How Terras da Comporta is preparing for the grand opening in 2023?

By: December 15, 2022

I got very excited by the news that Terras da Comporta (Portugal), the first David McLay-Kidd-designed golf course in mainland Europe, will open next spring.

Therefore, I quickly contacted Rodrigo Ulrich – Golf Director, Terras da Comporta, Vanguard Properties – to learn more about the golf course development and the resort and their plans.

Terras da Comporta golf course a links course

Currently, particularly in the United States, we have seen a growing number of golfers wanting to play on David McLay-Kidd golf courses. Links courses bring golf back to its origins. As David says:

“Sand and sea are fundamental ingredients to great golf”.

If you consider Pebble Beach or St. Andrews, the sand, the breeze, and the shoreline are the elements man cannot create, they have to exist naturally.

The possibility of building a golf course on the sand surrounded by pine trees is very rare. This is what we have at Dunas Golf Course.

We believe that whoever plays this course will be overwhelmed by its beauty and challenge. We believe that golfers want to play beautiful, natural, uncontrived courses, that’s why links golf is golf at its best.

How should golf course developers select golf architects?

Jose Cardoso Botelho and Claude Berda chose David McLay-Kidd because he understands Vanguard’s vision.

At Terras da Comporta we have a unique piece of land and David McLay-Kidd is one of the top golf designers in the world (Bandon Dunes, Castle Course at St Andrews, Gamble Sands, etc).

He embeds his courses in the surroundings, respecting the natural slopes of the terrain, and has a sustainability and environmental responsibility mind, both part of our company’s culture

At Terras da Comporta, the cooperation with David started in 2009 when he did the initial layout. Our company after the acquisition believed in the merits of David. Hence, we asked him to “refresh/update his design” after 10 years to be able to finish the golf course. This is very rare.

David has been amazing throughout the process, helping whenever needed, giving guidance and he has a great relationship with the team. I visited Bandon Dunes this year and the same happens there.

Terras da Comporta golf course a links course during sunset

Could David McLay-Kidd repeat his previous success with the Terras da Comporta golf course?

We believe this is a David McLay-Kidd masterpiece – the site, location and design make it so. After the initial layout in 2014, it was abandoned until Vanguard bought it, so you have brand new grass with consolidated native areas which is unique.

We are also investing in a great team, and we want to set a new standard for client service at a golf course in Portugal.

What will you offer that does not exist in European golf clubs?

Both Terras da Comporta sites include hotels, touristic residences, and residences, plus services and sports facilities. In the services, we will provide

  • an amazing set of restaurants & bars,
  • a library,
  • cultural site,
  • events area,
  • health-care clinic,
  • international school,
  • food market,
  • shadow-kitchen,
  • wine-store and
  • many other plus 28 sports activities including golf, tennis, paddle, pickleball, fitness, yoga, and many others.

So, it will be a place where guests can live or just visit.

Dunas Course at Terras da Comporta 2

What technologies do you use to achieve sustainable golf course and golf club operations?

Dunas Golf Course is part of the Terras da Comporta development with two large plots in excess of 1,400 hectares in size. Perfectly integrated into the Comporta landscape, Terras da Comporta is designed to be a world-class development in terms of the environment, and social and governance aspects.

Sophisticated equipment is being used to

  • reduce the use of water and energy,
  • the use of wood frames and cross-laminated-based villas and buildings (NZEBS – net zero energy building) will make the development CO2 negative,
  • plus two large energetic communities will make Terras da Comporta as the most sustainable project in Europe.