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Sunrise at Dunas Comporta

The Dunas Course at Terras da Comporta to be unveiled to the golfing world

September 6, 2023

All eyes will be on Portugal this fall as David McLay-Kidd’s much-anticipated first golf design project in continental Europe, The Dunas Course at Terras da Comporta, receives its global premiere.

Fifteen years after first starting work on the development near Lisbon, McLay-Kidd will be present in October to see the owners, Vanguard Properties, cut the ribbon and officially inaugurate the par-71 layout.

Much has happened since the acclaimed architect first viewed the site an 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.

“I first came here in 2008 and it’s absolutely stunning,” said McLay-Kidd, whose other designs include Bandon Dunes, Queenwood, Beaverbrook, Machrihanish Dunes, and the Castle Course at St. Andrews.

“If you look at any top 100 list, it is peppered by golf courses that are through pine, barren sand dunes – from the courses in Melbourne, Australia, to the courses in Long Island in the US and the stuff around the British and Irish coastline, they are generally through sand and through vegetation, and so here we are in southern Europe in Portugal with exactly that type of terrain, and yet no golf course has really capitalized on that. This is a massive opportunity for golf to build something that is unique in southern Europe.

“I’ve been asked how I would characterize the course and I would say it’s easy to categorize, it’s a links course. It’s not links-style, it’s not links-like, it’s a links course. 

“The thing that is really great for me is that this is open to the public. I get to build courses but, more often than not, they are very, very private and no one gets to see them, so 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.”

Situated one hour south of Lisbon, The Dunas Course has been created over 84 hectares of natural, sandy terrain on the coast in a secluded setting on the edge of the Sado Estuary Nature Reserve. The layout has been open to the public to play on a limited basis since June 1, with the official course inauguration taking place at the beginning of October.

The Dunas Course is one of two 18-hole championship layouts that is planned at the multi-million euro Terras da Comporta development with a second course, The Torre, being designed by Sergio Garcia and set to follow in 2025.

Vanguard Properties, the largest real estate developer in Portugal, 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 horseriding, wellness, and sailing, with a wide range of plots for hotels, tourist and residential condominiums also on offer.

To play The Dunas Course, as part of a Portugal Tour, speak to our Golf Travel Specialists on 866 260 4409 or email [email protected]