Top 100 Golf Courses Europe 2015
Lisbon, Portugal | Par 72 | 6,648 yards
CB Laid out in two loops of nine, Aroeira 1 was dubbed the 'Wentworth of Lisbon' in the '80s but has in truth more of a feel of Woburn. It enjoyably winds between towering pine trees yet is never claustrophobic.
GW VERDICT A delightful experience on a course in peak condition, Aroeira's presence in this Top 100 is a reward for recent upgrades.
Amsterdam, NL | Par 72 | 7,174 yards
CB A real triumph for it to stay in the Top 100 because locals insist the site was very modest. What the pros do on this skilfully-manufactured course in the 2016 KLM Open will be interesting.
GW VERDICT Strong layout incorporating undulating mounding, lakes, streams, canals, penal run-offs and tiered greens.
Belek, Turkey | Par 72 | 7,134 yards
PG Very entertaining. Intriguing 9th and 18th. Some housing encroachment but in great condition and a Top 100 course for me.
GW VERDICT Another Monty/EGD design, this time with Gary Johnston. In superb nick and outwith the odd short 8th, it is consistently high calibre. Probably an overdue Top 100 elevation.
Landes, France | Par 71 | 6,568 yards
PG Very attractive as you think your way through the pines. Definitely a Top 100 course and could move up for my money.
CB A lovely English-feeling parkland course.
GW VERDICT Lacks the stand-out holes or scenery of others but a very pleasant, tranquil all-round test to this under-stated club's course.
Antwerp, Belgium | Par 73 | 6,780 yards
NB Belgium's oldest golf club started life in 1888 and plays over relatively flat terrain so while it is easy walking it provides challenge in the bunkering, trees and fast greens.
GW VERDICT Quietly exudes charm and character, Royal Antwerp has maintained a presence in our Top 100 for good reason..
Brussels, Belgium | Par 73 | 6,925 yards
NB La Marache is a mix of open and treelined parkland holes. Hawtree's 2010 renovation introduced top-quality greens and surrounds. 9th and 18th are fabulous closing holes.
GW VERDICT La Marache is testing, immaculate and with no two holes the same. Hints of St George's Hill and Worplesdon to a Belgian jewel.
Hameenlinna, Finland | Par 72 | 6,624 yards
TT This idyllic course offers a great variety of beautiful landscapes. The course is built on Vanajanlinna Manor grounds and takes full advantage of the splendid old woods.
GW VERDICT Noted for its conditioning and beauty, although there are some modest holes there are also plenty of excellent ones too.
La Manga (West)
La Manga, Spain | Par 72 | 6,347 yards
CB That La Manga has an entry is not a great surprise, as one of the best-known resorts in Europe. That it is the West will likely raise an eyebrow. It is tight and exacting, but is a refreshingly diff erent experience.
GW VERDICT Developed from nine to 18 holes in 1996, this tree-lined course might technically be 'resort golf' but it is one of the most strategic courses on the Continent.
Quinta do Lago (North)
Algarve, Portugal | Par 72 | 6,776 yards
JVP The redesign by Beau Welling with the help of Paul McGinley has transformed a good course into a challenging one. You will want to play it more than once – I can assure you of that.
GW VERDICT A new entry for a course totally revamped to great effect. Playable and pretty, it may well end up superceding its sister (South).
San Roque (Old)
Sotogrande, Spain | Par 72 | 7,101 yards
CB A classic name and a classic test among mature woodland and over rolling parkland. Water adds spice on a back nine which ends excitingly in front of the stately clubhouse.
GW VERDICT A little rise for the Old, which is very solid if unspectacular. The tough-as-teak New was close to joining it in the 100 too.