The top 5 courses for medium handicappers…

For those of you with a medium-level handicap will sometimes find some of the trickier courses too much of a challenge to be enjoyable and vice versa with the easier courses! This blog is designed to help you plan your next European golfing holiday making sure that you have got a few ideas of the best courses for you! Here is our list of the best courses for medium-level handicap holders!

Las-Lagos

Situated on the Costa del Sol is the Mijas Los Lagos course. This course is a lovely, original course which was built in the mid 1970s making it a classic and very enjoyable course to play. It is set in just over 150 acres of stunning, gently undulating, green landscape with some beautiful natural scenery as its surroundings. This course is a very long course which will make an impact on you – especially if you take it on from the white tees! This course has many memorable holes but a particularly special one is the par five 5th hole where the fairway is restricted by a boundary wall on the left whilst the fairway narrows into a waste bunker with water on the right – a mighty risk-reward hole! With huge open fairways, large greens and vast lakes and bunkers this course has the power to make anyone feel small again, but it will always provide a good challenge to those of you with a mid-level handicap but also not be too tricky that you despair over your scorecard!

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Santana

With a backdrop of the Mijas Mountains and set amidst 140 acres of avocado and orange groves sits the Santana golf course on the Costa del Sol. The golf course seems to merge into its surroundings here with crushed marble white sand bunkers and some unusually shaped greens. The best hole on the course has to be the outstanding par five 4th hole which is a spectacularly long hole which features treacherously sloping greens, a little stream waiting to catch your stray balls and some strategically placed bunkers! Although this course is not particularly long, the fast, tricky greens will definitely offer a challenge on this course especially as they are deceivingly generous. The greens paired with the hazards along the way and the interestingly shaped greens and anything-but-flat fairways and you are in for a treat! This course is a fabulous course and cannot be missed off of the itinerary when you are in possession of a mid-level handicap and are looking for a fantastic course to play in the Costa del Sol!

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Emporda-Golf

The Forest course at the Emporda Golf Resort on the Costa Brava is next up on the list of the best European courses for those with a mid-level handicap! These pine flanked fairways and greens are some of the loveliest in Spain and are not to be missed! This course is undeniably a very attractive course and has some quality holes to make it an even more enjoyable game. As early as the 2nd hole you get to experience a great par three with some strategically placed bunkering on the right before venturing through pine trees for the next few holes. Hole 6 can only be described as one of the best short, par fours around. This hole a great risk/reward hole and may leave you with a few lost balls! Make sure that you are not missing off the Forest course at Emporda on your next golf holiday to the Costa Brava and for an extra treat check out its sister course – the Links course at Emporda too, which is another great course for mid-level handicappers.img_Emporda

Lumiine-Golf-Club

The Hills course at Lumine Golf Club on the Costa Dorada is set in forests of white pine trees and with the backdrop of the stunning Mediterranean Sea. Not only are the fairways of the course flanked with olive trees and pine trees but due to being set in the surroundings of a bird sanctuary golfers will never be short of flying company whilst playing a superb round of golf on this course. The two closing holes on this course will stay in your mind for a long time after playing this fabulous course. The backdrop to the 17th is a natural rock-face and it is all about the approach to the very small green making it a little tricky but a beautiful hole indeed. The last hole is simply superb, from the tee all you can see are bunkers and the fairway disappearing in front of you into water but the hole veers off to the right meaning that you have a huge water hazard on your left where you can see yet more bunkers and another stunning rock-face. Make sure that this scenic and enjoyably challenging (but not too challenging!) course is on your to-play-list this coming year!img_Lumine

Alamos

Last, but certainly not least on the list is the Alamos course which is situated in the sunny Algarve in Portugal. The course is characterised by two large lakes and stunning views of the Monchique Mountains as you look over the reservoir and the vineyard – this course truly shows the peaceful side of the Algarve! With irregular and tight fairways, strategically placed bunkers as well as small greens this can be a tricky course to play but the variety of holes means that it is kept interesting! Make sure that your putting is on point for this round as the greens are fast and unforgiving but without making you cry at your scoresheet! This course is a course full of variety and beautiful scenery and cannot be missed on your next golf break to the Algarve – especially if you are a mid-level handicapper and are looking for a fine challenge!

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We hope that this list helps you, as a holder of a medium-level handicap, to choose the courses you are wanting to tick off the list! These course are all fantastic courses which will provide a challenge whilst not being heartbreakingly difficult!

