Golf in Madeira
Madeira has three courses of note, Santo de Serra, Palheiro and Porto Santo the latter of which is located on the island of Porto Santo. Each course offers a different challenge to the golfer and a stern test to both amateurs and professionals. The climate in Madeira allows the golf courses to be opened and enjoyed all year round.
Palheiro Golf Club
Palheiro Golf is situated on Madeira Island some 10 km east of Funchal with magnificent views overlooking the town and bay and is set within the stunning 200 year old Palheiro Estate.
The 18-hole par 72 course was designed by Cabell Robinson and opened in 1993.
Palheiro Golf was changed in 2003. Two holes were replaced, and a 6 hole academy course was created. The result is a stunning 18 hole challenge with breathtaking views, fast undulating greens, well placed bunkers and tight fairways that reward accurate play.
Palheiro Golf winds around the Palheiro Estate which is famous for its pine forests, centennial trees, flowering shrubs and lush vegetation.
The Palheiro Golf clubhouse, perched 500 meters above sea level, boasts a panoramic terrace which commands unlimited views of the Funchal harbour 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.
Accolades for Palheiro Golf Club
"Palheiro offers shades of Augusta National with its landscping and stunning flora".
( Toby Keel - Golf World)
"One of the most beautiful places in the world in which to play golf".
(Malcolm Campbell - Golf Monthly)
"It must be the nearest concept to a golfer's paradise."
(Simon Ames - Going for Golf)
"Set on rising ground high above Funchal Bay, Palheiro is one of the world's loveliest golf courses."
(From '6 of the best' Malcolm Campbell - Golf Monthly)
"The clubhouse, of traditional local stone with a red tile roof, has a balcony view seemingly suspended over the town of Funchal - truly one of the world's great 19th holes."
"From the first tee shot to the very last putt, the course is a visual feast."
(David Ayres - Today's Golfer)
Santo da Serra Golf Club
Santo da Serra Golf Club - From its location high above the Machico Bay, you will enjoy magnificent views of the rocky Atlantic coastline, making Santo da Serra one of the most spectacular courses in Europe.
Its original course, built in 1937, was redesigned in 1991 by the famous golf architect Robert Trent Jones who created a completely new and spectacular 27hole golf course in one of the most beautiful landscapes that nature may offer.
Golf and nature live in perfect harmony with sport and environment. Competition and pleasure gratify the passion of those who play at Santo da Serra.
The 2nd and 4th holes of the Machico Course remain unforgettable in the memories of those who play there. The Machico and Desertas Courses are those usually used for the Madeira Island Open whilst the Serras Course, mildly flat, maintains the same level of play.
With four optional tees at each hole, the player encounters different game levels which may either lead to a simple relaxing game or to a more challenging test. This is why Santo da Serra Golf hosts the annual Madeira Island Open, a tournament integrated in the PGA European Tour.
Golf stars, many of them Ryder's Cup players, are witnesses of the excellent quality of its fairways and greens. Semi-roughs and roughs provide evidence of the meticulous care given to the courses conditions.
A true botanical garden, ornamented with four beautiful lakes, full of trees that give shade from the brilliant Atlantic.
Santo da Serra Golf offers all kinds of facilities to its players and guests.
"Una Clubhouse muy bonita" (“A beautiful clubhouse”) was the expression used by Severiano Ballesteros in 2001 when he took part of the Madeira Island Open.
In fact, a new and highly comfortable Clubhouse, built in 2000, offers an excellent extra support to the course. A new and richly decorated Clubhouse with restaurant, lounge, bar and terrace allows one to view the usual training or warming up in a magnificent practice area with two putting-greens, chipping green, bunker green and driving range.
The pro-shop offers all kinds of branded golf merchandise and also the rental of equipment for the game.
The Club provides buggies and trolleys, as well as buggy-bar service.
Santo da Serra Golf is located at one of the most beautiful places nature created.
Only five minutes away from the modern motorway that connects Funchal to the airport and Machico in just 15 minutes.
To get there from Funchal one must take the motorway and immediately before reaching the airport follow the signal to Santo da Serra Golf.
Accolades for Santo da Serra Golf Club
The Clube de Golf do Santo da Serra is ranked in the Top 100 Courses in Europe and has hosted Madeira's most prestigious tournaments, including the Madeira Islands Open, which has been part of the PGA European Tour Circuit since 1993.
The Clube de Golf do Santo da Serra has reached this level, not only with it's tournaments, but also due to every day visitors, imposing its category to an international and national level.
Santo da Serra is ranked as the 12th Best Golf Course among the 75 existing in Portugal.
Porto Santo Golf Club
Porto Santo golf course as the name suggests is located on the island of Porto Santo. The island can be accessed from Madeira by both air and sea. Flight time is approximately 25mins and ferry time is 2 ½ hours.
Porto Santo’s brand-new golf course, designed by champion Severiano Ballesteros, stretches all the way across the island from dune-rolling beach to dramatic basalt cliffs.
It offers that ideal combination – natural beauty and a challenging game. The layout was designed to blend in with the natural landscape, and immense care was taken to minimize impact on the environment.
The course comprises 18 holes over 6,434 metres, with a par of 72. It features two distinct zones – a South Course in the American tradition, dotted with lakes and demanding a long, precise game; and a North Course played along spectacular cliff tops. There is also a nine-hole ‘pitch-and-putt’ course of par-three holes (ideal for training precision shots), and a driving range.
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. Facilities include a sauna and Jacuzzi, and there’s a good pro shop. The Golf Club bar and restaurant command a splendid view over the island and out to sea.
Severiano Ballesteros has described Porto Santo Golf as:
“It is a wonderful course for its view but difficult due to its path, modern because of measurements and pairs distributions, attractive because of the techniques, wide because of its dimensions and natural. It is, without any doubt a course that will attract many visitors, fulfilled with unique characteristics of Europe, specially the climate that makes it possible to play golf all year around”.