Grade A Architecture - Penha Longa Resort

The layout is quite hilly and the round is highlighted by the par-4 16th hole.

The quality of golf in Portugal is often overlooked as many simply view Spain as the destination of choice. Such ignorance can only be corrected with a visit to Portugal and the many top quality golf facilities that dot the beautiful landscape.

Among them is the Penha Longa Resort and its Atlantic Course. The layout has been cited as one of Continental Europe’s top 100 courses as well as having been mentioned among Portugal’s top ten., The layout is quite hilly and the round is highlighted by the par-4 16th hole. 

“When players arrive on the tee at the 16th hole they are greeted by an experience like no other on the course with spectacular views of the mountains in the background. However, it is not just these breath-taking views that are what sets this hole apart from the others on the course. It is also the playing experience that makes this hole so unique.” said António Dantas, head golf professional.

“In general, the hole has a really good setup with plenty of elevation changes from tee to green. It is probably one of the most challenging holes on the course, with golfers presented with a fair but tough challenge. Accuracy and precision are needed from the tee to set up a testing second shot into a raised green that is protected by numerous natural features.”

The 16th requires golfers to demonstrate plenty of accuracy and precision. It is the most demanding par 4 on the course, providing spectacular views down a fairway that is dotted with an array of bunkers. It then swings to the right and up to an elevated green that is perched above a deep dip and another sand trap.

The tee shot must be precise and placed a little bit towards the right-hand side of the waved fairway to open up the second shot (this is often trickier on windy days). This is fundamental to reach the green in two shots as the green is hidden by trees on the left-handed side.

The approach shot is always the most crucial on the 16th hole. It is normally important to play this shot with two clubs more than the original distance suggests.

“The hole is one of the more difficult holes on the Atlantic Course. Any small mistake will be very difficult to recover from with plenty of natural hazards positioned throughout the hole to catch golfers out. The elevated green is slightly perpendicular to the direction of play, and this often plays a big role in how golfers are able to stop their balls on the green,” said Dantas.

“The hole layout is a challenge in itself. It is seen as one of the great golfing holes at Penha Longa. Golfers have to take on an elevated tee shot, before an uphill second shot into an elevated green. Trouble is presented on both sides of the hole, with trees and bunkers lining the fairway, meaning it very important to keep the ball with in the fairway with the driver. However, there are also no prizes for golfers that leave their approach shot short.”

Prevailing winds normally go against the direction of play on the 16th hole. When golfers use a driver, the wind will often push balls from left to right most of the time. Therefore, golfers must not start tee shots too far right which can easily find plenty of natural hazards lying in wait.

The 16th on the Atlantic Course provides the ultimate combination of scenic beauty and consummate golf skill blended together in an engaging manner.

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