The fairways at Bom Sucesso were laid out by Martin Ebert when he was one of the lead architects with Donald Steel’s design company and they comprise an 18-hole championship course that occupies a spectacular site alongside the Lagoa de Óbidos, an hour’s drive to the north of Lisbon.
Set within a substantial residential development that lies close to Portugal’s Silver Coast, many of the elements of the course design were fashioned with a nod towards the old classic layouts such as building in a degree of randomness when shaping the putting surfaces and green surrounds.
The first nine holes are played out on relatively level terrain whilst the back nine rises and falls across a more undulating landscape and it’s on this hillier part of the property where a round on the course ends in splendid style with a trio of impressive closing holes.Hole 16 starts this sequence; a tough, uphill par four that leads to the highest point on the course, a position that affords fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding area. The penultimate fairway on a left doglegged par five then swings downhill to a far distant green – located some 530 metres from the back tees – before the 18th heads back to the clubhouse, crossing a stream and a pond fronting the putting surface on the home green.
We stumbled across Bom Successor by accident when we were fogged off at Praia d'el Rey recently. The first impressions were not great as the only hole visible when driving in was the scruffy and bland par 3 , 10th hole.
We persevered and were very glad we did. Once past the ordinary opening hole the course just got better and better. It's tough but also surprisingly captivating in parts. Great mixture of holes - from big par 4s of 450 yards plus to an almost drivable 4. Although the greens did not look great, they putted well and were smooth.
The par 3s are strong with anything from 5 irons to rescues off the backs.
The best hole is the par 5, 17th which is a classic risk and reward design but also beautiful. The finishing hole (par 4 of 440 yards) is just nuts and possibly too tough with a 100 foot drop to the fairway which left circa 200 yards in over 2 streams before the green.
In summary, a really decent track which compliments a strong cohort in the area.