If youâ€™re looking for the ultimate golfing holiday then your thoughts have probably already turned to the excellent greens and fairways of Portugal. But if you are looking for some extra special golf, Portugalâ€™s Centro region will offer you some of the best courses in the country.
For a bit of inspiration for your next trip, here is my rundown of the top six courses in the Centro and Lisbon area.
1.Golfe do Montado
You may have been led to believe that links courses are all that are on offer in Portugal in terms of golf. Portugal actually has a range of excellent inland offerings such as the do Montado, just 30-minutes south of Lisbon. Set in the beautiful countryside of Palmela, surrounded by Muscatel vineyards, this is a stunning site. The 13th hole will see you teeing off against a backdrop of Palmela Castle. Players should brace themselves for the 18th hole, played over water to a green set on an island!
2.Belas Golf Course
The championship, 18-hole Belas is another inland treat, set amongst rolling hills and beautiful pine trees. The undulation of the fairways â€“ several of the holes run through deep valleys â€“ make it a challenge worth taking on.
Often described as one of the best courses in Europe, West Cliffs was designed by Cynthia Dye, granddaughter of the legendary Pete Dye. Set on the stunning Obidos Atlantic coastline, it measure 7,000 yards covering sand dunes, pine groves and vegetation, with spectacular views from every vantage. Portugal doesnâ€™t get much better than this for keen players.
If dramatic coastal landscapes are what you are looking for then you will not be disappointed by Oitavos Dunes. Ranked in the top 100 courses in the world, it is set in the natural park of Sintra and Cascais and was designed by the world-renowned Arthur Hills.
5.Troia Golf Course
Again designed by Cabell Robinson, in conjunction with Robert Trent Jones, the greens and fairways squeeze along the Troia peninsula making this a tricky one to play. Precision is key here but take on the challenge and youâ€™ll wind up feeling like a champion.
6.Golf do Estoril
This 69-par course is one of the oldest in Portugal, first created in 1936. Having been modernised and improved over the years, it has played host to may prestigious events. This is a challenging, if short 18-hole course, through beautiful pine, mimosa and eucalyptus trees.
There is so much more to golf in Portugal than just the Algarve. A curious player can uncover a world of challenging, world-class action simply by stepping off the regionâ€™s well-trodden greens and fairways. So for your next holiday be sure to explore the Centro region and discover some truly unforgettable courses, designed by some of the worldâ€™s best architects and played by some of the worldâ€™s most satisfied players.
Steve Frewin is the Managing Director of A Golfing Experience, a company with more than 29 years experience organising bespoke golf holidays and escapes throughout Europe for individuals, societies and groups. If you're looking for truly great destination to play golf, Portugal is one of our top destinations. We also operate in all the other major European destinations and, if you'd like to explore options further afield, we can arrange holidays to the world's greatest courses in The Caribbean, Mauritius, Bermuda and USA.
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