2nd green from the top of the hillDown hill to the stunning 7th hole Trees protecting the par 3, 12 hole
I have to say I am so looking forward to playing course no2 at Riba Golfe. If itís half as good as Riba Golfe 1 then Iím in for a treat. I step on to the first tee and itís like being at your own private club Ė there is not a soul about and I have the course to myself. The sun is shining and the only irritant is the midges that seem to think they have a walking (well riding Ė I do have a buggy) smorgasbord to eat for the next 18 holes.
I crack the new TaylorMade SLDR driver down the middle of the fairway as the echo of the impact rattles round the ancient cork trees. The course is in wonderful condition and is very lush and green.
The course opens up with a par-5 and gives you a nice chance to start your round with a birdie and, for the longer hitters among you, a good chance at an eagle. One of the first things you are going to notice is that the greens are smaller and more undulating than Riba Golfe 1, so being in the right part of the green is very important. The other major difference is the length Ė Riba Golfe 2 is shorter than Riba Golfe 1 and you will not need to hit driver so many times. Being in the right position to get at the flag on these tricky greens is a lot more important than distance.
The second is another great birdie chance and you can get away with hitting iron from the tee on this 361-yard hole to the top of the hill which will give you a great view of this tricky little green protected by an old cork tree on the left and two bunkers on the right. You really need to be on the right side of the fairway to have a go at the flag. The next run of holes has two tough par-3s among them before you get to the 360-yard sixth. Again position is all-important to get at a green that lays across you, presenting a very shallow piece of green to aim at. Oh, and did I say you have to carry some water to get to itÖ?
The great holes keep on coming, and as the front nine comes to a close Iím reminded of the whispers from one or two people preferring Riba 2 to Riba1, and I have to say as I hit the back nine I am inclined to agree with them. I donít think there is a lot in it and itís going to come down to what suits your eye and how you like a course to be set up.
The back nine on Riba Golfe 2 is just as good as the front with some great par-3s. In fact there is not a weak par-3 on this track, and a great risk-and-reward hole on the par-5 13th where you play your second shot to a green that has water running all along the right hand side of the fairway and green for the second shot.
I putt out on the par-5 18th green which is a great birdie chance. If you get a good drive away you could find yourself over an eagle putt Ė itíd be a fitting way to end what is another great course in the Lisbon area.
What I would say about Riba Golfe is: make sure you play both courses but if you want a personal recommendation, I would say go for Riba 2. The added bonus would be that most people will be playing Riba 1 and youíll probably have the course to yourself, just like I have today.
Water along the par 5 13th hole © RibaGolf and James Mason