Oitavos… some of the best golf in Portugal

OITAVOS

You may have decided that a golfing holiday to Portugal is going to be your choice of holiday this year and that would not be a bad choice. Looking for somewhere to stay can often be the trickiest part and obviously you want some fabulous golf courses to accompany the location of the hotel. With The Oitavos Hotel you could never go wrong and here is all you need to know about the hotel and its wonderful golf course…

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Situated in the stunning area of Cascais, Lisbon is the majestic Oitavos Hotel. The hotel features a very modern design, with plenty of glass letting in the light, creating a spacious and contemporary feel. Not only is Oitavos Hotel located in a wonderful and natural surrounding but it is just a 5-10 minutes’ drive from the centre of Cascais where there are plenty of fantastic bars and restaurants and shops to enjoy and sample during your time here.

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Guests can enjoy wonderful meals at the hotel restaurants with local specialities as well as foreign cuisine either at the Chef’s Table, The Japanese Bar or the Ipsylon Restaurant & Bar. All three restaurants have a lovely and unique feel to them which means that guests can drink and dine in style and often with great views out of the glass of the golf course or the magnificent surroundings of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. Of course, if dining outside of the hotel is your preference then you will be spoilt for choice in the town of Cascais.

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All the rooms are fitted with extensive amenities and many feature stunning views of the beautiful golf course and surrounding areas. All of the rooms feature balconies either facing towards the sunset or the sunrise as well as TVs, a rainforest shower system, a minibar and Wi-Fi. All the rooms also feature stunning views of either the Oitavos Golf Course, the sea or the natural surroundings – or all three! For upgrades, there are Lofts and Suites available which feature living areas as well as views even from the bathrooms! All of the rooms, suites and lofts are modern, light and spacious.

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If you are less into golf and more into spas, then you will certainly not be disappointed with the spa here at Oitavos. The full-service spa offers a wide range of natural and organic treatment products with an overall holistic approach to health and wellness. The spa also features both hot and wet saunas as well as a hot tub for guests to enjoy a relaxing experience! There is also an indoor pool as well as an outdoor pool to enjoy! The outdoor pool also boasts a beautiful pool bar which is where you can enjoy a drink or two in a casual yet lovely surrounding!

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Not only is Oitavos a beautiful hotel, perfect for the ideal golf break to Lisbon but it also features a fantastic golf course where we know you would have plenty of fabulous rounds during your stay…

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From the first tee of the Oitavos Dunes course you are impressed. In both 2006 and 2007 this course hosted the Portuguese Open and was very well received by the professionals and it really isn’t hard to see why. It is set on the most Westerly tip of Europe and features spectacular views of both the Atlantic Ocean and the incredible Sintra Mountains. This course certainly lives up to its name as it has magnificent sand dunes separating the course from the Atlantic just adding the the picturesque surroundings of this fabulous course

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The first few holes require players to thread their ball through the narrow fairways lined with pine trees and vast bunkers, although the first holes aren’t as tricky as the rest of the course they still require controlled tee shots and accurate approaches! The first few holes just demonstrate the quality to come with this course. The course then opens up and resembles more of a traditional links course where you have to play amongst pine trees. With the picturesque views of the sea and the mountains as well as coming up to the 18th tee is the glorious hotel on your left there is no denying that this is an impressive course. The signature hole on this fantastic course has to be the 14th hole which is a par 3 and requires player to hit a shot over a storm ravine which then continues to run alongside the hole for the duration.

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With notoriously fast greens, the open fairways making balls very susceptible to the Atlantic winds, the tight drives and the length of the course there is no doubt that this course can certainly provide a stern challenge even to the most discerning golfer with the lowest handicap. You can never have a boring round at Oitavos Dunes and although it is tricky there are multiple tees so those of a lower ability can still enjoy a round here.

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The owner of Oitavos Dunes is a golf traditionalist and was insistent that the course would be walkable which makes this course a great one for socialising whilst enjoying a spectacular round. The quality of the golf club doesn’t end with the course here at Oitavos. The clubhouse is magnificent and contemporary with a stunning bar and restaurant area where you can enjoy a post-round drink and maybe a snack to reward yourself for your (hopefully!) good scorecard.

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We hope that you consider Oitavos Hotel and its Dunes course for your next golfing break to Lisbon as it really is a superb golfing destination!

