As a golfer who takes a lot of golf trips, some destinations can be routine and I look forward to some more than others. So when Portugal landed on my calendar, the excitement level was at a pretty solid 10/10 for several months. What excited me even more was that I was partnering with one of my favorite clothing brands, Bonobos. If possible, the excitement was boosted to another level with an off the charts Portugal golf crew. Since we were all outfitted by Bonobos in Portugal Pants, polos, and shorts, this post is going to score off the charts with style points. Now normally I like to start out a blog post with a stunning golf course photo, but in this case, the Portugal pants must be displayed.
After jumping a smooth flight with TAP Air Portugal, the stunning golf views would come the very next day at Oitavos Dunes. Rated as a top 100 golf course in the world, the anticipation for Oitavos was high and the dunes did not disappoint. The course was only matched by our top notch golf crew. Below you will find the golf roster. A golf roster this powerful is best read while listening to AC/DC, so please crank up the “Shoot to Thrill” and review your lineup.
Patrick Koenig - Golf Photographer, Golf High Kicker, Local Golf Enthusiast, #1 Male Model, Golf Idiot.
Brodie Smith - Legend of the Frisbee, YouTube Star, Golfball Bomber, has his own Wikipedia page.
Blair Wheeler - Surf Stud, #2 Male Model, Master of Style, 3 Putt Expert.
Ben Boskovich - Managing Editor, 12/10 “cool ranking” for entire 2015 year.
When you go golfing with Brodie Smith, you don’t just play a normal round of golf. Since Brodie is a big deal on the YouTubes, almost every shot on this trip was filmed. We were constantly rolling commentary and filming ourselves in good, bad, and sometimes awful predicaments. While it is a lot of fun to do, it takes up a lot of time and can be very distracting to playing actual quality golf. Between the jet lag and the YouTube production efforts, I had the perfect excuse for my horrid play at Oitavos Dunes. I made a snowman right out of the gate and never looked back.
What didn’t suffer was the amount of enjoyment I took from playing golf in a new country and on a new World Top 100 golf course. There are some really good holes out at Oitavos Dunes and you can see why it is ranked as the country’s best golf course. Some of my favorites include the drivable par 4 11th hole, the par 5 8th and the back to back par 3’s on 14 and 15.
For our stay in Quinta da Marinha, the golf crew had a little golf house at the Sheraton Cascais Resort. My only grumble with the property was that we couldn’t stay and enjoy the place for a week. The 4 bedroom suite was perfect for golfers visiting and playing the Oitavos Dunes course. The next day, we disembarked from our living quarters and got right back to pants modeling the portugal pants by Bonobos at Dom Pedro Golf.
With five courses at Dom Pedro Golf, there was plenty of championship caliber golf awaiting our group. We were scheduled to play the renowned Victoria course. In 2015, the World Cup of Golf was played on the Victoria course and it has been the home of the Portugal Masters since 2007. However, the big honor would come in early June of 2019, when it would host the first ever Portugal Pants Cup sponsored by Bonobos. Oddly enough, pants were optional.
The Portugal Pants Cup, or PPC, is a total team score match play format. It was Brodie and Blair vs. Ben and I. Despite being constantly ridiculed for having the only first name not starting with the letter B, I was hanging around and making some putts to keep things close. After 17 holes, the Portugal Pants Cup was all even. The tough par 4 finishing hole was going to decide the outcome.
Like a man in charge, I stepped right up to the tee and hooked one into the lake. I remember it made a significantly larger than normal splash that really got some oohs and ahhhs from the opposing team. I teed it up again and hit one down the middle. “Did it really have to make such a huge splash like that?” I wondered to myself as I headed back to the golf cart.
Not to be outdone, Blair suffered a lost ball penalty off of the tee which kept things close, then Ben made up some ground with a killer approach shot. Slowly we were inching back into the hole. Brodie did some stuff and then Blair did some other stuff, to keep it short, a lot of things happened on that 18th hole. However, it came down to my bogie putt from the fringe. In one of my finest Portugal putts of all time, I rolled in that 30 footer for bogie and celebrated like we had just won the Portugal Pants Cup… which we had.
