From The Madeira Island Web Site

Porto Santo Golfe
By Jorge Barbosa
Jun 8, 2008 - 3:03:06 PM


Prior to its development many commentators wondered about the feasibility of operating and having a golf course on the small island of Porto Santo, which by many tourism pundits was said to be merely a glorified stretch of beach and then..., well, nothing much else. The lack of abundant water was being touted as one of the most worrying concerns for the critics of this venture. The island is dry and has far less rain than its neighbour – the main island of Madeira.

However, a couple of years later, and surprising everybody the course has stayed on its own and survived – if not flourished. Its recent success in attracting tour operators that now fly direct to the island has thrown that argument or concern out the window too. The Porto Santo Golfe course is now poised to be able to attract international level tournaments and become part of the serious golfer’s itinerary the world over.

Designed by golf legend Severiano Ballesteros, it was inaugurated on October 1st 2004 under the tutelage of the Sociedade de Desenvolvimento do Porto Santo (Porto Santo Development Corporation - a parastatal institute to develop the island’s economy and resources). Clearly, the only way a golf course of this adventure could be achieved would have had to have been one using public (European Union) funds.

Interestingly enough, the Porto Santo Golfe course is the largest of the three (and soon to be four) golf courses on the Archipelago. It was designed by Seve Ballesteros to accommodate up to 500 golfers. The launch of several new 5 star hotels and a planned casino will be a required complement to cater for such a large capacity of golf enthusiasts.

If not traveling direct then a short 20-minute hop in a small Fokker plane from the main island airport or a two-hour ferry trip from the Funchal harbour get you the extraordinary golfing experience that the Porto Santo Golfe course is all about.

The course enjoys some 27 holes comprising, unusually, 6 par-3’s, 6 par-4’s, and 6 par-5’s. All of the par-4’s are long ranging in distance from 359 metres to 426 metres in length from the white tees.

The fairways of the first nine holes – also called the “South Loop” - are ensconced into the low level lying lands below some bare rocky hills with views over the suburban parts of Porto Santo Island itself. The views over the Atlantic are wonderful and the South loop has a “Palm Springs feel to it” according to some noted golfers. With its ornamental lakes, scenery and breezy ocean gusts it demands an accurate long game and careful concentration most of the time. The Bermuda grass taking off some of the roll on the ball also does not help.

Particularly challenging is the back nine 459 metre long par-5 10th hole where you have to traverse water hazards twice. This hole is part of the “North Loop” and holes 13, 14 and 15 are true links-style, played on the elevated tops of gusty and mounts and hills throwing a tableau of awesome vistas across the blue Atlantic Ocean and the dramatically rugged and impressive north coastline of the small island. The 450 metre long, stroke index 2, 16th hole is also challenging, and the 18th hole requires golfers to shoot to just before the water before getting on to the green.


18-hole course - 6434 metres
9-hole course – par 3 (Pitch & Putt)
Driving range
Putting green
Chipping green with bunkers
Golf Professional
Totally equipped Pro Shop
Club hire
Electric buggy and trolley hire
Changing rooms
SPA (sauna, Jacuzzi, steam bath)
Clubhouse restaurant, with events area
Buggy-bar service

Porto Santo Golfe
Designed by Severiano Ballesteros
Holes 18 + 9
Length 6,434 metres
Par 72
Address Sitio das Marinhas - Apartado 174 - 9400-162 Porto Santo
Telephone (+351) 291 98 37 78
Fax (+351) 291 98 35 08
Nearest Accommodation(s) Many - every hotel in Porto Santo is close by

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