Architect David McLay-Kidd flew in from his home in the United States to open the par-71 links layout near Lisbon – his first course in mainland Europe.
Watched by the owners of Terras da Comporta, Vanguard Properties, local dignitaries and national and international media, the world-acclaimed designer stepped up to strike the opening tee shot down the middle of the first fairway to launch an exciting new era for golf at Terras da Comporta and in Portugal.
José Cardoso Botelho, CEO of Vanguard Properties, Portugal’s largest real estate developer, said: “This is an amazing day, not just for everyone that has been involved in the Dunas project but for Portuguese golf in general.
“David has done an incredible job creating a course unlike any other in Portugal that golfers from all over the world will want to play, and one that will put Terras da Comporta firmly on the map as a new golf destination.”
McLay-Kidd first started work on The Dunas Course 15 years ago. Much has happened since the golf designer initially viewed the site one hour south of Lisbon in 2008, with the project having experienced a series of delays since then including a global pandemic and a worldwide recession.
But with Covid and other setbacks now firmly in the past, The Dunas Course is set to take the golf world by storm and McLay-Kidd believes there is no other layout like it in southern Europe.
“It’s been a real rollercoaster of a journey full of ups and downs but we’ve finally made it and I couldn’t be more excited,” said McLay-Kidd, whose other notable golf-course design projects include Bandon Dunes, Queenwood, Beaverbrook, Machrihanish Dunes and the Castle Course at St. Andrews.
“I’m very proud of what we’ve created here and I firmly believe that there is no other golf venue like this in this part of Europe. I’ve been asked how I would characterise the course and I would say that’s easy, it’s a links course.
“The thing that is really great for me is that this is open to the public and being able to build something like this that’s unique, so natural and is open to all at a reasonable price is great. I’m hoping that the course will fill with golfers quickly and be a showcase for links golf in southern Europe.”
Located on the coast in a secluded setting on the edge of the Sado Estuary Nature Reserve, The Dunas Course has been created over 84 hectares of natural, sandy terrain and has already earned widespread praise since opening for play on a limited basis at the start of June.
The Dunas Course is one of two 18-hole championship layouts that is planned at the exclusive Terras da Comporta development with a second course, The Torre, being designed by Sergio Garcia and set to follow in 2025.
Rodrigo Ulrich, director of golf at Terras da Comporta, said: “The Dunas Course is spectacular, both with its location and its design, and the great thing is that it’s only going to get better as it matures. It’s a pleasure and privilege for me to be associated with such an exciting golf development and we’re looking forward to welcoming golfers from all over Europe and beyond to play Portugal’s newest star.”
Vanguard Properties took ownership of the spectacular Terras da Comporta development in 2019 and the site features two plots: Torre, comprising 365 hectares of land in the Alcácer do Sal municipality, and Dunas, which occupies around 1,011 hectares of land in the Grândola municipality.
Complementing the golf facilities will be an array of lifestyle activities including horse-riding, wellness and sailing, with a wide range of plots for hotels, tourist and residential condominiums also on offer.
C/O IAGTO via Azalea