Aug 17th, 2016
Lisbon Golf Coast booms
With Brits and Swedes
Words: John Dean
Lisbon’s Golf Coast is gearing up for a bumper year, after recording a 21.9 per cent increase in rounds played by UK visitors during the first half of 2016, up to 16,016 compared with 13,138 during the same period last year.
Europe’s westernmost capital typically welcomes more than 100,000 international golfers each year. According to the latest figures issued by Turismo de Lisboa, the Scandinavians are the only international visitors to play more rounds on the Lisbon Golf Coast than the British.
Having been awarded the title of ‘European Golf Destination of the Year’ by IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators) for the third time at the end of last year, the Lisbon region continues to attract British golfers, who flock to the ‘Golf Coast’ for its choice of courses, affordable green fees, year-round mild climate and easy access to the attractions of the city centre.
There are currently 21 golf courses in the region that are members of Turismo de Lisboa, all located less than an hour’s drive from the centre of the Portuguese capital.
Although they vary in size, location and difficulty, many have been designed by well-known architects and custodians of the game, including Spanish golfing legend Severiano Ballesteros, British former golfer Donald Steel and renowned American golf course architect Arthur Hills.
Event highlights over the next few months include:
1.European Amateur Golf Tour (21 – 25 October 2016): Held at the award winning 18-hole Oitavos Dunes, considered as one of the world’s best natural links golf courses. eagt.co.uk
2. Cascais International Golf Week (29 October – 5 November 2016): An international amateur tournament that sees players from all over the world competing every year. visitcascais.com
3. 87th Portuguese International Amateur Championship (February 2017, exact dates tbc): Held at one of Portugal’s oldest courses, Estoril Golf, surrounded by pine forests.
4. 6th Oitavos Classic 2017 (23 – 26 February 2017): Open to amateur golfers, the maximum tournament handicap will be 28 for men and women. theoitavos.co
From the UK, direct flights to Lisbon operate from London, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Bristol with TAP Portugal, British Airways, easyJet, Ryanair and Monarch. From Ireland, direct flights to Lisbon operate from Dublin with Aer Lingus and Ryanair.