David McLay-Kidd’s first course on mainland Europe is set to be opened next July an hour south of Lisbon in Portugal.
The links-style Dunas Course at Terras da Comporta has been 12 years in the making, and is the result of acclaimed Scottish course designer McLay-Kidd teaming up with Vanguard properties, the largest real estate developer in Portugal. Set on the edge of the Sado Estuary Nature Reserve, the par-71 Dunas Course is one of two 18-hole championship layouts planned at the multi-million euro development.
“I’m super excited about the course and it is pretty much finished,” said McLay-Kidd of his first foray into continental Europe. “We are around seven months from a soft opening and, in the next few months, we’re going to be trimming up the bunkers and setting up the course so that it’s ready for players. And as part of that, I get to play to see how it feels after quite a few years of working on this project.
“It’s a lot of fun but it’s not easy by any means. It’s pretty challenging but it is forgiving if you get into trouble. You’ve got a chance to get back into the game, and how could you ever complain about the amazing weather in Portugal together with the beaches, the cafes, the food, the people. It’s all beautiful and I would encourage anyone to come and visit.”
McLay-Kidd counts the design of Bandon Dunes, Queenwood, Beaverbrook, Machrihanish Dunes and the Castle Course at St Andrews on his resume. His latest creation is built over 84 hectares of natural, sandy terrain using the highest sustainable practices, and is likely to quickly become one of the best golf courses in Portugal.
Rodrigo Ulrich, director of golf at Terras da Comporta, said: “What David has created here is truly special and golfers are in for a real treat. The course adheres to all his design principles – to create a layout that is as natural, seamless and sustainable as possible – and the way he has made full use of the terrain and location is incredible.”