Madeira has some great opportunities when it comes to golfing. The golf courses on the island have different characteristics offering three very different experiences that will certainly please golfers of all levels.
For golf holidays, Madeira is a very popular destination with excellent weather conditions, a mild and stable temperature all year round. Its natural environment offers fresh air, unforgettable walks and breathtaking scenery.
Considered a real golfing paradise, Madeira island is rapidly becoming the definitive choice for both amateurs and professionals for golf holidays in Portugal.
On the archipelago of Madeira (Madeira and Porto Santo), you can find three fine golf courses:
- Santo da Serra golf course;
- Palheiro golf course;
- Porto Santo golf course.
Santo da Serra GOLF
The oldest golf course in Madeira is Santo da Serra. It was built in 1937, and it had 9 holes at the time. In 1991, Mr. Robert Trent Jones Senior, renovated it to become a 27-hole golf course and it is now the host to the Madeira Open every year. British families over the centuries have settled in Madeira and have introduced the island to one of their favorite sports. The course is made up of 3 9-hole circuits.
These three 9-hole circuits are called the “Machico” (3014m), “Desertas” (3078m) and the “Serras” (2911m). With its high location at an altitude of 500m, the views for the golfers are extremely panoramic. The course overall is very demanding. The 4th hole of a Par 3 is 185m and played over a deep ravine. The player can also be subject to variable winds that can play havoc with the score on any hole.
Here, golf and nature live in perfect harmony with sport and the environment. Be it competition or pleasure, the passions of those who play at Santo da Serra are always satisfied. The “Machico” and “Desertas” courses are those usually used for the Madeira Island Open. However, the “Serras” course, which is mildly flat, maintains the same level of play. With four optional tees at each hole, the player is offered various levels of play enabling straightforward, relaxing rounds as well as more challenging ones. Golfing stars praise the excellent quality of fairways and greens. The semi-roughs and roughs are proof of the care given to the course’s conditions. The course is adorned with four beautiful lakes surrounded by trees offering shade from the shimmering Atlantic sunshine.
Palheiro Golf Course
Palheiro golf course is a challenging 18-hole course with stunning views, fast undulating greens, well-placed bunkers and tight fairways that reward only accurate play. Palheiro golf is highly regarded for this pine forests, centennial trees, flowering shrubs and lush vegetation. The Palheiro course is close to the city of Funchal and players will enjoy views over the ocean and the Ilhas Desertas.
Palheiro golf course is set within the stunning 200-year old Palheiro Estate. The Palheiro Golf clubhouse, perched 500m above sea level, boasts a panoramic terrace which commands unlimited views of the Funchal harbor and the Atlantic Ocean. The stylish Palheiro golf clubhouse is further complemented by the superb restaurant, managed by the award-winning Relais and Châteaux hotel Casa Velha do Palheiro.
Porto Santo Golf Course
Porto Santo golf course is an 18-hole course located on a popular nearby island called Porto Santo. The architect of this course was the late champion golfer, Severiano Ballesteros. He created two separate circuits of 9 holes making an overall par 72. The layout is very impressive with clifftop fairways and immense ocean views. To add to the game there is also a 9-hole Pitch and Putt course of par-three holes (ideal for training precision shots) with convenient night lighting, and a driving range.
Porto Santo’s course stretches all the way across the island from dune-rolling beach to dramatic basalt cliffs. It offers an ideal combination of natural beauty and challenging game. The layout was designed to blend in with the natural landscape, and immense care was taken to minimize the impact on the environment. It features two distinct zones. A south course in American tradition, dotted with lakes and demanding a long precise game; and a north course played along spectacular cliff tops. The clubhouse is a triumph of modern design, but blends harmoniously into the landscape, with its dry-stone walling, natural wood and hip wicker furniture.
A planned second phase is the construction of a further, completely new, 18-hole course. It is to be developed on land to the north of Ana Ferreira Peak and will also comprise 8 Tennis Courts and a Horse-Riding center.
All in all, Madeira is a hotspot for golfers and a true paradise with 3 different, beautiful golf courses that can make every golfer enjoy the beautiful game. Whether you are solely a tourist wanting to enjoy a simple game and enjoy the view, or a professional looking for new courses to conquer, Madeira’s golfing courses can provide it all while also offering you an excellent opportunity to enjoy the rest of the island, which is also definitely worth discovering