The 8th hole, Mr Ross will certainly be please how the new 18 hole course turned out
As we come up the drive and pull up outside the Vidago Palace it really is a jaw dropping moment, the Palace which was commissioned by King Carlos I. At the time the waters of the town of Vidago were considered an asset of national interest and there are still many spas in the area today. As for King Carlos, he never got to enjoy the palace as he was assassinated on February 1 1908 by what became known as the Lisbon Regicide or O RegicŪdio de 1908.
For golfers what makes the Vidage Palace so special is because in 1936 a 9-hole golf course, designed by none other than Philip Mackenzie Ross opened for play. Since then there has been a major renovation of the course which was undertaken by golf course architects Cameron Powell in 2010.
It's a beautiful track with some stunning views none more so than on the 17th and 18th from the back tees, they are not only great golf holes but with the backdrop of the hills it makes them even more spectacular.
The first four holes are played through trees and then the course opens out until you get to the 15th which is a great par five, you then start to head back in among the foliage. As you would expect with a new course the greens are fast with lots of complexes and there are four teeing options. The par 3s are all very strong holes especially the 235-yard 18th, it really is a great finishing hole, but then I think the run of holes from 15th not only make it a tough test but one that you can enjoy along the way.
That is not to say the rest of the course isnít up to scratch, in fact the course doesnít really have too many weak holes. When I played the course we had intermittent rain and the course was that good it didnít even bother me. I was also lucky enough to see a double rainbow on the par-3 12th, hopefully it's a good omen that one day I will get back and be able to play the course in perfect sunshine. But come rain or shine I am sure Mr Ross will be more than happy with the renovations, I know you certainly will be.
The tree lined 4th holeStunning views at the 11thPlaying up to the 14th green