Golfers heading to the idyllic destination of Madeira will be treated to an enhanced playing experience from this autumn after the completion of a major course upgrade at Clube de Golf Santo da Serra – one of three 18-hole courses in the Portuguese islands.
The popular 27-hole venue has followed the example of Palheiro Golf and Porto Santo Golf by implementing a new, sustainable eco-strategy, with all the improvements set to be completed in time to reopen in November.
At the heart of Club de Golfe Santo da Serra’s improvement plan on its three nine-hole layouts – Machico, Desertas and Serras – is the installation of a new state-of-the-art irrigation system, reducing its water consumption by around 66 per cent so that just 750m³ a day is now needed to help ensure optimum course conditions all-year round.
In addition, the club has renovated the four on-course lakes that it uses for irrigation, installing an interconnecting system between all of them to improve access to water so that all areas of the club can easily be watered whenever necessary. It is estimated that the combined capacity of the lakes is around 40,000m³, a volume that will reinforce the storage capacity of the Lagoa do Santo system.
Ricardo Vieira, sales and marketing director at Clube de Golf Santo da Serra, said: “With the club and the island proving to be extremely popular to golfers this year, we are very pleased to have the full 27-holes open for our peak season from November and are looking forward to welcoming even more golfers back to the club this winter and many new visitors discovering golf in Madeira for the first time. We are delighted with the work carried out so far and can’t wait to see the further improvement in course conditioning following this significant investment.”
Porto Santo Golfe recently strengthened its association with nature when the island that it is named after became a UNESCO biosphere reserve – one of 25 new locations named in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.
Designed by Seve Ballesteros and host of the Madeira Islands Open in 2009 and 2011, the club is the perfect example of the harmony between human activity and wildlife. Dotted with lakes and natural habitats within the course, the northern route of the course is set atop fantastic cliffs and near the stunning Porto Santo beach. Diverse marine life thrives nearby, including the loggerhead sea turtle and the rarest seal in the world, the Mediterranean monk seal.
And Palheiro Golf is also working hard to deliver increased sustainability in and around the golf course. As well as registering with the Golf Environment Organisation, the venue has dramatically reduced the carbon footprint of the course by using a black sand endemic to Madeira in all its bunkers, while future plans include the purchase of new golf-course maintenance machinery and updating its irrigation system.
Located approximately 1,000km from the European mainland – and just 500km from the African continent – the islands enjoy an amazingly mild climate, ranging from 25°c in the summer to 17°c in the winter, with very mild average temperatures and moderate humidity, making it the perfect year-round destination for a golf break.
Golfers from the UK and across northern Europe headed to Madeira in increasing numbers last autumn to enjoy its world-class golf courses and many other attractions.
The best way to enjoy the archipelago’s golf is with a Madeira Golf Passport which, providing holders with an unrivalled golf experience, is available to both individuals and groups and can be booked on a three or five-round basis.