What we say
The North is resort golf, part of the huge Quinta do Lago estate in over 2,000 acres of the Ria Formosa Natural Park that comprises 54 holes, several hotels (including the opulent new Conrad), lots of villas and a wealth of leisure facilities. Opened in 1972, it’s one of the Algarve’s pedigree venues, with a nice atmosphere, whether dining in the lakeside Casa do Lago restaurant or hitting balls in McGinley’s Academy. QdL are calling the revamped North their new No.1. Some will always prefer the views of yachts bobbing on the inlet next to the scenic South, but the North now has that bit of extra class.
Many Algarve courses are very similar, for they are laid out on similar terrain. But the North does have a different feel, whether in its forgiving nature off the tee, its exacting challenge round the green or the visual impact of the white-sand bunkers and the corridors of red-brown bark that line the fairways.
One hesitates to make this comparison, but with sand, bark (substituting pine straw) and towering pines, some holes do have a ‘look’ of Augusta National to them. The challenge around the greens is also considerable and will be especially felt by mid-handicappers good enough to be on the green yet not close to the pin or somewhere around the green in regulation; they’ll often face tough long putts or tricky chips to maintain par.
That said, your first shot on the new North is certainly a friendly one, an inviting downhill drive to a wide fairway where even a fleeting meeting between clubhead and ball will get you away.
This gentle start is followed by a reality check on the par-3 2nd, though, which is a long hole (212 yards) off the backs given water lies to the right and in front of the small green, which itself has very little in the way of flat sections and has a steep run-off to the back. It nicely summarises the new North; despite the designers’ intention, off the backs it is far from a walkover. The arrow-straight 575-yard 3rd enhances this feeling.
Then there is a change of terrain at the 5th, a sporty par-4 dog-leg that turns to the left as it climbs steeply to a narrow green with three tiers that are fertile ground for three putts. Your labours are accompanied by a sweet smell of pines and bark and the aforementioned contrast between bunkers, fairways and bark is especially pleasing.
This is a really good section of the new North, with the 6th a super strategic hole where the brave (and skilled) can take a lot of the stress out of their approach if they can thread a drive between the bunkers with a draw. For the rest of us, it’s a tough task to feather our iron shot between bunker (right) and overhanging trees (left). The terrain on the par 5 that follows is more undulating and open, all the way up to the exposed, elevated green. The Augusta similarity is again no great stretch of the imagination.
The 8th is a picturesque par 3 played down to a green guarded by deep pits and surrounded by tall pines. There is a similar test on the short 14th too before McGiney’s favourite, the 16th – a fabulous par 3 played across a valley to a table-top green in its own amphitheatre.
It’s followed by a stellar par 4 where you draw your tee shot between three bunkers on the right and one on the left then fire an approach between umbrella pines to a bulb-shaped, two-tier green with a jigsaw-shaped trap to the right.
With the super climax to follow, it is a very strong finish, impressive enough to nudge the North into the highest echelon of Portugal’s courses.
The North Course at Quinta do Lago has undergone major renovation in 2014. Phase two of the redevelopment work, which has been designed by renowned American golf architect Beau Welling in collaboration with 2014 European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley, was completed on the course in May, with the layout set to match the existing first-class golf facilities at Quinta do Lago.
Among the changes taking place, all greens, tees, bunkers, irrigation and drainage systems and cart paths are being rebuilt using the latest state-of-the-art technology.
Welling said: “The new North Course will rival the very best in the region and people will be blown away by what they see.”
John Dwyer, Quinta do Lago’s chief executive, added: “It is a very exciting time at the resort; significant recent investments have ensured the resort remains the freshest, most family-friendly venue on the Algarve.
“With a wide range of new packages designed to suit everybody’s requirements and a series of summer events to excite young and old, including the re-launch of our remodelled North Course, there’s never been a better time to visit the resort.”
Set amongst 2,000 acres of the picturesque Ria Formosa Natural Park, Quinta do Lago is one of the most highly regarded golf and residential developments in the Algarve since opening in 1972. Located just 15 minutes from Faro airport, the resort offers residents and guests an unparalleled location benefiting from a year-round temperate climate, a variety of lifestyle pursuits and a strong sense of community.
Away from the fairways, the resort’s extensive leisure facilities guarantee there is plenty to keep everyone occupied, with events, tennis, cycling and watersports and just some of the activities available.
Quinta do Lago’s stunning location by the beach offers the perfect place to relax and unwind while the resort’s wide array of restaurants, both formal and informal, take advantage of the fresh Mediterranean produce that the resort has become famous for.
- TG Rating
- Players Rating
- Address Sociedade do Golfe da Quinta do Lago, S.A. , 8135-024 Almancil, Quinta do Lago
- Tel +351 289 390 700
- Website www.quintadolagogolf.com
|Green Fees||€85 - €160|
|Course Length||6,690 yards (6,117 metres)|
- Course has: Bar
- Course has: Buggy Hire
- Course has: Driving Range
- Course does not have: Practice Green
- Course has: Pro Shop
- Course has: Restaurant
- Course has: Trolley Hire
- Course has: Dress Code
- Course does not have: Club Hire
- Course has: Handicap
Both the quinta courses are beautiful gives views over the ria formosa in places. Shame it is beginning to look a little tired in places as it gets played so much