its way through the hills of Carregueira, and presents punishing bunkers and water hazards throughout.

The opening nine goes through naturally preserved landscape, while the closing stretch runs by houses – a sign you are nearing home.

The par-five 2nd pays homage to the 12th at Augusta – it is aptly named after the Georgia layout, which hosts the Masters.

Kept to the highest quality, there are numerous raised tee boxes, affording views over the surrounding area.

Par: 72
Length: 6,680 yards
Price: €60 peak price

Head to the Belas website for more information. 

Bom Sucesso

A fantastic name is matched by a fantastic golf course. Situated alongside the Lagoa de Obidos, an hour’s drive from Lisbon, the layout lies close to Portugal’s Silver Coast.

Laid out by Martin Ebert when he was a lead designer at Donald Steel’s design company, the course features Meditaranean vegetation, and olive trees throughout.

The course replicates old courses, with long and undulating greens often leaving players with treacherous putts if their approach play is not dialled in.

The first nine holes are flat, before players head into a hilly back nine. Replete with bunkers and lakes, the course has bags of character.  

Par: 72
Length: 6,810 yards
Price: €69

Aroeira I and II

Situated on the Setubal Peninsula, a preservation area, Aroeira is just 20 kilometres south of Lisbon and 600 metres from the beach.

The club boasts two spectacular layouts of the highest order. Aroeira I, designed by Frank Pennink and opened for play in 1972, hosted the 1996 and 1997 Portugese Openes, a testament to its quality.

The design of Pennink, who was architect of the Old Course at Vilamoura and Palmares, uses the natural contours of the land and pine trees as protection, relinquishing the need for fairway bunkers.

Aroeira II was designed by Donald Steel, and opened for play in 2000. Penn A2 grass is employed on the greens, which can be cut to 2 miliemetres, the first course in Portugal to do this.

The course winds its way though heavy woodland, and features numerous lakes, unlike Aroeira I.

Par: 72
Length: 6,700 yards (I) 7,000 yards (II)
Price: €90 peak price

Head to the Aroeira website for more information. 

Ribagolfe I and II

Located 30 minutes’ drive to the east of Lisbon, Ribagolfe I was designed by Peter Townsend, who wanted to create a top tournament track.

The course in engulfed by the a forest of cork oak trees, and it makes the most of natural undulations. Fairways are narrow, with large bunkers and water hazards adding to the challenge.

A tough layout, but still playable for mid to high handicappers from the front tees.

Ribagolfe II is a shorter outing, designed by former Ryder Cup player Michael King in conjunction with European Tour Design.

With wider fairways and landing areas on offer, players can open their shoulders with confidence off the tee.

Large greens pose some tough, breaking putts. 

Par: 72
Length: 7,370 yards
Price: €45

Head to the Ribagolfe website for more information. 

Oeiras

The newbie on the list, having opened in 2013, Oerias is part of the project near Tagus Park, located between the cities of Cascais and Lisbon, and just a 15 minute drive from both.

The nine-hole layout was designed by Portugal’s Jorge Santana da Silva, the layout is a tough test, no matter your ability.

Two holes are lined by water, with strategically placed bunkers guarding greens throughout.

Par: 37
Length: 3,540 yards

Head to the Oerias website for more information. 

Quinta do Peru

Located in the Azeitao region between Sesimbra and Setubal, exclusive Quinta do Peru is set in 200 acres of pine forest, with the Arrabida Mountains acting as a breath-taking backdrop.

Designed by American Rocky Roquemore in 1994, the layout overlooks the surrounding area, offering delicious views.

Water features throughout, as do huge bunkers, making this a tough outing for any level of player.

Par: 72
Length: 6,601/
Price: €56

Head to the Quinta do Peru for more information. 

Quinta da Marinha

Set within the former fishing village of Cascais on the Estoril coast, a suburb of Lisbon, Quinta da Marinha is another Robert Trent Senior design.

Near to Guincha beach on the Atlantic coastline, Quinta da Marinha’s fairways are lined with pine trees, as well as holiday homes.

Elevated tees and greens add to the charm, while bunkers and water hazards are ever-present card wreckers.

Par: 71
Length: 6,400 yards
Price: €80

Head to the Quinta da Marinha website for more information. 

Santo Estevao

The Donald Steel design is in the untouched countryside of the Ribatejo region, 30 minutes east of Lisbon.

Wide fairways stretch out though the open wooded countryside, promoting a tranquil atmosphere, ideal for golf.

Boasting gently undulating fairways, the round gets more testing as you go on, with bunkers and lakes protecting the greens.

Par: 71
Length: 6,980 yards

Head to the Santo Estevao website for more information. 

Golden Eagle

Originally known as Quinta do Brincal Golf and Country Club, the Golden Eagle opened in 1994 as one of the most exclusive clubs in Portugal.

The club, based an hour’s driver from Lisbon, changed hands in 1997and invested in improving facilities and the quality of the course.

The Rocky Roquemore design is reminiscent of an American layout – that is to stay, a “target style” course.

Large fairways feature throughout, while 87 bunkers and eight lakes are the outstanding hazards throughout. The 18 holes are mainly flat, but gently bend left and right.

The greens are large and fast, and players will be pleased to reach them in regulation, such is the length of the course.

Par: 72
Length: 7,230 yards
Price: €85

Played golf in Lisbom before? If so, where did you play and what was your experience like? Share your thoughts in the forum thread below, on TwitterFacebookInstagram or visit us on YouTube.

 

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