The nine volcanic islands that comprise the Azores are situated in the North Atlantic Ocean, around 900 miles to the west of Lisbon. Discovered by seafaring Portuguese explorers in the 15th century, the Azores extend to an area of 900 square miles with a population of around a quarter of a million people.
The largest of the islands in the archipelago is São Miguel, the “Green Island,” where a dramatic landscape is characterised by old volcanic domes and craters. It’s here that two of the three Azorean golf courses are located (the other course being a former US Air Force base 9-hole layout on the island of Terceira which was expanded to 18 holes in 1954).
Batalha offers three 9-hole circuits at a very fine facility where an 18-hole course was used as the venue for the one-off Azores Senior Open in 2008. The original Philip Mackenzie Ross 9-hole layout at Furnas was constructed as a private course for a multi-millionaire in 1939 and fifty years would pass before Bob Cameron and Chris Powell extended it to its current 18-hole configuration.