WHAT IS A LINKS COURSE ANYWAY?
The British Golf Museum provides the following definition:
“A golf links is a stretch of land near the coast characterised by undulating terrain, often associated with dunes, infertile sandy soil and indigenous grasses such as marram, sea lyme and the fescues and bents which, when properly managed, produce the fine textured, tight turf for which links are famed”.
Now, we all know that just because a golf course sits by a vast expanse of water, a true links course it does not make. Criteria to be met should include most if not all of the following: the coast, sand/sandy soil, few or no trees, pop in some gorse or similar vegetation, naturally formed dunes and smooth (usually firm) undulating ground acting as a transition terrain to a different landscape and now you have a links.
Good links courses can’t be found in too many countries and most golfers are familiar with and want to play the great links courses of Scotland and Ireland (and rightfully so) – no matter what the weather. Can’t say there is anything wrong with that but ….
IT’S COOL TO PLAY A LINKS WITHOUT A RAINCOAT & JUMPER TOO!
But, playing a links course in the dead of winter without layering up until your arms are almost immobile sounds attractive, no? Well, how about considering playing some links courses in Portugal? Yes indeed, Portugal boasts a few nice links courses too.
I know when it comes to playing golf in Portugal we don’t automatically think ‘links.’ Our main thoughts roam more towards sunny weather in lovely areas close to enticing long beaches. Well, while Portugal can certainly deliver all that, lets just take a moment to consider some cool ‘links courses’ on offer there too.
SO, WHERE ARE THE PORTUGUESE LINKS COURSES?
The following are some of the courses in Portugal that meet the ‘links’ criteria – or at least most of them. Some may have a few more trees than you are used to, or the dunes are smaller, but hey, they are certainly not parkland courses.
- CS Salgados Golf
- Oitavos Dunes Golf Links
- Golf Resort Praia D’El Rei
- Troia Golf Resort
- Estela Golf Club
- Porto Santo Golf
Click on the names above to visit their websites.
So perhaps investigate these courses to enjoy the ambience and wonderful views and then compare to links you have played elsewhere.
AND OFF THE LINKS ?
As you can see from the map above, three of the courses are in the Lisbon (Lisboa) area, the Estela is north of Porto, Porto Santo is on the lovely island of Madeira and the Salgados is in the Algarve. So, to help you discover more to do in the surrounding areas, (local activities & attractions or source accommodation), check out these few interesting tourism sites:
Enjoy and thanks for visiting.
LOOK FOR OUR NEXT POST for A FEW HINTS ON PLAYING A LINKS COURSE