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Top 40 Golf Courses of Portugal 2016

24 December, 2015

Top 40 Golf Courses of Portugal 2016

We publish the 5th edition of our Portuguese golf course rankings

According to the latest statistics from the Portuguese Golf Federation, there are around one hundred 18-hole courses in play within the 82 golf facilities that operate around the country. We’ve been ranking courses in this part of the Iberian Peninsula since 2008 so this is the 5th biennial edition of our Portuguese Top 40 chart. We also feature another ten tracks as golfing Gems, so we now showcase half of all the courses in this particular part of Europe.

For anybody who might have doubts about the quality of golf courses in Portugal, every one of the layouts in our elite Portuguese Top 10 occupies a position within our newly updated Continental Europe Top 100 chart. That mark of quality should surely be enough to dispel any fears that the courses within the Algarve and Lisbon regions, where all ten tracks are situated, are not quite up to scratch.

The Top 100 Team has also visited Porto & North of the country on a couple of occasions recently and it’s a region packed with plenty of good golf, even if only three of the six courses that we profile are currently ranked. Out in the Atlantic, the remote Azores and Madeira archipelagos are not exactly teeming with world-class golf venues but you’ll find half a dozen tracks that are well worth playing if you find yourself in either destination during a holiday break.

And so to our latest Top 40 chart for Portugal, where the Jack Nicklaus Signature course at Monte Rei remains our national number 1. Brian Ward, the last of our raters to tee it up there last year, had this to say: “The green fee may be a bit steep but when you add the standard of service and quality of food to great design and world class conditioning it may be some time before Monte Rei gets knocked from its perch as the No. 1 course in Portugal.”

Five courses make significant upward moves in our new national Top 10 and four of these are located in the Algarve: Frank Pennink’s Old course at Oceanico climbs one place to number 3 whilst its stablemate at Amendoeira, the Faldo course, rises an impressive five spots to number 6. Palmares, another mid-1970s Pennink design, advances two places to number 7 whilst the South course at Quinta do Lago creeps up one place to number 9, having entered the Top 10 for the first time last time around.

The other course to head upwards in this elite portion of the chart is Troia, situated to the south of the capital, which was our original Portuguese number 1 when we established our rankings eight years ago. Rising two places to number 4, this Robert Trent Jones Snr design is certainly heading back in the right direction after dropping down from the top spot in 2010. Conditioning has been something of an issue here but the club now appears to have addressed concerns regarding the general presentation of the course.

On the northern side of Lisbon, 210 kilometres further along the Atlantic coast, Royal Obidos also makes a noteworthy move up the chart, soaring seven places to number 13. A new entry in our Portuguese listings at number 20 two years ago, this Seve Ballesteros-designed course has attracted several favourable reviews since then, with one person recently placing it above Monte Rei in their personal Top 5 for Portugal.

In the bottom half of the chart, four courses make appreciable moves in the right direction: the Royal course at the 36-hole Vale do Lobo Resort (up five to 21), the links layout at Estela (also up five to 23), Ron Fream’s 1992 design at Vale da Pinta (up nine to 25) and Morgado, a European Golf Design track that’s now operated by Nau Hotels & Resorts (up eight to 30).

Oceanico (Laguna), at number 37 last time around, and Bom Sucesso, the former number 40, both drop out of this edition. In their place, we have the Atlantico and Guadiana nines at Castro Marim making their first appearance on the chart at number 34, followed by another Ron Fream layout, Gramacho at number 36 (which is actually a re-entry because it was previously listed at number 38 in 2012).

We always welcome feedback when we publish updated national rankings so please feel free to let us know what you think of our new Top 40 for Portugal. Have we left out a layout that really should be in our chart or have we included a course that really doesn’t deserve to be there? Perhaps there’s a particular track sitting too high in the chart or there’s another lying too low in the list? Please us the “Respond to this article” link at the top or the bottom of this page if you’d like to contact us with your opinion.

Rank Course Move
1 Monte Rei No change
2 Oitavos No change
3 Oceanico (Old) Up 1
4 Troia Up 2
5 San Lorenzo Down 2
6 Oceanico (Faldo) Up 5
7 Palmares (Praia & Lagos) Up 5
8 Praia D'El Rey Down 3
9 Quinta do Lago (South) Up 1
10 Penha Longa (Atlântico) Down 2
11 Furnas Down 4
12 Quinta do Lago (North) Up 4
13 Royal Obidos Up 7
14 Porto Santo Down 5
15 Quinta do Lago (Laranjal) Up 2
16 Quinta do Peru Down 3
17 Santo da Serra (Machico & Desertas) Up 2
18 Quinta de Cima Down 3
19 Quinta da Ria Down 5
20 Oceanico (Victoria) Up 2
21 Vale do Lobo (Royal) Up 5
22 Aroeira 1 Up 3
23 Estela Up 5
24 Penina Down 6
25 Vale da Pinta Up 9
26 Aroeira 2 Up 1
27 Palheiro Up 2
28 Belas Down 4
29 Vila Sol Down 6
30 Morgado Up 8
31 Oceanico (O'Connor) Down 10
32 Vale do Lobo (Ocean) Down 1
33 Vidago Palace Down 1
34 Castro Marim (Atlantic & Guadiana) New entry
35 Quinta da Marinha Down 5
36 Gramacho New entry
37 Oceanico (Pinhal) Up 2
38 Pinheiros Altos Down 5
39 Oporto Down 4
40 Ribagolfe (1) Down 4

To view the complete detailed list of the Top 40 Golf Courses of Portugal 2016 click the link.

Jim McCann
Top 100 Golf Courses


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