What if we had tested, in all simplicity, the future number 1 course in Portugal and a very large one in Europe. This is our state of mind after having visited the Dunas golf course twice in Terras da Comporta.

  • Dunas Golf hole 12 Terras da Comporta
    Dunas Golf hole 12 Terras da Comporta

The Dunas Golf course in Terras da Comporta.

Located in Comporta, 1 hours south of Lisbon, at the bottom of the Troia peninsula. This latest Lusitanian golf project had the greatest difficulties in seeing the light of day.

It all started in 2008. The creation of the course was entrusted to the Scottish architect David McLay-Kidd who was able to reveal the extent of his talent. The work begins and barely a year later and a few holes made the developer goes bankrupt and the designer is asked to return home. Like a sea serpent, we regularly announce the restart of work. It was only in 2019 that Vanguard Properties took over the reins and called David McLay-Kidd back to finish the job. The course opens in summer 2023.

The choice of location is crazy. Imagine dozens of hectares of pine forests nestled in the sandy dunes bordering the ocean (even if you never see it from the route). This is where Dunas Golf was born. Impossible to distinguish the route from the main road. To reach the facilities you still have to drive a good kilometer, because the gem is well hidden.

As an appetizer, a little warm-up on the magnificent training area. Huge putting green and welcoming approach areas, XXL driving range on grass and ball pyramids available. A little touch of the place, the deep shooting range takes up the iconic design of the course. Bryson and Rory can come, no chance of ending up out of bounds.

Dunas Golf practice JFB

Dunas Golf practice JFB

Before departure, a golf badge engraved with your name is given to you and will proudly sit on your bag for a very long time and will make your future playing partners envious of returning to your club.

Cart in hand, you can now head towards the 6 departure levels with deltas of approximately 50m ranging from 3847m (children) Tee 38 to 6646m (big fools) Tee 66. It is therefore very easy to adjust the positions of departure at his level. If you play in your category you will have a lot of fun. And if like us, you have the privilege of playing this course several times, change your tee balls. The experience will be totally different. You will feel like you are playing almost another course and will be faced with a new challenge.

Design, flawless maintenance of Dunas Golf

The feeling of quality felt in the warm-up areas is confirmed and even reinforced from the 1st tee. The fairways are flat and wide, bordered by a light, rather friendly rough which prevents your balls from sliding into the vast waste bunkers, sandy areas before the forest which act as real rough. If you land there, don't panic, enjoy the place which looks like a Japanese garden. A few plants here and there, stay calm. A good touch of the ball and that's it. The real danger is the bunkers, sneakily posted at the end of the drive or on the attacks of the greens. In our opinion, this is one of the key aspects of the course. Not necessarily on their placement but mainly for their fantastically natural look. Imagine a furious Godzilla tearing pieces of fairway down to the sandy bottom with his claws and fangs. The result is striking. Here no chiseled lips but the opposite of raw nature, crowned with lace of wild grass in a subtle balance of imbalance. Often very deep and generously, even a bit too much, filled with sand. Impossible not to see a connection with the Pinehurst Course #2, multiple host of the US Open (again in 2024).

Dunas Golf hole 1 bunker green JFB

Dunas Golf hole 1 bunker green JFB

At the end of the fairways, the Grail, rolling greens of fantastic quality. Immense, their depths vary from 30 to 50m, thus adding up to 4 clubs to catch the flag when it is placed at the bottom. If you find yourself on the green but far from the mast, the 3 putts will not be very far...

Dunas Golf green JFB

Dunas Golf green JFB

Hypnotic Dunas Golf

Impossible for us to highlight one or two signature holes, you will find at least ten. The par 3s are very successful, as are the pars 4 and 5. No hole is like the previous ones, straight, doglegs, climbs, descents. Almost no chance of seeing a ball land on your fairway as the holes are independent of each other. A single start a little Blind (the 12th) where, from the back-tees, we don't really see where to play.  That's it, I found a little flaw in it.

The best spot to soak in and feel the quintessence of the course is at the start of 15, a little overhanging at the end of the magnificent par 3 of 14. There, the green of the course stretches out before you, entwined and split by d Huge sandy areas flanked by sublime pine trees.

  • Dunas Golf hole 15 JFB
    Dunas Golf hole 15 JFB
Personally I had the chance to play some wonderful courses but Dunas Golf totally captivated me. I slip it into my top 5 without any problem. I remain convinced of the immense potential of the place and I am certain to soon see it number 1 in Portugal and in a good place in the European ranking.
The green fee, including the cart, access to the driving range and the course, is €185. It's a sum but in view of the services and prices charged by other golf courses in the same category, it's almost a gift. I'm afraid this rate won't last much longer. So believe me, go for it!

The magicians of Dunas Golf

Impressed by the quality of the land, I asked Rodrigo Ulrich the director to know his magic method. As a preamble he explains to me that the maintenance conditions of the course I have just played are the standard. This is the quality that every visitor must find throughout the year. Maintenance is carried out by a general green-keeper Joao Machado supported by a brigade of 24 gardeners and a hydrologist engineer solely dedicated to the meticulous management of water. Rodrigo has also become John Deere's best friend as brand new eponymous machines abound on the golf course. Add to that a commitment zero phyto, a variety of  grass that consumes little water and is resistant to heat and the highest environmental criteria are achieved here.

The Terras da Comporta Complex and its developments: 

Vanguard Properties, the developer, is only in the early stages of the project. During 2025, the second 18 holes, designed by Sergio Garcia, will be open. Then, one or two high-end hotels should emerge, accompanied by numerous villas. This will strengthen the currently limited accommodation offer around Comporta.

Tip for a golfing crescendo south of Lisbon:

If you are in the area for several days, a little golf combo Troy-Dunas is more than recommended. The Troia Peninsula  is home to a magnificent golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones which, far from serving as a foil, will put you in the best conditions to understand Dunas Golf. Located about 20 minutes from Terras da Comporta you will find there in addition to golf, hotels, marina, casino and numerous beaches.

Octant Hotel, for another idea of ​​stay

During our trip, we were accommodated south of Comporta about thirty minutes away in the charming village of Santiago do Cacem in Octant Hotel. Beautiful, modern establishment with swimming pool and benefiting from authentic catering highlighting local products and dishes. The hotel is a partner of Dunas golf and offers attractive packages.

4-night accommodation package Breakfast included
3 green fees with cart at Dunas golf
Price from 725€ per person, in a double room

Information on Terras da Comportas and Dunas Golf:


By Jean-Francois Ball