In 1966 Sir Henry Cotton designed, and oversaw construction of, the Championship course at Penina – it was the first resort track in Portugal. From that point, British golfers began to make the journey to the Algarve in numbers. Over the last 40 years, Portugal has become one of the premier golfing destinations for British holidaymakers.
There’s a supremely diverse selection of courses on offer, from the inland stadium-style tracks of the Algarve to the windswept layouts on the Atlantic coast north of Lisbon mirroring the British links. There are traditional clubs and luxury resorts from Porto in the north to Faro in the south and further, across the Atlantic, to the Portuguese outposts of Madeira and the Azores.
See also: Portugal bids for 2018 Ryder Cup
This top-50 ranking has been compiled by members of Golf Monthly‘s senior staff and some well-travelled contributors who scored against a set of criteria including: quality of test and design, visual appeal, quality of facilities and course conditioning.
After lengthy deliberation this final list was produced. Some course rankings arrogantly claim to be definitive, but that’s impossible as any list based on opinion can only be subjective and we celebrate that fact.
But while there were more than a few heated disagreements between the Golf Monthly team over positioning when compiling Portugal’s top 50 courses, one universal conclusion was made: Portugal is brimming with fabulous courses and we urge Golf Monthly readers to explore the country’s many fine layouts further.