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If you are visiting Madeira for a golf break, a trip across to the beautiful island of Porto Santo (approx 2 hours by ferry from Funchal Port, or about 20 mins flight time from Cristiano Ronaldo Airport) is definitely a worthwhile addition to your Madeira golf holiday.

On arrival, the feeling is immediately of like being on a Caribbean island and the amazing beaches and hospitality only serve to add to this impression of Porto Santo.

The Severiano Ballesteros designed Porto Santo golf course is a classic Seve design with 6 x par 3’s, 6 x par 4’s and 6 x par 5’s and the usual “S” shaped Seve bunker, but what is different to most Ballesteros courses is the quite incredible layout of the back-9.

It is easy to be a little under-whelmed by the front-9 which is a typical American-style layout with wide fairways, generous landing areas and large rolling receptive greens, but just use this as a scoring opportunity because come the back-9 you may easily lose focus on your game as you traverse the cliff-tops and admire the views down to the mighty Atlantic far below.

Reminiscent of some of Ireland’s best seaside/clifftop layouts like Old Head for example, the back-9 at Porto Santo Golf Madeira is simply breathtaking.  The loop starts off with an excellent par-5 that rewards a 2 shot strategy over 2 separate lakes and then the next 4 or 5 holes cling to the cliff edges, with some tee shots over yawning chasms down to the sea boiling away below up to elevated greens ready to receive your ball and reward good putting.

What a loop of holes this is!  In fact when we played there in April, our whole group felt it was so spectacular and awe inspiring that we almost welcomed the relative normality of the closing couple of holes down to the clubhouse.  However, the 18th is a great test as well with a long approach over water to the green usually with a bunch of spectators high on the clubhouse terrace above!

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Par: 72
Max Length (Men): 6434m
Max Length (Ladies): 5357m
Designer: Severiano Ballesteros
Manager: Bruno Martins


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Porto Santo Golf Club

  • A classic Seve design
  • 6 par-3 holes
  • 6 par-4 holes
  • 6 par-5 holes
  • Highly recommended by The Golf Travel People