Oitavos Dunes - Lisbon & Centre - Portugal

Oitavos Dunes,
Quinta da Marinha,
Casa da Quinta,
25 Quinta da Marinha,
2750-715 Cascais,
Portugal


  • +351 (0) 214 860600


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Oitavos Dunes

Travelling west along the northern banks of the Tagus River from Lisbon and passing through the pleasant and lively seaside towns of Estoril and Cascais will soon bring us to the resort of Quinta da Marinha. Located in the Sintra-Cascais National Park, sensitive development of the area has been underway now for a number of years and has already included a fine hotel and golf course.

Oitavos Dunes is a most recent addition in golfing terms to the area and was inaugurated in September 2001. The location of Oitavos Dunes is on land at the most westerly tip of Europe and the course mixes wondrous views of the Atlantic Ocean with the stunning backdrop of the Sintra Mountains. Designed by the renowned Arthur Hills, Oitavos Dunes is one of only two European courses that bear his name. Most of Hills’s courses are in the USA and as a consequence there was always the danger that he may have built a stereotypical US ‘target golf’ course. Thankfully, Oitavos Dunes has none of that feel and is a wonderful test that perfectly utilises the rich tapestries of this area of Portugal to create eighteen challenging but playable holes.

Oitavos Dunes is a par 71 course that measures just over 6,300 metres from the competition tees. The course is a lovely mix of woodland and links-type holes that have been expertly laid to make the most of the existing landscape. All the holes flow well and have testing hazards and excellent greens that are always firm and fast and full of slopes and borrows.

The first four holes will demonstrate to the golfer the quality to come without actually being too testing. Having said that they are all tree-lined, have careful bunkering and small, tricky greens that will require controlled tee shots and accurate approaches. The next twelve holes play with more of a links feel to them with lovely sandy ground, dunes and fewer trees with which to contend. For the final two holes it’s back into the trees and a tough finish to a great course.

The pick of the holes on the front nine are the 5th, 7th and 8th. The 5th is a par four measuring 434 metres and plays slightly uphill to a partly hidden green. The 7th and 8th are back to back long par fives, the second being the hardest hole on the course. Both require three long, controlled shots avoiding the trees, dunes and bunkers to achieve par.

On the back nine the pick of the holes are the 14th, 17th and 18th but none of the others can be said to let the course down. The 14th is probably the signature hole, and is a wonderful par three that can play much longer than its 153 metres suggests. The tee shot is played across a storm ravine that then runs all along the right hand side of the hole. The final two holes are wonderful tough tests to finish the round, as they are both par fours in excess of 430 metres. The 17th is slightly easier and has a downhill approach but the green is tricky and the bunker front left must be avoided. The 18th is a classic finishing hole, it is long, dogleg left with a narrow fairway and trees and dunes bordering the rough on both sides.

Host to four Portuguese Opens, the old fashioned “out-and-back” routed Oitavos was the first golf course in Europe to receive Audubon Gold Certification.

Head to Quinta da Marinha for your next golf break, enjoy the cooler temperatures, wonderful scenery and Oitavos Dunes.

