The beautiful trophy room in the Oporto clubhouse with the Skeffington Cup
I am on my way to play the second oldest golf course outside of the UK and Ireland. Oporto Golf Club came to pass when some English port merchants scouted a piece of land next to the sea just outside of Porto in 1890, and as you can imagine in those days like all the great links courses in Scotland, Ireland and England it sat right next to the railway. As I pull in to the car park and spot the caddy shed and clubhouse, you can just imagine in a bygone era the sound of the steam train blowing its horn for the caddies to make their way down to the station to pick up the port merchants and their guests' bags for the days golf.
The clubhouse is something to behold, especially the trophy room which is part of the lounge, with the oak panelling and leather sofas either side of the open fire and the oak writing desk in the corner, I would have loved to have just reclined in one of those sofas with an old pipe or cigar just soaking up the history of the place.
The sea is never really in site while you play the course, you can hear the roar of the waves crashing on the shore and that beautiful salt taste in the air that just seems so right when you play a links course.
The course is fairly flat, but there are some nice holes, with the back nine just being the better nine in my opinion. If you suffer from a hook, the start is very tough with out of bounds running along the left of the first few holes. There are some really nice golf holes here and some enjoyable par 3s, but I have to say the course needs some TLC, but donít get me wrong the greens are perfect as are most of the tee boxes and landing areas on the fairways. Itís around the teeing areas that could do with some reseeding.
If you are coming to Porto to play golf or just to enjoy the beautiful city and to add in a bit of golf, I think itís a must play course because of where it stands in the history of the game. I think we all have to remember in countries that have a hot climate grass doesnít grow as quickly or as dense as we are used to, and if you are a golfer that can look beyond that then you will love the Oporto Golf Club and what it represents, you can also play in the oldest unbroken open golf tournament in the world, called the Skeffington Cup, so you could really write your name into the history books of this beautiful little club.
One of the few trees at the 2ndLooking back down the 11thHeading home the 17th
The opening hole gives you a great chance to get off to a good start, if you don't go OOB!!