I am still under the spell of Mike Keiser’s book The Nature of the Game: Links Golf at Bandon Dunes and Far Beyond. I believe links courses are far more exciting and closer to the authentic form of the game than other golf course types.
Not to mention how much such courses are closer to nature and look natural. If I have to summarize Tom Doak, Bill Coore, Ben Crenshaw, and David McLay-Kidd in one or two words I would say, minimalist golf course architecture with a sustainability focus.
David McLay-Kidd can rightly be excited as his first golf course in mainland Europe – The Dunas Course (links-style) at Terras da Comporta in Portugal – will be officially launched next summer.
If his name does not sound familiar to you, here are his most famous works.
- Bandon Dunes,
- Machrihanish Dunes, and
- the Castle Course at St. Andrews.
McLay-Kidd teamed up with Vanguard Properties – the largest real estate developer in Portugal on this design project.
In the Terras da Comporta project all sides had to be patient. McLay-Kidd originally launched the links-style Dunas Course, which is situated one hour south of Lisbon, in 2010.
Situated on the coast in a secluded setting on the edge of the Sado Estuary Nature Reserve, The Dunas Course is one of two 18-hole championship layouts that is planned as part of the multi-million euro development.
Created over 84 hectares of natural, sandy terrain, the par-71 Dunas Course has been built using the highest sustainable practices and is predicted to quickly become of Europe’s must-play golfing venues when it opens.
An international, multi-discipline panel of consultants from recognized companies in the area like Bioregional, IISBE International and IISBE Portugal (University of Minho). This independent team was coordinated by the Portuguese office of sustainability GreenLab.
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 comprises 365 hectares of land in the Alcácer do Sal municipality, and
- Dunas occupies around 1,011 hectares of land in the Grândola municipality.
Complementing The Dunas Course will be a new clubhouse and golf academy. Away from the fairways, an array of lifestyle activities will be available including horseriding, wellness, and sailing, with a wide range of plots for hotels, tourist, and residential condominiums also on offer.