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Estela Golf Course

Estela golf course, Porto , Portugal

The Estela course is built on a three kilometre long stretch of sand dunes on the beautiful Minho coast line. This is one of the Portuguese golf links that secured a high reputation for itself when it was selected to host two events in the European Professionals' Circuit.

Text provided by the Portuguese Tourist Office

Plan of Estela golf course Situated near a lively summer resort, Povoa de Varzim, and only 15 minutes from Porto's Francisco Sa Carneiro international airport, the Estela course was inaugurated in January 1989.

Designed by Portuguese architect Duarte Sottomayor, the course is a typical links following the Scottish tradition with only one difference: Bermuda grass.

Built over three kilometres of beautiful dunes on the Minho coast line, it provides breathtaking views over the Atlantic. Two big lakes add to the beauty of the course, which can become quite challenging when the wind is blowing.

Inaccurate drives will be punished by landing in the sand-dunes and on almost every occasion a ball lands off the fairway, there is little chance of reaching the green with the second shot.

Despite being one of the newest golf courses in Portugal, it has already hosted two events in the European Professionals' Circuit: in 1990 the Atlantico / Vinho Verde cup was won by the Scot, Stephen McAllister, in a play-off that involved six players: in 1991 it hosted the Portuguese Open in which the Briton, Steven Richardson triumphed.

This course is featured in an article on the site of written by their staffwriter, Carla Harvey, which is reproduced below :

"To be perfectly frank, I explored Estela Golf Course in a fog that would have put ‘Wuthering Heights’ to shame. Still, I knew that I was next to the sea because I could smell the delicious salt tang of it.  As I was in a golf buggy, I must be on a golf course.  And taking this little tale to its logical conclusion, Estela is the only links course in northern Portugal; therefore here am I. All of this aside, locals advised playing the course during the summer months after mid-day, by which time the mist has been burned off by the sun.

Returning the next afternoon to see what I had missed in terms of a view, I was impressed. Greens were planned to make the most of these vistas: most are elevated. The Minho coastline is startling and Estela follows it for some three kilometres. Water is omnipresent with two lakes adding to the challenge. It is the wind, however that is most influential on play – that and the sand dunes lying seaside of many fairways. One such hole is 5, a Par 5 which almost begs you to shoot out of bounds. Number 13 is also tricky: long and hugging the dunes, it requires thoughtful accuracy. Heading for the green on 10 means heading for the bunkers, as three sides of the green are fraught with them.

Estela has a sophisticated restaurant and bar area that take full advantage of the views, a good pro shop and spacious changing areas. The course is one of the few visited that is easily played without a buggy."

Duarte Sottomayor
Number of Holes
6,300 metres
Rio Alto, Estela, 4990 Povoa de Varzim
(+ 351 )  252 601 814/567
(+ 351)  252 612 701
Driving range - Putting green - Golf Shop - Sauna - Restaurant - Bar
Coming from Porto on the IC1 follow the EN13 to Esposende then turn left to Rio Alto
Handicap required
Men  - Ladies
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