 

Top 5 courses for high handicappers…

This week’s blog is to help those of you who may not have the lowest handicap or be the most skilled golfer but are still looking to enjoy a fabulous golfing holiday in Europe and are wondering which courses will be the best for you. Here is our blog on the top five courses in Europe for those of you with a high handicap…

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First up we have the Bom Sucesso course which is situated just an hours drive from Lisbon. Although there are many strategically placed bunkers and this course is a little challenging, this is a great course to play for those less experienced golfers as the main challenge of this course is avoiding those obstacles by hitting accurately. Playing from the front tees will eliminate the long carries which means that you can focus on navigating this brilliant course but from the championship tees those with a lower handicap will find it a challenging course too. This course also boasts some beautiful views over the Obidos region and the sea, especially on the last two holes, making the round a scenic and enjoyable one. With gently undulating fairways, fair but fast greens and beautiful scenery when you are next in Lisbon on a golfing holiday make sure to visit the Bom Sucesso course and enjoy a fabulous round here (whilst not scoring badly!).

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PGA-Catalunya

Next up on the list of European courses perfect for those with a higher handicap is the PGA Catalunya Tour course situated in Spain. This course is the kinder of the two courses at the PGA Catalunya resort and offers a great game for players of all levels. Whilst you are never far from a water hazard or a trickily positioned bunker, the course features wide fairways meaning that a few dodgy shots will be forgiven! Having said that, accuracy is key on this course and with the hazards set to trip you up it is a good idea to keep concentration through this round in order to finish with a good score! This course is a breathtakingly beautiful course with its stunning woodland surroundings and of course, the lakes. As this course is a shorter, less undulating course than its sister course it is a walkable course which means that you have more time to enjoy the scenery and socialise with your fellow players. This is great course to add to the itinerary of your next golfing holiday to Spain!

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Monte-Rei

Next up, on the list we have the well-established and well-known Monte Rei course. This course is considered to be the number one course in Portugal and if that isn’t enough of a reason to come and play then maybe the beautiful surroundings and fabulous layout of the course will tempt you. Monte Rei is set in the hills towards the Spanish border and the mountainous setting is very special to this course. The fairways are bordered with indigenous trees and plants just adding to the beautiful scenery created by the mountainous setting. Although the terrain is very undulating, there is no reason that with concentration and some accurate shots those with a higher handicap cannot score well on this course – as long as you avoid the lakes and bunkers! As you progress throughout the course you will find that each hole is better than the last making this such a superb round of golf it is unmissable. This is one of the finest courses around and it truly is a perfect course for those with all handicap scores making this a must-play on your next golfing holiday to Portugal!

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The next course on the list is the Oceanico Old course situated in the Algarve. This course is a traditional one and is the second oldest course in Portugal, showing how traditional parkland courses which are in tune with their surroundings can still compete with the newer courses. Although the back nine holes on this course have proven to be a challenge for many golfers, the front few holes provide golfers with a chance to get comfortable and hit some accurate shots and score well – just don’t get lulled into a false sense of security! Watch out for the cluster of deep and dangerous bunkers on the 12th hole and maintain concentration the whole way through the round making sure that you are not distracted by the beautiful surroundings. All of the greens are always in immaculate condition and this course is truly at one with its surroundings making it a fabulous round to play! This course is a great one for golfers of all handicaps as it is such a fun and exciting course with wonderful surroundings. Make sure that on your next golfing holiday to the Algarve you add this course to the itinerary!

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Last, but certainly not least, on the list is the Oceanico Victoria course, also situated in the Algarve. This course is essentially a flat course, meaning that navigation is easier than on some of the more undulating courses meaning that it is possible to score well on this course even if you are in possession of a higher handicap score! However, the course boasts many stunning water features and fountains which can be a little tricky to navigate around but add to the natural beauty of the course. These hazards are severe but there are safer routes to make it to the final putt – there is a huge element of risk-reward on this course! The greens and fairways are fast but fair and they are large enough to accept some error in shots meaning that this course is perfect for those of all handicaps. Don’t be put off by the many water hazards and make sure this stunning course is on the agenda for your next golf break to Lisbon!

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We hope that this list has helped you decide which European courses you are going to try and play on your next golfing holiday to Spain or Portugal if you haven’t got the lowest handicap in the world!

