Ribagolfe takes plaudits for qualifying school hosting

Ribagolfe, near Lisbon, Portugal, has been praised for its excellent condition and facilities, by both competitors and organisers, after staging the first round of European Tour Qualifying School for the eighth year running.

The event saw 24 golfers qualify for the next stage, led by England’s 27-year-old Henry Smart. Also included in the list of players heading through was the son of 10-time PGA Tour winner Mark McCumber, 25-year-old Tyler McCumber, while local success came in the form of Portugal’s Cascais-born Tiago Cruz. 

Cruz, 34, was particularly effusive about the course – which is managed by ORIZONTE – Lisbon Golf. He said: “The people at Ribagolfe are very friendly and hardworking. And it’s always nice to play Ribagolfe because I know it is a fair test and it separates the good player from the bad.

“If you make a bad shot you are penalised; but if you make good shots you can make birdie because the greens allow you to – what matters is the roll of the ball.”

His sentiments were echoed by the European Tour’s tournament director, Kevin Feeney, who said: “Special thanks to all the team for their tireless work. It has fast become one of my favourite weeks of the year, not only is it an excellent golf course but the people are the ones that make it … (they) are always available and willing to help with anything we need. It makes a big difference to have such support when you are a small team.”

Once described as the ‘Valderrama of Portugal’, Ribagolfe I provides a superb test of golf in a unique and natural setting 40 minutes from Lisbon.

Designers Peter Townsend and European Golf Design were blessed with a beautiful piece of virgin cork oak forest and created a championship layout with superb, oversized greens and a length of 7,370 yards from the back tees.

Ribagolfe I has hosted the first stage of the European Tour Qualifying School since 2009.

ORIZONTE – Lisbon Golf offers the chance to play six of the leading courses in close proximity to Portugal’s capital in the beautiful Costa Azul region together with exceptional value for money on a wide range of accommodation options.

Included among its courses are Quinta do Peru Golf & Country Club, Ribagolfe – a host of the European Tour Qualifying School since 2009 – and Aroeira, twice the venue for the Portuguese Open and recently included among Europe’s Top 100 Courses.

n For a full list of ORIZONTE – Lisbon Golf packages, or to book, visit www.orizontegolf.com.