Praia D'El Rey

Praia D'El Rey

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Course Information

When Praia d’El Rey was first opened and today’s residential development had yet to take hold, it was a truly spectacular sight.

Yet while the addition of real estate has hardly added to its allure, this remains as raw as a seaside scene gets outside Britain and Ireland.

There are Atlantic waves crashing into the beach that could be at Trevose. There are undulating fairways lined by piles of sand that could be Brancaster. There are shale paths that could be Southerness. There is a crumbling cottage that could be at Pennard.

Adding to this pleasing natural scene is the man-made appeal of engaging green sites, a clever routing and astute playability.

Praia d’El Rey sits on Portugal’s Atlantic seaboard, on what is known as the ‘Silver Coast’, an hour north west of Lisbon near the medieval town of Obidos.

It is framed by the protected landscape of the Serra de Montejunto and pristine beaches and is home to Portugal’s only marine nature reserve.

For many years a mecca for surfers, golfers also had reason to visit when American Cabell Robinson created Praia d’El Rey  in 1996.

In its seaside stretch it is surely one of the most aesthetically pleasing courses in Continental Europe.

Among its startling highs, it has several unforgettable moments. The 10th begins the journey to the coast but it really gets going at the 13th, a short par 4 with the ocean thundering in to your left.

And when it dives inland among pine trees, there is enough quality to maintain the momentum if not quite match the drama.

There is an impressive variety to the holes and Robinson’s routing makes this a resort course that is walkable.

It’s true there are some weaker holes – the likes of the 3rd, 17th and 18th come to mind – but that is only relative to the real highlights among the rest.

Among its startling highs, it has several unforgettable moments. The 10th begins the journey to the coast but it really gets going at the 13th, a short par 4 with the ocean thundering in to your left.

It’s followed by a beautiful par 3 of 165 yards, with the crumbling stone cottage sitting to the left and beyond it the Atlantic as far as the eye can see.

It is an exquisite precursor to probably PDR’s highlight, a par 4 that plays right along the shore with the beach and out of bounds left, and bunkers and rough to the right.

It is also playable, so you aren’t beaten up by the experience, because while it obviously gets breezy, there is enough width to the fairways on the costal holes. In fact, by far the tightest holes are inland.

Its kidney-shaped target sits hard to the beach and while this ends the seaside stretch, another super hole follows in the other direction.

It is also playable, so you aren’t beaten up by the experience, because while it obviously gets breezy, there is enough width to the fairways on the costal holes. In fact, by far the tightest holes are inland.

It is not a links as we would understand it in Britain and Ireland, but is closer to one than most courses in Continental Europe, as a result of the abundance of sandy and firm fairways.

However the grass is not fescue and you will rarely consider bump-and-run shots around the green. Chris Bertram

 

Information

Cabell Robinson

+351 262 905 100

Avenue Dom Pedro , Amoreira , Obidos , Portugal , 2510-453