The Orizonte Golf collection of courses is a brilliant group of courses in the Lisbon region in Portugal. This week’s blog is a guide to these Orizonte courses and will show you why, on your next trip to the Lisbon area, these courses are a must-play on your itinerary.
First up is Quinta do Peru which is one of the most exclusive golf courses in the area but tee-times are still available if you book far enough in advance. The course is set in a pine forest with the Arrabida Mountains as a backdrop. The course its self is set out over a high, undulating plateau which means that there are some superb views to be enjoyed when you can see over the treetops. Although this course may not be described as the most challenging, it is a great one to play for a relaxing holiday-style round but there are still the American-style bunkers and the occasional water hazards which you still need to look out for! The front nine holes are great, but the back nine are superb with a great set of finishing holes to end the round with. Both the 8th and the 16th holes are played across large lakes to well-guarded greens making them potentially the hardest holes on the course. This is a great, enjoyable course for those of all handicaps for sure.
Aroeira I is next up on the list and has been claimed to be one of the finest courses in Europe. The course travels through a pine forest along undulating fairways and prides itself on the array of different holes that you will come face to face with. This course is a tricky one due to its setting with the many pine trees often obstructing the path of play but a noticeable fact about this course is that there are no bunkers on the fairways trying to catch errant balls. The 11th hole is one of the shining stars of the course as you have to avoid water which cuts into the left of the green on your approach shot before tackling the stretch of fairway (avoiding the pines) to the green. You then have to avoid the same water hazard in the fun par-3 14th hole too. This is another superb course by Orizonte golf and this unique array of holes can provide you with an unforgettable round of golf.
Next up is the (younger) sibling of Aroeira I – Aroeira II. This course was built to European Tour recommendations to potentially host some major tournaments. This course has a superb layout like its sister course and you have to navigate carefully through heavily wooded and gently undulating terrain to reach the well-guarded greens. The holes are long here and cleverly shaped using the natural landscape and bunkers. A stand out hole is the par 5 4th hole where a large stand of pine trees about 100 yards short of the green need to be overcome in order to reach the centre of the green. This course also has a spectacular few finishing holes which will make you wish that the round wasn’t ending. The 18th hole is a par 5 with water up the right of the fairway and stretching into the left of the finishing green. Don’t come to Aroeira and only play the first course – this is also a spectacular course and one which you will come to love.
Ribagolfe I is another great Orizonte course, this is a magnificent course and the Ribagolfe complex is arguably one of the best on the Iberian Peninsula and is definitely the best value. Although the course measures 7,370 yards from the back tees, the course is very playable for those with slightly higher handicaps from the front tees. Water hazards come into play a few times throughout the back nine of the course. Each of the holes are memorable in their own way and its landscape is simply stunning – a must play. One of the best, and the shortest hole on the course is the par 3 15th hole where water sits to the left of a raised green that’s surrounded by bunkers making it tricky to even get your ball on to the green without it being caught! Although the Ribagolfe complex is not in the best location accessibility wise it is definitely recommended that you play at least one round here and you won’t regret it.
Ribagolfe II is the sister course and makes up the other 18-holes of Ribagolfe’s 36-hole complex. This course is also routed through stands of cork oak and has beautiful surroundings. This is a shorter course, with more open fairways which lead to large greens and water hazards are less prominent on this course. Where water does come into play it really completes the holes. The best is the long par 5 13th hole where the same stream slices through the fairway into a small lake which is set to the right of the hole. The 3rd hole is definitely one to look out for as it is a long par 3 where trees block part of the route to the green on the right-hand side of the fairway which means that you need a lot of concentration to keep your shots on course! This is a superb course and a perfect partner for Ribagolfe I – these two courses are certainly not to be missed out on.
Last, but certainly not least on the list is Santo Estevao which is in the same area as the Ribagolfe complex. This course is suited to those who have a higher handicap as there is more room for error with the wider fairways and the bigger greens. This is a great, fun course which is perfect for those looking for a light round with some great views and can be used as preparation to play one of the harder courses in the area – perhaps Ribagolfe? This is another superb Orizonte golf course and is well worth the trip to play.
We hope that this week’s blog opened your eyes to the great courses that you should have on your list to play when you are next taking a golf holiday to the Lisbon area!