Up next was a visit to the cliffs of Portugal, to be specific the Pine Cliffs of Portugal. This resort features a stunning cliffside beach and one of the most fun short courses I have played. Even though there are only 9 holes at Pine Cliffs, each one will hold your interest and captivate you with the views.
The resort itself is also freaking amazing. With easy access to the beach (you have to take an elevator down the cliffside), and a handful of amazing restaurants on the property, you won’t run out of things to do for quite some time. Even when all of the restaurants and evening activities subsided our crew wandered out onto the 9th hole for some night golf putting competition. That Brodie Smith guy won both nights.
When I hit my four iron into the 6th hole at @pinecliffs I heard a roar from the forward tees. It wasn’t just a 1 foot roar, it was an ace roar. Since you can’t see the bottom of the hole from the tee, I asked “Did it go in!?” “Maybe, it one hopped and disappeared, man!” “I think it’s in!!” @brodiesmith21 @benbosk @blairwheeler couldn’t confirm the ace but they were fairly certain that it went in. When we got up to the hole we found the golf ball in the bottom of the cup and I started running around like a madman. The problem was that I was the only one screaming like an idiot. Brodie, Ben, and Blair were just standing there with bummed out looks on their faces. That’s when it hit me, “Oh you sons of guns!” Unbeknownst to me, they had sent a scout to put my tee shot into the hole and I fell for the ace prank hard. At least I looked real classy in my @bonobosgolf apparel. FYI: ”sons of guns.” has been edited for internet decency.
After our time at The Pine Cliffs resort was up, it was time to head back into Lisbon to do some exploring. After we checked into the super fancy Pestana CR7, we got some lunch, turned down numerous (15) offers for marijuana, and hit the streets of Lisbon to explore the city. Most of the townspeople speak Portuguese, which is kind of like Spanish but an entirely different language.
My favorite story dealing with that language barrier comes from an art store tucked into an old Lisbon side street. Brodie was looking for a painting of a horse to go with his DarkHorse themed logo. After a little explanation, the store owner recognized the word ‘horse.’ Excitedly, he came over and started quickly rummaging through a large pile of paintings he had created. One after the other, he handed paintings of horses to Brodie. “Horse! Horse! Horse!” he then paused and rapidly flipped through several more paintings. “Horse!” Then another pause and more shuffling. “Horse! Horse!” “Ok, I think I got enough here.” replied Brodie. Brodie purchased one of the dozen horse paintings and we happily left the store. It was a good moment in horse history.
When we were traveling back into Lisbon, Brodie asked me, “We got a free morning, should we just call up a random course and see what we find?” “Absolutely” was my response. We decided to check out a local course called Lisbon Sports Club. I chose the golf course solely on the fact that it had a cool name and it was old… 1922 old. “Worse case, we still get to play golf, right?”
As we piled out of the Uber the next morning at Lisbon Sports Club, we were immediately greeted by a goat. That is when I knew that our gamble was going to pay off big time. After following our goat to the first tee, I took one look at the opening par 3, grabbed my camera and smiled. This was going to be fun.
While the quality of play was uninspired from both Brodie and myself, the round of golf was a lot of fun. Each hole had a ton of character with a hint of golden age architecture. Some holes were quirky, some holes had castle remains, and some had blind shots. Every one of the holes felt like a new experience. At this point, I have played over 900 golf courses and seen around 16,200 golf holes. However, “I’ve never seen a hole quite like this one” was muttered at least a dozen times.
After a perfect week of weather it began to rain as we finished up our round at Lisbon Sports Club. To escape the rain, we quickly holed out our bogie putts and headed to airport. The good news… it was upgrade time!
In all of my travels, I have never flown first class, business class, or any sort of class for that matter. That all changed on the flight from Lisbon to New York with TAP Air Portugal. You can lay down, the television is bigger, the have a full desk for all of your stuff, they even give you a little gift bag . It is full luxury! For the first time in my history of flying, I was bummed out when the plane touched down. “Awww man, you mean we have to leave now?” Yes, unfortunately, the Portugal Pants party post has come to an end.