New era for GolfSixes in Cascais Portugal as The Oitavos Dunes links golf hosts for first time

28 January 2019

The European Tour’s innovative GolfSixes event will enter a new era in 2019 when it moves to continental Europe for the first time, with the Municipality of Cascais and the spectacular Oitavos Dunes in Portugal set to host GolfSixes, Cascais from June 7-8.

The idyllic Portuguese region of Cascais will play host to the third edition of an event which has captured the imagination of the golfing world with its unique format, following two hugely successful editions at the Centurion Club in St Albans, England.

It will be the first time the tournament will be held outside of the United Kingdom, and is being hosted in partnership with the Municipality of Cascais and Event/Media agency U.COM – which stages the annual Millennium Estoril Open, an ATP Tennis Championship, in the same region.

The event will follow the same ground-breaking format as the 2018 GolfSixes, with four ‘Wildcard Teams’ – featuring stars of male and female golf – joining 12 other two-man teams of European Tour players representing their home nations.

The exciting two-day tournament will also be played over a Friday and Saturday for the first time. With the UEFA Nations League Final and Third-place play-off taking place in Portugal on Sunday June 9, an exciting weekend is in store for Portuguese sports fans and tourists alike.

Ireland emerged as GolfSixes champions last year when Paul Dunne and Gavin Moynihan overcame a French team comprising Mike Lorenzo-Vera and Romain Wattel in the final. The young Irish duo lost just one of their six matches over the two days of competition.

They dethroned the 2017 champions, Danish pair Lucas Bjerregaard – who has since won two titles on the European Tour – and Thorbjørn Olesen, who 16 months later put his match-play experience to good use as part of Thomas Bjørn’s triumphant European team at The 2018 Ryder Cup.

Keith Pelley, Chief Executive Officer of the European Tour, said: “I am thrilled with how the world of golf has embraced GolfSixes and this truly is an exciting development as we take this event to continental Europe for the first time.

“I would like to extend my thanks to the Municipality of Cascais and U.COM for their vision in bringing GolfSixes to a Portuguese audience and it is sure to be a fantastic weekend in Cascais next June.”

Dirk Glittenberg, Chief Executive Officer of U.COM, said: “GolfSixes is a brilliant concept which has the potential to change how sports fans around the world view the game of golf, and everyone at U.COM is very excited about bringing it to Portugal for the first time.

“We believe this can be transformative for the image of golf in Portugal and we are very grateful for the support and faith that the Municipality of Cascais have shown in this concept.”

Miguel Montez Champalimaud, General Manager of the Oitavos Dunes, said: “We are incredibly enthusiastic about having this pioneer event at our venue and feel we have the perfect elements in both Oitavos Dunes golf and The Oitavos hotel to make it an all-round success for players and all the stakeholders”

Ricardo Gouveia, Portuguese European Tour player, said: “This is very exciting news for Portuguese golf. I played the very first GolfSixes in 2017 and it was a fantastic event which all the players really enjoyed. Hopefully this exciting format can inspire the next generation of Portuguese golfers.”

Carlos Carreiras, Mayor of Cascais, said: “This is a perfect match for Cascais - a world class destination for a world class event. We are delighted to be hosting this event in continental Europe for the first time and we intend to make it the best GolfSixes ever. We look forward to welcoming golf fans, and viewers from all around the globe, to our beautiful destination in the western most point of Europe this June.”

The GolfSixes format has not only proven a huge success on the European Tour – with The 2018 Ryder Cup also featuring the concept as part of its build-up at Le Golf National – but it has also been adopted across the grassroots of golf.

The Golf Foundation, a registered charity with the aim of bringing golf to young people, has – in association with the European Tour, the R&A, England Golf, Wales Golf and Scottish Golf – launched a GolfSixes League throughout Britain for juniors.

Since May, 24 leagues have been staged across 22 UK regions, involving 112 golf clubs and nearly 1,500 junior golfers. Early results showed that nearly 30% of participants have been girls. The GolfSixes concept has also been rolled out in Belgium, Denmark, France and the Netherlands.

Frank Kirsten, CEO of PGA Holland and chairman of the PGAs of Europe, said: “The PGA Holland Golf Sixes has been a great success and continues to grow in 2019. We play a team event between teams of six youth players up to the age of 13, and this is exactly what our sport in Holland needs to attract more youth but also parents to our golf facilities. We are very grateful to the European Tour for making this wonderful and innovative competition possible in our country.”

Nick Pink, Chief Executive of England Golf, said: “GolfSixes is a perfect way to introduce newcomers to the game, to keep playing at the busiest times of life, and also to continue playing into later life. We’ve had a fantastic response from our members with 114 clubs entering our first GolfSixes competition.”

Oitavos Dunes is currently ranked 55th in Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Golf Courses in the World, while it is listed as Portugal’s Number One golf course.

It has hosted the Open de Portugal on four occasions, first in 2005 when Paul Broadhurst emerged victorious, and then in three years in succession in 2007, 2008 and 2009, won by Pablo Martin Benavides, Grégory Bourdy and Michael Hoey respectively.


About The European Tour
The European Tour celebrates men’s professional golf on a global stage, combining innovation, diversity and world-class golf. In 2019, the European Tour International Schedule will feature a minimum of 48 tournaments in 31 countries, including eight Rolex Series events, all part of the Race to Dubai.

Celebrating the global connectivity of the European Tour and Dubai, the Race to Dubai is a season-long competition to crown the European Tour’s Number One player, an honour which in 2018 went to Italy’s Francesco Molinari for the first time, and which, since 2009, has also been achieved three times by Rory McIlroy, twice by Henrik Stenson, and once each by Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer, Luke Donald and Tommy Fleetwood.

Since its formation in 1972, the European Tour has witnessed 28 Members celebrate a total of 54 Major Championship titles between them, enjoyed 11 Members attaining the pinnacle of World Number One and has celebrated its diversity as players from 36 different countries have won on the Tour.
The European Tour also manages the developmental Challenge Tour and the Staysure Tour (formerly known as the Senior Tour) which is the men’s professional golf tour for members aged 50 and older.

The European Tour is also the Managing Partner of Ryder Cup Europe, the body which, alongside the PGA of America, administers golf’s greatest team contest, The Ryder Cup. In 2018, the 42nd staging of the biennial contest between Europe and the United States of America took place at Le Golf National, France, from September 28-30. Europe were the victors with a score of 17.5-10.5.

The European Tour broadcasts live coverage of its tournaments to more than 490 million homes in more than 150 countries every week, generating in excess of 2,200 global broadcast hours for each event. It also enjoys the support of many of the world’s leading business brands with Rolex, BMW, Callaway, Dubai Duty Free, Emirates, and Hilton as Official Partners.


Francisco Pinto Leite - Golf Sales Manager
Oitavos Dunes
Tel: +351 21 4829055