Lisbon is a golf destination in its own right, with courses grouped to its south and west which offer a choice of both seaside and inland golf. My selection favours quality of design, and, on maturity grounds, omits relatively young courses. Those planning golfing trips to the Lisbon area will not be disappointed especially if they include on their itinerary the courses at Oitavos and Troia.
An English-style, pine-lined course with flowing fairways, whose difficulty and beauty increase as the round develops especially with greater undulations on the back nine. Subtle greens, some water and pleasant intra-course vistas add charm. If you only have time for one round at Aroeira, play this course.
Stats: Par 72, 6,610 yards
An intriguing design, lined with pines backed by modern apartments, that tests distance judgement, putting and bunker play. Much water adds to the fun along the flatter land away from the clubhouse as well as on the closing hole of each loop of nine. Surprisingly, the residential backdrop adds atmosphere.
Stats: Par 73, 6,963 yards
T: 00 351 212 979 100
This course gets a place on my list primarily for its pretty, relatively rustic start. This is followed by holes with a residential backdrop a few long and some uphill. Sloping, bunkered greens abound, with water occasionally in play, especially at the end of each nine-hole loop. Its playable by all standards but do use the tee appropriate to your standard, or this layout will play tough!
Stats: Par 72, 6,857 yards
T: 00 351 219 626 640
Dont be fooled by this lyrical design, imbued with history and charm. Yes, it is relatively short, but its pretty, tree-lined and subtle fairways and often hard-to-find greens require careful tee shots, and perhaps rather more golf than you would expect. Part of the original layout was revised to accommodate a new highway, and the course is better for it.
Stats: Par 69, 5,810 yards
T: 00 351 214 680 176
Better than its card might suggest, this
is an old-fashioned British-style course belonging to an historic club founded in 1922. The holes run mainly through valleys with a variety of undulations, bunkering, streams and raised greens, with some challenging golf to finish.
Stats: Par 69, 5,778 yards
T: 00 351 214 310 077
Opening and closing pinewood golf is eclipsed by a wonderfully neo-Scottish, raw nature, shared fairway, links test in the exposed sand hills beyond. With excellent bunkering and imaginative greens, widespread sea and mountain views, this environmentally sensitive course stands out from the pack one for your must play list.
Stats: Par 71, 6,893 yards
T: 00 351 21 486 0600
A testing, bunkered, partially tree-lined track adjoining the Estoril motor circuit. This challenging but fair hotel course is played over hilly ground with distant sea views across both natural and man-made scenery. These elevations make for a few spectacular shots, yet the holes are generally of an inviting length against par. Some water adds spice.
Stats: Par 72, 6,904 yards
T: 00 351 219 249 031
Quinta da Marinha
Not to be confused with nearby Oitavos, this is a pine-lined Robert Trent Jones hotel course in a residential setting. Its gentle but subtle slopes are not to be underestimated, especially around the excellent, often heavily bunkered greens. Sea views open up on the back nine, which comes closest to the shore at 13.
Stats: Par 71, 6,556 yards
T: 00 351 214 860 180
Quinta do Peru
A well-conceived residential parkland course on rolling land with grand-scale, often-sloping greens, doglegs and bunkering. The course features inviting fairways amid some well-designed uphill par 4s and downhill par 5s. Picturesque with a tough, pine-lined finish the 18th is the most difficult hole. One of Lisbons most exclusive clubs.
Stats: Par 72, 6,601 yards
T: 00 351 212 134 320
A gem. Beautiful, undulating, rather linksy fairways weave through a sandy pine forest, with small, tricky raised greens and an occasional dune-land feel. The excellent bunkering dazzles in sandy white contrast against the greens and blues of the trees, sea and sky. Seriously challenging from the back.
Stats: Par 72, 6,911 yards
T: 00 351 265 494 112
William fforde is the Editor of the Pocket Guide to Golf Courses series www.pocket-golf.com.