Portugal’s Finest Golf Courses

Entering the new year and starting back at work is never an easy task but in order to make everything seem a bit better why not book your next golfing break to Portugal? This is our fine-tuned list of the courses that we consider to be five of Portugal’s finest courses and are not to be missed by any discerning golfer.

Monte_Rei

Up first on the list is the spectacular Monte Rei course. Monte Rei only opened in the summer of 2007 and has already made a name for itself as one of the best courses on the Algarve. The course features five lakes surrounded by beautiful greenery so it’s lucky that all the buggies feature GPS which can help you navigate this stunning course! Monte Rei is becoming a fast favourite for many golfers and not just for the beautiful greenery and scenery but for their superb service that is on offer here. All guests are met by their car and can have their cars parked for them as well as their clubs taken up to the buggies, free of charge of course. the crushed marble bunkers and undulating greens with fabulous scenery are just more reason for you to come along and play. This course truly is one of the finest on the Algarve and has to be on your itinerary for your next golfing holiday to the Algarve as there is no other course quite as brilliant to play.

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San_Lorenzo

Next up on the list we have one of “Europe’s top 100 courses” which is regularly featured in magazines such as Today’s Golfer and Golf World. San Lorenzo is a beautiful course with sandy undulating greens and with fairways bordered with umbrella pines as well as the marsh sanctuary. This course is truly in touch with nature and with incredible views of the Atlantic Ocean up until you turn inland after the 7th hole which then turn into incredible views of spectacular scenery and the vast lakes which add to the trickiness of this great course. Although sometimes it is a little tricky to get tee times at this fabulous course if you are staying at the fantastic Dona Filipa or the great Formosa Park then tee times shouldn’t be an issue at all! Make sure that you don’t miss out on playing this well-recognised course and don’t regret not playing one of Portugal’s finest courses.

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Quinta_do_Lago

Third on the list of Portugal’s finest golf courses we have North course at Quinta do Lago. Team Europe’s McGinley has been working closely alongside developers to make this course a spectacular one. Its new design has really made this course a special one. This course could be described as a truly charming course, with umbrella pines and greens nestled into beautiful scenery. Not to be underestimated, or left out, is the 12th hole which is a par four and features a three-acre lake around which the hole navigates around making for a few treacherous shots! With the greens always in immaculate condition and fairly generous fairways combined with harsh rough and lovely greens, this course is not one to be passed up on when you’re next in the area on your next golfing trip and we are sure that you will not be disappointed by this course. McGinley described this as a course “that players would want to play over and over again” so why not book a tee time and find out if he was correct?

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Penha_Longa

The course at Penha Longa Atlantic could be described as not only one of Portugal’s finest course but one of Europe’s finest courses. The landscape of this course is truly unmissable with valleys, hills and rocky outcrops which are all set amongst lush green vegetation which is always immaculately looked after. This course is challenging even on a still day but on a windy day with the winds coming in across the mountains this course can truly challenge even the best golfers with the lowest handicaps. There is not a single dull hole on this course but look out for the beautiful 6th hole which is a par five and where the green is bordered by the lake and features the backdrop of a medieval castle tower and arched wall! This course embeds history with stunning views and beautiful greens making it truly a grand course. Make sure that this course is on your list of courses to play on your next golfing break to Portugal or even centre your holiday around playing this fabulous course!

Penha_Longa

Oitavos_Dunes

Last, but certainly not least on the list is the wonderful course of Oitavos Dunes at the resort of Quinta da Marinha. This course is situated on the most Westerly tip of Europe and features spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean but also of the majestic Sintra Mountains making this a very scenic course. With fast greens and strategically placed bunkers no one could call a round at Oitavos Dunes a boring round and although this course is certainly a challenging one, it is also a playable one for golfers of most abilities off of the different tees making it fun and enjoyable for everyone. The signature hole on this course has to be the 14th hole which is a par 3 and requires a shot across a storm ravine which then continues to run alongside the hole for the duration. This course is certainly an impressive one and it is no wonder that it made our list of the finest courses in Portugal. Make sure this course at Quinta da Marinha is on your bucket list of course in Portugal and you certainly won’t be disappointed!

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We hope that you choose to brighten your new year with the booking of your next golf holiday to Portugal and choose at least one of these to give a go! We know you wouldn’t be disappointed with a spectacular holiday to Portugal combined with some spectacular golf.