Absolutely fabulous..........Top 30 in Europe....
Well, what can I say ? A top course attached to a Ritz Carlton hotel , one can expect nothing but the best......? And yes, absolutely fabulous, from location (30/40 minutes from Lisboa), natural landscape, course design (Robert Trent Jones Jr.), service and we were blessed with the best weather, the 2 large outdoor pools very appealing after a days golf. Bar prices very high but it is the Ritz Carlton, so are the many in house restaurants. We choose to go to downtown Cascais for cocktails & local Portugese restaurants, a 15 minutes taxi ride to this small fishing village.
The golf: 27 holes comprising a smaller Monastry course of 9 holes and a championship course of 18 holes "the Atlantic".
Outstanding design making use of the natural contours of the land, do not expect too many flat lies, bunkers of varied shapes, depth etc. Dog legs either left or right, so no favouritism for us "lefties".Views are exquisite, Sintra mountains, hillside with lots of olive, cork, oak, eucalyptus scented trees bordering some tight fairways exceptionally well kept, the greens will be remembered for their difficulty in approach with very stubble sculpture, well a delight and a good test when we were counted the least putts. No gimmies, that would spoil the game.
It is a good idea to play the course a few times, as last games showed improvements in scores, we decided to play "better ball" and count the putts only and this format work well and we all enjoyed the challenges that each day presented.
There is water on the few holes and lots of wildlife, wild flowers too.
The resort has a few modern villas scattered around the course, but in a nice way. Most had pools with no fencing around , it was very tempting for a quick dip to cool down as we were blessed with extremely warm weather. There are toilets on 2 places, a haft way hut with the most elegant bar and lounge area & the "poshest toilets" I have ever seen on a golf course. This is perched on top of a hill with views to die for.
No need to say that we are on a very hilly part of Portugal, nearly all the holes are up of down with extremely long paths in between holes and a buggy is a must otherwise it would take ages to do a round. The path are well defined, one is not allowed on the fairways , so extra attention with clubs you need.
A golf resort that is extremely attractive, in a good location from nearby Lisbon, there are other golf course nearby if you wish to broaden your golf repertoire.
I certainly recommend this venue, but will explore the Algarve at the end of the year with my other golfing buddies......
Very enjoyable, top class venue, outstripping challenge for all levels.
Sadly going back to UK today and it is raining as we head off the Lisboa airport.
PS: will post photos on Social Golfer when I find out out to import them from my I-Phone......I can post on Facebook or Whats Apps....
Well I am not that tech. minded. May be someone will help me