This was my first time in Cascais and also my first visit to any region of Portugal other than the Algarve and I have to say I was hugely impressed. When I arrived the fantastic scenery immediately struck me with its never-ending coastline and beautiful historic architecture interspersed with impressive modern buildings.
The three golf courses I played during my stay all had their unique charm. Pestana Beloura was a gentle stroll that made you relax and enjoy your game; the views Oitavos Dunes had to offer were second to none; while Estoril was kept in great condition and wouldn't be out of place as a Tour venue.
Getting to play in the Golf Sixes was another unique opportunity. Bringing this fun and innovative event to Cascais for the next three years will be something special for the golfing public. With its quick-paced structure and fun-filled format, it can only open more eyes to how enjoyable a golf event can be.
The interaction between golfers and fans at the Golf Sixes is a thing of beauty and perhaps something the European Tour can incorporate into future tournaments as they continue in their attempts to grow the game. And with a venue like Oitavos hosting this event, I can only see it going from strength to strength.
A standout takeaway memory for me was the sixth hole with its tee on top of a swimming pool; it really is something to behold. It was great to see the tournament champions Thongchai Jaidee and Pachara Khongwatmai launching themselves into the water to celebrate their victory.
I think Cascais has a lot to offer not only as a prime golfing location but as a holiday destination in its own right - it's very close to a european capital and is also part of the beautiful Lisbon Coast. There's a lot to take in when you step beyond the golf course, including an endless sprawl of stunning beaches and many quality restaurants where you can sample a great mix of international cuisine and local seafood dishes. Having only scratched the surface so far myself, I'm already itching to go back and spend more time exploring.
I want to give a massive amount of thanks to both Hole19 and Visit Cascais for the opportunity to see the place for myself and for being such great hosts. Also, I certainly recommend all golf-lovers to live this experience during next year's edition of GolfSixes (yes, Oitavos Dunes will host the GolfSixes in 2020!).