In this month’s Golf World magazine they have published their ranking list of Continental Europe’s Top 100 golf courses and there is a new entry at number 25 – West Cliffs Golf Links at Obidos, a course that is about an hours drive north of Lisbon. This is a remarkable achievement for a course that only opened this year but when you visit it you will see that, if anything, it could have been ranked even higher. It is certainly the best “new” course we have seen in years and it has been so skilfully designed that it looks like it has been here for ever.
If your surname is Dye and you are part of one of golfs leading golf course design families then it would be fair to assume that you may have inherited some of the families genius but here Cynthia Dye has exceeded all expectations in producing a masterpiece of design that her uncle, the legendary Pete Dye, would be extremely proud of. She has moulded 18 great golf holes through natural rolling sand dunes and coastal vegetation, most of which offer a view of the Atlantic Ocean.
From the very back tees it is around 7000 yards with long carries over gorse and scrub but as compensation from some of the elevated tees you get an amazing view of the Ocean. Thankfully for us lesser golfers there are 5 different tees to play from so that no matter what your ability, you can have an enjoyable round. Standing on the tees the fairways look quite narrow but that’s an illusion as there is actually plenty of room to find the fairway and from an elevated tee it’s a great sight to see your golf ball fly through the air into a clear blue sky with the Atlantic as a backdrop before landing on the excellent fairways.
Virtually every hole offers a photo opportunity and before playing looking at the scorecard you might think that the par 3’s are on the short side and offer the best opportunity for scoring. However, they are proof that no matter what the yardage if they are well designed they can be fiendishly difficult and here the undulating greens and well positioned bunkers make everyone a challenge. Our favourite hole kept changing the further the round went on as each one represented a different challenge and spectacular view. When you get to the 18th you think it just couldn’t get any better but this is one of the best finishing holes in Portugal. You stand on an elevated tee looking down to a well guarded fairway and if you hit that you are then presented with a second shot over a lake onto an undulating green. Get a 4 there and you will walk off with a smile on your face.
There is a an excellent modern designed clubhouse and as the complex is managed by the team at Praia D’el Rey, top quality service is assured.
You will read about this course for years to come and it looks a natural to stage professional tournaments so why not go there now and be amongst the first to experience a round of golf you will remember for the rest of your life.