Estela Golf Club is one of the best real links golf courses in Portugal. Located in front of the Atlantic Ocean, in an environmental protected area, with a breathtaking view, direct and exclusive access to the beach, ample spaces and good service. Par 72 championship golf course has three kilometers of Atlantic Ocean coastline as background. Clubhouse is huge and has a lot of space for proshop and dining area, restaurant on second floor with beautiful view, really tasty beer, wine and food. They have a good practice area with huge 400 m. driving range and large pitching green and chipping green. Mostly windy here and middle summer hot isn't feels at fields. Course is long, but playable without buggy. Exactly I prefer walk here and find it comfortable. I was played here twice in the middle of the summer and one time was very windy day with true challenge in all holes. Amazing views around from some of the greens with ocean and landscape.
Fields condition was good, greens and fairways maintained. The prices are acceptable and they time by time have special offers for green fee plus club rent or lunch and etc. with very attractive prices.
Fairways are wide enough for long drive and greens also large. Was played from white tees so holes is long enough and challenging (especially windy days as usual are here). Depends on wind direct some holes greens reachable only with third shot from tee. Funny, but wind can make you many surprize at first nine if it goes from ocean and great challenge to attack the pin correctly. When you’ll play into the prevailing north wind at holes 1st to 5th, shots from tee requires many efforts and accuracy, for example the 4th hole par 3 downhill is the beast when the wind blows hard. To choose correct club is big challange to reach a small, raised green. Forget birdie... :) I think par here is very very good result. On the back nine game stay bit easier and long hitters can try for birdie at 13th and 15th holes (par 5). The 13th hole allows huge long drive when wind blows to back and you can easy reach green with second shot. Don‘t relax at tricky 17th hole with usually front wind this par 3 is very deceptive and correct club is required to reach green (two or more lower than usual at this distance). Avoid slice shot - wind will blow your ball to hazard or out of bonds in the right (lost ball garanteed). Finally Estela Golf Club is the place where you can check your game level.
As every golf course rating is always a subject with a lot of subjectivity, depending on various criteria and personal point of view to importance things, my personal opinion depends on following criteria: course complexity or challenging, fields condition (especially greens & fairways), service (only what you can get: buggie, club rent, condition of clubs, the amount of choice and etc. except staff and other subjective things that depends on your or staff mood), surrounding views or pleasure to the eyes and definitely value for the price. All criteries will be rating from 1 to 5 stars. My priority is challenging and value for price criterias. Estela Golf Club is one of the best in Portugal and the best in Northern, gets:
1. Challenging - 5*
2. Condition - 4*
3. Service - 4* +
4. Surroundings - 4* +
5. Value for the price - 5*
It's really pleasant play here. Will be back.
Date: March 27, 2019