The Dunas Course at Terras Da Comporta on pace for 2023 grand opening

Mark McGowan
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The Dunas Course 13th tee

Preparations for the opening of the much-anticipated Dunas Course at Terras da Comporta next summer are moving into top gear with the new Portuguese golf destination starting to fine-tune the playing surfaces ahead of the official ribbon-cutting.

Acclaimed architect David McLay-Kidd’s first mainland Europe design is primed to become one of the region’s top courses. The designer, best known for the creation of Oregon’s Bandon Dunes, wanted to create a golf course that would be equally fun to play for players of all level, while still challenging enough to draw high-quality players and high-quality events.

An hour south of Lisbon, on the secluded coast alongside the Sado Estuary Nature Reserve, The Dunas Course is the first of two championship layouts that will complete the Terras da Comporta resort.

Created over 84 hectares of natural, sandy terrain, the par-71 Dunas Course has been built using the highest sustainable practices and is expected to be in high demand when it opens.

Originally launched in 2010, the project was delayed for several years after the 2014 collapse of Portuguese bank Banco Espírito Santo, before being resurrected by Vanguard Properties – Portugal’s largest real-estate developer – following their 2019 purchase.

The illuviated soil will give the Dunas Course a links-style feel, with heavily contoured greens and fairways promoting a more traditional ‘firm and fast’ style of play, and the coastal setting will see wind be a significant factor on several holes at least.

The Torre Course – the second planned course at Terras da Comporta – will offer a starkly contrasting challenge, with the Jose Maria Olazabel and Sergio Garcia collaboration set to weave through a natural pine forest overlooking the nature reserve and the Atlantic Ocean. The construction of The Torre Course is scheduled to begin once The Dunas Course is fully completed and open for play.

With the Dunas course’s ‘soft-opening’ approaching, delicate preparations have been ramped up and the recent €1 million investment on John Deere’s cutting-edge mowing machinery is proof that the July 2023 official opening remains on course.

Complementing The Dunas Course will be a newly-built clubhouse and golf academy, complete with all the practice facilities one might expect at a modern-day championship golf course.

Away from the fairways, all the typical maritime activities are available in the locale, along with an array of additional activities including horse-riding, wellness and various other sporting pursuits.

The site also offers a wide range of plots for hotels, tourist and residential condominiums, and other associated developments, the demands for which are expected to be high once The Dunas Course’s appeal is realised.

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