As I look out my window, I see the rainy Budapest. A thought goes through my head, how could I spend my time and days pleasantly. In these days and weeks, the Hungarian golf courses are still closed.
You know I am the golfer who doesn’t mind playing golf with rented golf clubs, but I do mind to travel for more than 5 hours. I think I can exclude quite a few golf destinations this way.
This narrows the circle to two countries: Portugal & Spain. I composed a wish list of 10-15 golf clubs from these countries that I will share with you shortly.
I will ask you to help me to select the TOP3 golf clubs/resorts where I could spend one or two weeks in February. 😊
- Vale do Lobo (Algarve, Portugal) – I heard many good news about this Portuguese golf resort. For instance, here we can learn how to ride a SUP, but also can enjoy various wellness and wellbeing services. I found attractive is the opportunity to taste so many kinds of foods & drinks in their 15 restaurants and bars. Its Ocean Golf Course was designed by Sir Henry Cotton.
- In 2018, I had a chance to test the Victoria Course (one of the 5 Dom Pedro Golf courses). This time I would go either to the Old Course (Frank Pennink design) or the Millenium golf course (Martin Hawtree design). What is really tempting in Dom Pedro Golf’s offer is that its 5 golf courses are really close to each other!
- NAU Hotel’s Morgado Golf Course is also interesting. It hosted the Open de Portugal, a Challenge Tour tournament in September 2019.
- I have got a feeling that I must go to Quinta do Lago. It offers so much that we probably won’t get in Europe: 3 golf courses + a Paul McGinley golf academy + TaylorMade Performance Centre + various sports (tennis, Padel, cycling, water sports, fitness) + 12 high-quality restaurants (e.g. the Bovino Steakhouse!)
- Palmares Beach & Golf Resort (a 27-hole facility) – I would consider it too. Its golf courses (Robert Trent Jones Jr.-design) were ranked by Golf World as Continental Europe’s #21 golf course in 2015/16.
- Monte Rei is one of the places where you can eat in a Michelin-star restaurant: The Vistas. They are planning to open their 2nd Jack Nicklaus golf course in 2021.
- Amendoeira Golf Resort is also a compelling golf resort in the Algarve with its Sir Nick Faldo and Christy O’Connor Jr.-designed golf courses. There is also a Golf Academy with a driving range and putting green, two football fields, made to FIFA standards, 6 Savannah tennis courts, a fully equipped Technogym gymnasium, a jogging path, and a children’s playground.
- If I change my mind and ready to travel for more than 4 hours, then I would consider the Abama Golf Resort in Tenerife. It has got a Dave Thomas-designed par-72 golf course. What impressed me here is the Ritz Carlton Abama Kabuki Michelin-starred Japanese fusion restaurant in the clubhouse.
- Another promising 27-hole facility from the Tenerife is the Golf Del Sur. During the years 1989, 1992, 1993 and 1994 it hosted the Tenerife Open, part of the PGA European Volvo Tour.
- I found also a John Jacobs-designed golf course at Golf las Américas in Tenerife. The 5* luxurious Hotel Las Madrigueras Golf Resort & Spa is situated right next to the golf course.
- Probably the most promising golf resort in Tenerife is the Buenavista Golf. Its golf course (par-72, 18 holes, 6150 meters) was designed by Sevariano (Seve) Ballesteros in 2003. It was ranked by Golf World as the 35th best European Golf Resort. You can enjoy Yhi Spa experience + various wellness services + horse riding, etc.
- Tecina Golf is a very pleasant surprise for me. Imagine, it has a Donald Steel-design golf course and a 100% organic (& sustainable) garden. Plantings are designed to make the most of natural resources. La Gomera was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2012. It has got 4 restaurants.
I am coquetting with the idea of taking advantage of package deals for the Canary Islands. What do you think?
My shortlist – golf destination – Spain & Portugal
At this moment these Portuguese & Spanish golf resorts are on my shortlist:
- Quinta do Lago (Algarve, Portugal)
- Buenavista Golf (Spain)
- Monte Rei / Vale do Lobo Resort (Algarve, Portugal)
List your favorite 3 golf resorts from these countries in the comment box!
This article is brought to you by Tee Times Golf Agency.