West Cliffs Golf Links has been hailed as one of the new stars of European golf, and been tipped to become the number one golf course in Portugal, after being unveiled to widespread approval this month.
Located less than an hour north of Lisbon on the magnificent Silver Coast, West Cliffs has been designed by Cynthia Dye ASGCA, from the world-renowned golf architecture company Dye Designs Group, and is the continent’s most talked-about new golf course design project.
The first Dye golf course in Portugal – and only the fourth in Europe – the spectacular par-72 clifftop links has been created over 200 hectares of natural landscape, rolling sand dunes and coastal vegetation, and offers sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean from each hole.
Dye flew in from her home in Colorado, USA, to officially open the layout to a select audience of key European tour operators, media and local dignitaries, and they delivered a unanimous verdict after accepting the exclusive invitation to be one of the first people to play the course.
Adam Lawrence, editor of Golf Course Architecture magazine and principal of Oxford Golf Consulting, said: “West Cliffs occupies possibly the best piece of golfing ground I have seen in mainland Europe. The design is very strong and sits lightly on the natural terrain. All in all I think the course is a strong contender for the title of best in Portugal.”
Andy Newmarch, editor of the respected Top 100 Golf Courses website, said: “West Cliffs is one of the very best European openings in recent years, if not the best.
“It’s exciting and dramatic, with quality holes from start to finish, and is simply exhilarating to play. There is no doubt in my mind that it is set to become a big hitter on the European golf scene over the coming years.”
Construction work on West Cliffs began in February last year, with Dye and her team working in close collaboration with the local government to ensure minimum disruption to the environment, and to create a harmonious and sustainable links in an enviable location.
Fitting seamlessly into its natural surroundings, West Cliffs measures a testing 7,003 yards in length but, thanks its modern design and a choice of several sets of tees, it guarantees accessibility to golfers of all abilities.
Dye said: “This has been an incredible project to be involved in, right from the moment when I first visited the site and saw what was possible 14 years ago.
“With its amazing location and terrain, West Cliffs is the most fantastic natural golf course site imaginable. The course was really already there for us, and it was our job to shape the holes to create an incredible dramatic experience for everyone that plays it.
“With a number of different ways to play each hole and the wide choice of tees, we believe that we have designed a course that golfers will want to play time and time again, and it’s a real pleasure for us to receive such great initial feedback.”
Complementing the West Cliffs course is the golf academy that provides the ideal atmosphere for players to warm-up, learn and improve, while a stylish and eco-friendly clubhouse offers guests exclusive panoramic views of the course and the Atlantic Ocean beyond from three sides of the glass-fronted building.
West Cliffs is being managed by Praia D’El Rey – one of Europe’s leading resorts – which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this summer. Situated less than 10 minutes’ drive from West Cliffs, Praia D’El Rey offers an eclectic and ever-growing range of services and activities attracting the golf, sports and leisure markets.
Francisco Cadete, director of golf at West Cliffs Golf Links, added: “West Cliffs is a truly wonderful golfing experience that can be enjoyed by players of all levels.
“We’ve already received a lot of interest and bookings from all over Europe, and the combination of playing the new links with the championship course on offer at Praia D’El Rey makes the resort a very attractive proposition for players seeking a five-star golfing break.”
West Cliffs Golf Links www.westcliffs.com
Praia D’El Rey www.praia-del-rey.com
Dye Designs www.dyedesigns.com