Elected for two times Club of the year, it has first class commodities and a climate cooled by the Atlantic breeze in summer and warmed by the Gulf Stream in winter.
Notwithstanding its magnificent beauty and unique ocean views, playing in Estela Golf can, however, be more than just a simple round of golf; its fairways are surrounded by untouched and virgin dunes which contribute to the constant presence of the Nature. The 19th hole gives a warm welcome to the players with its outstanding Ocean view from the Bar and Restaurant.
The Estela Golf Club was founded in 1989 and despite being to the public, it is a privately owned club.
Elected “Club of the Year” in 1993 and 2009 by the Portuguese Golf Federation (P.G.F.), received the “Visconde Pereira Machado Trophy”.
The Estela Golf Club has hosted all events in the P.G.F. National calendar and several International events, including:
- Vinho Verde Atlantic Open – 1990
- Portuguese Open – 1991
- International European Amateur Championship – 1992/2000/2001/2003/2005/2008
- European Seniors Championship – 1994
- European Men’s Club Trophy - 2010
Description of the Course
The Estela Golf course is a true links, located in a magnificent area with first class commodities and with a climate cooled by the Atlantic breeze in summer and warmed by the Golf stream in winter. Unlike the south of Portugal, where the summer can bring extremely high temperatures, at Estela the temperature rarely rises above 25ºC (80ºF), even in the hotter period, and where the average temperature in winter stays between 6ºC (45ºF) and 15ºC (60ºF).
The type of grass used, “Tifton Bermuda” in the fairways and “Penncross Bent” in the greens, contributes to create excellent game conditions with good fairways and greens that are both firm and fast.
Since the back tees, the Estela stretches over almost 6,300 meters (7,000 yards), with a par of 72, a 72.7 Course Rating and a 131 Slope Rating. Judging from these tees, this is not a course for those who have difficulties with the driver!
With narrow fairways in the landing areas, all pressure is placed in the tee shot. There are few fairway bunkers in the course, simply because they are not needed. If you fail a fairway at Estela, the dunes will welcome you.
Just like in the classical traditional links, most shots at the greens are open, thus allowing the ball to enter them rolling. Effort is required to reach the greens but, if you manage to get there without many detours, you will find firm and fast greens. There aren’t many lines and, even after torrential rain in winter, the greens remain in good condition.
Some holes have wonderful views over the Atlantic while facing forward and over the mountains while facing backwards, especially in the first nine.
The course begins with a short par five, pretty smooth, that can be reached in two strokes as long as your tee shot reaches the tee’s fairway. A nice par 3 with 148 meters (164 yards) follows, but there is no rest from here on. The 3rd, a par 4 with 411 meters (457 yards), is the most difficult hole in the course and the 4th is the best of the short holes. From the back tee, elevated, it’s 176 meters (196 yards) over a valley to an elevated green with the ocean by the left and a pit by the right.
The 5th goes to the farthest point before the difficult battle of returning to the clubhouse begins. From the 6th until the end of the first nine, the Estela presents a series of the most difficult driving holes that you can find anywhere.
The landing areas of the difficult 6th hole and of the long 7th hole have only 30 meters (33 yards) at their widest point and the 8th requires you to go over one of the 4 lakes in the course. The 9th hole has water by the left side of the fairway and all the four holes have obstacles by the left side of the fairway with huge dunes by the right side. This series of holes is the key to get a good score at Estela.
The second nine holes may not be as difficult as the first nine, but they are filled with danger. The 10th hole is a par 4, dogleg at the left, with 373 meters but with an elevated green and well protected by bunkers that make it longer and harder.
The 11th is a short and unobstructed par 4, but the placement of the flag makes all the difference.
The 12th hole, par 3, isn’t that short when its 171 meters (190 yards) and its five greenside bunkers are hit by a strong breeze from the south. The 13th, although it’s a par 5 with a little bit over 450 meters, must be played with the utmost respect. The fairway goes along the beach and turns suddenly to the left and descends near the green. One is tempted to try to make the dogleg as short as possible with the 2nd shot.
It’s a path too long for most people and a 3rd from the soft sand in the dunes in the dogleg’s left corner will require a substantial effort with the iron, even if only to place the ball in the fairway.
The 14th, par 4, requires great precision when played against the wind due to a protecting frontal bunker and lateral lake. The last par 5, the 15th, is even harder with winds from the north, demanding distance in the tee-shot and a great precision in the 2nd and 3rd shots, because the elevated green is too exposed to the wind. The 16th is a par 4 somewhat short but, thanks to the out of bounds to the right and to a lake to the left of the fairway, it becomes a true “card eater”.
The 17th hole, par 3, is played over a lake towards a relatively large green. The 18th hole, par 4, is one of the hardest holes of the last 9, since its real extension is far greater than its 359 meters (399 yards) until one reaches the clubhouse.
- 18 Holes
- Driving Range
- Putting Green
- Chipping & Bunker
- Golf Pro
- Club Rental
- Non-metal Spikes Only
- Golf Shop