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Reviews for Oitavos Dunes

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Description: The golf course at Oitavos Dunes is a lovely mix of woodland and links-type holes that have been expertly laid to make the most of the existing landscape. Rating: 7.2 out of 10 Reviews: 37
TaylorMade
Garreth Woods
Played Oitavos Dunes on 29th May. It has a great clubhouse and you get a sense that you are heading out to experience something special. In all honesty, it is a very good golf course but the in your face displaying of the top 100 in the world ranking inevitably leads to a sense of disappointment as it is nowhere near this standard of course but it is a very, very good track.It was very windy when I played which gave the course some real teeth and i did really enjoy the challenge. The greens are the best that i have played on in years. Very fast and true. I love touch putting. There are some really good holes namely the 1st, the brute of an index 1 into the wind 5th, super back to back par 5 7th and 8th, par 3 9th, par 4 10th. 2 fantastic par 3's back to back at 14 and 15. The 14th is particularly scary. It was into a fierce wind, 122m to the pin with a valley of death ravine between tee and green. The finish is very strong with 2 solid par 4's 17 and 18. I saw some reviewers criticise 18 but i thought it a cracking hole. 433m downhill dogleg to the left which favours a draw as the fairway is slanted right to left. Long 2nd into an elevated green with a tree that needs to be cleared or avoided. All in all a very good course but they should dial down the histrionics about the top 100 rating. Golf in Portugal is overpriced but at €90, I felt that Oitavos Dunes just about offered value for money. However, the food prices have to be seen to be believed.
May 31, 2013
8 / 10
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Gustav
Played here for the first time in March 2013 and it was in great condition, especially coming from Penha Longa which was wet as a rice-field! For me, the relevant comparison, however, is not Penha Longa or other parkland courses but other Southern European courses by the sea - you may call them links or not. Anyway, I believe this one is streets ahead in both layout and condition compared to Praia D'El Rey and Sperone, the two such ones I have played. Oitavos also allows links-style play, although you might get stuck in thick bermuda grass having to play a flop shot close to the green, which prevents this from getting the highest mark. One thing I must mention is the greens: They are true and fast, but Oitavos uses bent grass and grain is a real factor. The ex-tour pro with whom I played my round said he had not seen such grain outside the tropics before, so take this into consideration if you want to make many putts at Oitavos.
March 17, 2013
8 / 10
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HB
Oitavos Dunes is by far the best course I have played in Portugal. I have never played Monte Rei but did play many others in various regions of the country. The lay out is really good and the views are magnificent. Challenging but always fair and not too difficult for a mid handicapper like myself (hcp 14). When we played the course in November it was in perfect condition. And the drainage must be excellent given the fact that we have had a lot of rain during the night without any influence on the playing conditions. The holes that stand out are 5, 8, 10 and 14. Aren't there any weak points? Yes there are. The difference between the two levels of the green of hole 11 is just too much and the weakest point in our opinion is hole 18. This hole is a mistake from Arthur Hills, the course designer. If you go and play in the Lisbon area, Oitavos Dunes should not be missed!
November 24, 2012
8 / 10
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Cedric
November 24, 2012
18th a weak hole? Not in my opinion, it's actually a great and tough finishing hole. Why do you think 18 is weak? 
Maarten
I played Oitavos the 13th of August, returning after 3 years and had a blast from begin to end. The opening hole is very good, giving you many options with the approach to a bowl green. The fourth hole surely is a cracker of a par 4 from the tips having about 10 bunkers. From the 7th hole on you're starting to get the 'links feeling', especially on the back nine where you're closest to the see and the fairways widen and the amount of trees get scarcer. The par 3 9th and the 14th are among the best and most beautiful par 3's in the world. Although I really enjoyed myself this time, the problem with this course seems to be that people have too high expectations of it; and that is due to Golf Magazine ranking it way too high at no.68 in the world. In and outside the clubhouse the first things you see are all sorts of billboards that state: No 68th in the world, which sets the expectations even higher. But can you blame the staff for being proud of their course? Ofcourse not. The green fee is steep and the ranking high and when people don't quite get what they expected they are disappointed and can't see what a gem Oitavos in fact is; in terms of sheer design quality, conditions and the beautiful surroundings. Oitavos is a very tough test, a great golfcourse and a guarantee for a very well spent day of golf. 19th in Europe is a well deserved ranking for this course (may even be a bit harsh) and if you bear that in mind you will have a great experience playing here,because without doubt this is a very special course. MO
August 18, 2012
8 / 10
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Trevor Bailey
Played this course on 29th February and sadly I must agree with some of the earlier reviews that this course is overrated. Perhaps the management have done too good a job to raise the profile with golf publications as they make a big play of their “ 68th in the World” rating by one of these – it is in all of their literature and on notices around the clubhouse. All I can say is that the review committee must have been suffering some after effects from the night before! But don’t get me wrong this is a good golf course and I think all of the par3 holes are interesting but it is not a great course and doesn’t justify its high green fees. Having played many top100 courses every one at some point in your round produces a “wow” factor. Well you won’t find it here although the course is a serious challenge! When we played the greens were without doubt the worst of 5 courses we played in the area. I left a written complaint in the designated complaint box, together with email address, telephone no. etc and they haven’t bothered to respond. Now what does that say? The staff made a point that there hadn’t been much rain, but this is common with the other courses we played. One other point I would make is that the 18th is a badly designed hole –at 445 yards from the yellows and a slight dog leg left, you need to hit left of a tree in the fairway but as the fairway slopes left to right the next shot is still played from the right hand side of the fairway some 200yds away – but another tree blocks the route to the RHS of the elevated green! Perhaps the pros think it is good but its not good for an 8 handicapper like me! TB.
March 27, 2012
4 / 10
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Fergal O'Leary

