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World class welcome at Oitivos Dunes

To celebrate its place alongside the world’s greatest golf courses, Portugal’s Oitavos Dunes invites you to take advantage of a very special offer and experience its unique ‘Natural Links’ golf course in a breathtaking natural setting.

Have you ever dreamed of playing one of only three courses in Continental Europe to have been ranked among the Top 100 Golf Courses in the World – and at a very special price? A golf course that boasts a quaint village location and yet one that is within minutes of an international airport? A truly majestic links course playing alongside the ocean? Well, pack your clubs. Because Oitavos Dunes, just 30 minutes from the sophisticated city of Lisbon, Portugal, is waiting to book your tee-times!

Situated within Quinta da Marinha Original, Oitavos Dunes is considered the most exclusive and innovative golf and leisure development in Portugal. The Natural Links Golf Course was recently voted 88th on GOLF Magazine's (USA) 'Top 100 Golf Courses in the World' ranking – joining in such illustrious company as the Old Course at St Andrews, Pebble Beach, Augusta National and Valderrama. GOLF Magazine does not take its ranking lightly: from its panel of 100 independent experts – including major champions, celebrated architects, historians and connoisseurs – from 17 countries, no fewer than 24 made extended visits to Oitavos Dunes between 2005 and 2009 and their appreciation was reflected in their vote. Oitavos Dunes is the only GOLF Magazine world-ranked course in Portugal.

To celebrate this remarkable accomplishment, Oitavos Dunes is offering a special 'Top 100 Golf Package'. Book to play on any weekday between now and February 14, 2010, and you can enjoy 18 holes of golf, with a buggy included, followed by lunch at the award-winning Verbasco Restaurant for just €88 per person (reflecting the course's world ranking). After that date, the special offer will continue throughout the rest of the season with golf and lunch offered for €100 per person. Tee times can be booked online at www.oitavosdunes.pt or by calling +351 21 486 0600. Alternatively, contact your local travel agent.

Testament to the quality of the course is the fact that in its short history it has staged fully-fledged events in all five of the main professional tours – competitors on the European Tour, Seniors Tour, Ladies European Tour, Challenge and EuroPro have all enjoyed the facilities Oitavos Dunes has to offer. “Oitavos Dunes compares to the best courses we play on the European schedule,” says two-time Portuguese Open winner Paul Broadhurst. And three-time Ryder Cup player Paul McGinley has no doubt about the quality of the links layout: “This has the potential to be the best course in Europe,” says the popular Irishman. Praise indeed.

Fully utilising the the dramatic natural landscape at his disposal, respected American golf course architect Arthur Hills carefully crafted a classic out-and-back test that echoes some of the great Scottish courses.With a design brief to maintain and preserve the unique characteristics of the land, Hills has magically woven three distinct landscapes: the forested area of beautiful Iberian umbrella pine trees, sand dunes deposited by years of coastal wind erosion, and the more open, rocky and rugged coastal transition areas. Routed to take advantage of all three forms, the course can be stretched to 6,303 meters (or 6,893 yards) with a testing par of 71.

The setting is certainly dramatic, with unobstructed ocean views present all along the course to the west and the Sintra Mountain sloping to the Atlantic Ocean on the north. Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point of mainland Europe can be seen from several holes. Working closely alongside owner Miguel Champalimaud, Hills took special care to protect the local flora and fauna to create a genuine masterpiece that mixes links and parkland, and shortly after it opened Oitavos Dunes was awarded status as a Certified Gold Audubon Signature Sanctuary. This is the highest designation awarded by Audubon International's Signature Sanctuary Program, golf's strictest and most prestigious environmental management program. Oitavos Dunes is the first course in Europe and only the second in the world to boast Gold Signature status.

Quinta da Marinha Original, one of the most prestigious addresses in the Lisbon area, has been a Champalimaud family passion for 100 years. Miguel (the third generation owner along with his children) is following in the footsteps of his grandfather who discovered the property 100 years ago and preserved the natural habitat and sand dunes, and his father, who built roads and developed a source of water. Today, in addition to the fabulous golf course, the property includes a health and fitness facility, equestrian centre, villas, tennis courts and a gourmet restaurant – the Verbasco Restaurant, often referred to as 'Portugal's best kept secret'. Serving modern Portuguese cuisine, Verbasco is set in the contemporary style clubhouse and offers guests a choice of covered veranda dining where the natural environment envelops you, or an elegant indoor setting.

The next stage in the development is a 5-Star luxury hotel The Oitavos, located adjacent to the 18th fairway, which is due to open in late 2010. Until then, guests should take advantage of the lodging alternatives in the nearby seaside village of Cascais, which also boasts authentic restaurants, shopping and nightlife. So, what are you waiting for? Less than three hours' flying time from the UK, one of the world's finest resorts awaits your attention – pick up the phone and make your reservation today to experience the natural playground that is Oitavos Dunes.

Tee times can be booked online at www.oitavosdunes.pt or by calling +351 21 486 0600.

 

Reproduced with kind permission of Golf International Magazine











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