Where to play
Oitavos Dunes We are focussing only on Central Lisbon… courses on the west edge of the city out to coastal Cascais. We think Troia et al to the south and West Cliffs an hour north are really a separate trip.
That means Oitavos Dunes is the stand-out course; it is one of the most distinctive courses on the Continent with a real links feel to it and views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Penha Longa Kyle Phillips’ Atlantico sits on acutely undulating topography in the Sintra hills, next to noisy cars lapping the famous Estoril circuit. It does not lack for tranquility though – the lush valleys keep it that way… it feels almost like playing in the Amazon forest.
Quinta da Marinha Excellent resort golf, with the par 3s a real highlight. They begin with the 2nd while the 5th is played over a lake to an elevated green, but the pick is the 14th, parallel to the Atlantic and a real thriller over a ravine.
Estoril This historic course was designed by Mackenzie Ross of Turnberry fame in 1936. A venue for the Portuguese Open on 20 occasions, it is set among eucalyptus, mimosas and pine.
Belas Laid out by Rocky Roquemore in mountains between Belas and Queluz. It is plotted through deep valleys with highlights such as the par-5 2nd, called ‘Augusta’ as it is similar to the 13th at the Georgia venue.
Lisbon Sports Club Part of a venerable sports complex, with a Hawtree design that sits amid hills and valleys. It is defended by a meandering ditch and tight fairways lined by trees and vegetation.
What to do off the course
History lessons The 15th Century Belem Tower, the historic town of Sintra, and St George’s Castle will appeal to history buffs. You can also visit Jeronimo’s Monastery (resting place of Vasco da Gama), the Oceanarium, or the Berardo Museum of Art.
Foodie delight Head for the Bairro Alto area where great-value restaurants offer all kinds of food while the Parque ads Nacoes and Docas districts will serve you up a curry, chinese or a classic steak.
Football experience Benfica’s iconic ‘Stadium of Light’ and Sporting’s ground are in the city centre (you drive past them when heading to the courses). A trip to watch a game at either is an unforgettable experience. Perhaps even try to watch a derby match…
Where to stay
Quinta da Marinha: Overlooks the 10th hole of the course and is one of Portugal’s biggest and best hotels. The facilities for all the family are hard to beat. A tranquil base for a Cascais golf break that is so expertly run we can’t imagine anyone regretting staying here.
Oitavos Dunes: This modern, uber-chic hotel has the same striking Atlantic Ocean views. It is exceptionally spacious but seriously minimalist and stylish.
Marinha Edition Hotel: This new, small boutique hotel within Quinta da Marinha is a great base; all the advantages of a big resort in a cosier environment. The service is second to none and, for a five-star hotel, eating and drinking there is very competitively priced.
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Could the golf ball be rolled back for everyone?