The strength is the back nine. The 10th requires an uphill approach shot which demands imagination and precise judgement. The “links” feel of the golf course begins to show on the 11th which is a driveable par 4 with a severely sloped fairway bouncing towards a dangerously 2-tiered green, which from whatever angle you look at it, makes the approach fierce. The signature hole, number 14, lives up to its reputation of a brilliant par 3 over a massive ravine hitting through a gap. The architect used the Portuguese landscape very well with coastline as the back-drop.

March 19, 2012
6 / 10
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Maarten
I played the course in May 2010. The conditions were challenging, windy and chilly. The greens were fast and true and I found the lay out quite good, but it just didn't live up to my high expectations (and the steep greenfee!) I'd gladly come back though, the area is great.
April 16, 2011
8 / 10
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David Snelson
The second course we played on a trip to Portugal last week was Oitavos Dunes. Having seen the European Tour stop here for the Portuguese Open, I was really looking forward to playing the course. It was a beautiful day and we arrived at the course early so could spend a bit of time at the ultra modern, glass and steel clubhouse. It was fantastic with everything you could need and a great balcony that gave you lovely views of the coast. Things unravelled a little as we paid for our buggies in the pro shop as I was shocked at the cost - €70 for a buggy for 18 holes! Ouch! Twice the price of the other courses we played and a bit steep. I was also slightly taken aback at having to fork out €21 for a sleeve of 3 ProV1’s too.Anyway, off to the first tee and we set off to play the course. 5 hours later and I walked off with a real sense of disappointment. The first and 18th are good and the 14th is a decent par 3 but the rest were pretty forgettable. The condition was lovely though and it is in a nice spot but in general terms, my opinion is that Oitavos is massively overrated. Not only that but the staff are constantly banging on about how great it is. I was told by 3 people that the course was ranked 88 in the world and the best in Portugal and so on. This is frankly ridiculous. We played three courses in the week and the other two were better than this one.In summary, this is a reasonable track in a nice part of the world but it is hugely overrated, overpriced and has an overblown opinion of itself. The saving grace was the cold beer, great clubhouse, excellent club sandwich and the superb level of service from Vanda – our waitress in the bar. Worth going if you don’t mind spending plenty of cash for a day’s golf that you will enjoy but is not the best value for money.
April 15, 2011
4 / 10
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Cédric
Oitavos proudly advertise their position in the top rankings and rightly so. This is a beautiful golf course, set in very natural and preserved landscape among the dunes. There isn't any weak hole and most of them actually are quite outstanding in their own right. It's not overly long but the finish is as tough as anywhere with 2 par 4s measuring 430 meters. I found it to be the best course in the Lisbon area, both in terms of challenge and presentation of the course. Nice fast greens and beautiful fairways, beware the Bermuda rough in the morning humidity! Only small note I would make on an architectural point of view is to have 2 consecutive par 3s at 14th and 15th, admitedly 2 great holes, but I'm just being picky!! If you wish you can also check neighbour course Quinta da Marinha which is an OK course, fun to play, but definitely not in the same league (and their routing is really shocking and in places dangerous!). Oitavos is highly recommended!!
October 11, 2010
10 / 10
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steve valandra
Played Oitavos in August 2009. A huge disappointment for my friends and I. Course looks much better on television than it does in person. We could not believe that the European Tour makes a stop here.
August 22, 2010
4 / 10
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