Top seven must-play golf courses in Portugal

Oitavos Dunes
Courtesy of Premier Golf
Oitavos Dunes, located on elevated land overlooking the ocean, has a rugged feel with fast greens and lush, well-groomed fairways.
By Premier Golf
PGA.com

Series: Travel Feature

Published: Monday, February 02, 2015 | 11:35 a.m.
Some of us just aren’t inclined to walk links golf courses or battle the unpredictable weather elements. In fact, there’s no shame in admitting that you love to smoke cigars, ride in a cart and soak up the vitamin D while playing golf. 
 
Known more for its beautiful beaches, ideal climate and relaxed lifestyle, Portugal is a fantastic place to spend a weeklong golf vacation. 
 
The ideal trip would begin in the exciting city of Lisbon. Here you’ll find the San Francisco of Europe, with hills, white cobblestone streets and a massive castle overlooking the old town. The second part of your tour would be on the beautiful Algarve coast, where you’ll enjoy fresh seafood prepared to perfection, swim through spectacular rock formations in crystal-clear waters and play golf at postcard-beautiful golf courses.
 
The next time you tee it up in Portugal, consider this world-class line-up:
 
Penha Longa, Atlantic Course (near Lisbon) – Picture yourself hitting an approach shot toward the green and having to avoid a centuries-old aqueduct neighboring your target. That is only part of the phenomenal experience at Penha Longa. The Atlantic course sits in the middle of a large natural reserve with constant elevation changes and some of the speediest greens in Portugal. 
 
 
Oitavos Dunes (near Lisbon) – Rated by Golf Magazine as one of the top 100 courses in the world, Oitavos Dunes is a perfectly natural golf course. Located on elevated land overlooking the ocean, this layout gives the golfer a rugged feel with fast greens and lush, well-groomed fairways.
 
Oceanico Courses, Victoria & Old Course (Algarve) – Designed by Arnold Palmer and the frequently the host of the European Tour's Portugal Masters, the Victoria Course is a true test of golf with rolling hills, well-positioned bunkers and extensive water hazards. The Old Course has narrow fairways and intimidating tree lines. It has a classic feel that will impress all its challengers.  
 
Monte Rei Golf Club (Algarve) – Monte Rei has a clubby, private-club ambiance even though it’s a public golf course. The clubhouse, perched atop a hill, is simply stunning. Built on rugged Portuguese terrain, this Jack Nicklaus golf course will challenge you on every shot. 
 
Quinta do Logo, North and South Courses (Algarve) – Known as the Jewel in the Quinta do Logo crown, the South has hosted eight Portuguese Opens. Designed by William Mitchell, the South requires target-golf accuracy off the tee and is known to be a favorite course of many European Tour players.
 
Vale do Lobo, Royal & Ocean Courses (Algarve) – The Royal Course at Vale do Lobo has the most picturesque golf hole in Portugal, and, arguably, in all of Europe.  Number 16 overlooks the spectacular turquoise blue ocean with a clay cliff separating the golf hole and the beach. Many believe the Ocean Course has the better overall layout, but it’s hard to beat the eye candy at Number 16. 
 
San Lorenzo Golf Club (Algarve) – It's important to note that in order to play San Lorenzo guests must stay at the Dona Filipa Hotel. Opened in 1988, San Lorenzo Golf Club is one of the most popular golf courses in Portugal. The course is played on undulating pine woodland with perfectly groomed Bermuda grass fairways and is located on the southeast corner of Quita do Lago bordering the estuary and the saltwater lagoons.
 

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