In my opinion, one of the best and most beautiful courses in Portugal is Oitavos Dunes. According to several websites it is among the top ten in Portugal and I can 100% see why.
Designed by renowned American architect Arthur Hills, it’s a relatively new links course, with a mixture of beautiful views, rolling landscape, woodland and links’ elements. You can see the Atlantic Ocean from pretty much every hole on the back 9 and not surprising considering its the most westerly course in mainland Europe. The par 71 golf course with its 6300 meters off the championship tees is a real beast from a sporting point of view. Wind and narrow fairways are combined with lots of sand and pine needles, it makes it a tough test if you don’t hit the short stuff!
Personally, I loved Oitavos Dunes. Every hole is different. It’s great that the first four holes ease you into the course. Gradually, the difficulty level increases. From hole to hole wind becomes more of a factor, especially on the final holes where the views of the mountains and coastal landscape of Sintra are at their most beautiful.
There are plenty of terrific holes to talk about. But, hole no. 14 is in my eyes the absolute Goodsundays.com signature hole. Possibly for everyone else too!! This fiery 153 metre par 3, is played most of the time into the wind and is therefore always a bit longer than expected. Hitting the small green is a tough ask and if you don’t, then beware. A par is always a good result.
Both the 17th and 18th are really naughty. The 17th is reasonably straight forward until the approach. What a well-protected green! The 18th a real belter. Several rounds will be decided here. A dogleg left and a narrow fairway. In addition the elephant back green can be a bit mean, but what a challenge.
Oitavos Dunes has already hosted the Open da Portugal a couple of times and this year it hosts the European Tour GolfSixes. It will be brilliant to watch. Unfortunately, I can’t make it, but perhaps you have time to check it out, or , even better, play it later in the year.