Quinta do Lago (North) - Algarve - Portugal

Sociedade de Golfe da Quinta do Lago,
8135 024 Almancil,
Algarve,
Portugal


  • +351 289 390 700

  • John Dwyer

  • William Mitchell, Joe Lee, Rocky Roquemore, Beau Welling and Paul McGinley (2014)

  • Nuno Goncalves


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Quinta do Lago (North)

Quinta do Lago has come a long way since entrepreneur André Jordan’s dream way back in the early 1970s. The South course is the layout that most avid golfers rush to play, but the North course, formerly called the Ria Formosa, named after the Nature Reserve, is definitely worth savouring.

American architect William Mitchell designed the original 27 holes at Quinta do Lago in 1974 and his third loop of nine now forms part of the North course (the first two loops form the South course). Joe Lee added a fourth loop in the early 1990s and to complete a full house, a third America architect, Rocky Roquemore, re-shaped the North layout in 2003.

The North is one of the Algarve’s most charming courses and it is reminiscent to and almost as pretty as a Melbourne Sandbelt course. Many holes are framed with stately umbrella pines and some greens nestle in truly magnificent sites. Some of the walks between green and tee are bit long but, in the scheme of things, this is a small criticism.

One of the most visually appealing holes in the spectacular 361-metre par four 12th which features a 3-acre lake. The hole doglegs its way around the lake in an alarming fashion leaving a treacherous approach shot to a large undulating green.

Don’t pass the North course by if you are visiting Quinta do Lago it’s a lovely track set in glorious golfing country with a fine collection of par fives... and now it’s ever better. The North course closed in December 2013 for renovation by American architect Beau Welling in collaboration with European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley. An eye-watering €9.6m was invested in the renovation programme, which included the rebuilding of all greens, tees, bunkers, irrigation/drainage systems and cart paths. The new-look North course reopened in October 2014 to critical acclaim.

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Reviews for Quinta do Lago (North)

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Description: The South course at Quinta do Lago is the layout that most avid golfers rush to play, but the North course, formerly called the Ria Formosa, named after the Nature Reserve, is definitely worth savouring. Rating: 4.6 out of 6 Reviews: 16

Played this in May 2018 and it's great fun and in excellent condition - especially the greens. Although walkable, it's quite a trek because of the layout in amongst the villas. I'm struggling to remember any of the holes, but would happily return to play again.

4 / 6
Quinta do Lago (North)
May 31, 2018


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We really enjoyed both Quinta do Lago courses, easily walking both in the day unlike Val do Lobo which really requires buggies.

A lovely place to play golf, with bowl fairways encouraging you to really rip fairway woods on a couple of par 5's, and the trees stopping your ball and allowing play from the needles if you stray wide.

Like the South just a bit below San Lorenzo, but a great day's golf.

5 / 6
Quinta do Lago (North)
May 31, 2018


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A nice course to start a 7 days and 6 rounds Tour. I am writting this only after having played borth North and South so as not to compare them with the other 4 to come.

North Course is one of those courses you can't say it was Quinta do Lago (North) Golf Course - Photo by reviewer designed, but one where the designer seems to have received a routing and taking advantage of a nice piece of land he created some very interesting holes. It isn't long, it isn't tough and it is yet a lot of fun to play where score will not come easy on those greens. There grain will show those usual bright and dark contrasts where you need to identify when it is slow (usually never!), when fast and when VERY fast! Breaks are a real challenge to read and it is there where you will make your score here.

It is not easy to have a drivable opener, but it is a great hole (go to the range before starting!), par 5 3rd is a nice 3 shooter. 7th another Quinta do Lago (North) Golf Course - Photo by reviewer good hole, reachable in 2 but needing a precise tee shot. 12th is maybe the best hole on the course and it only depends on how brave the line you take is, but designer gives you a lay up and mid iron option which will work for those protecting the scorecard! Both short par 3s on the back 9 are great, especially 16th where with a short pin you could come back 20 yds short. Reachable par 4 17th is a good birdie option but also a disaster one if not precise. I found 18th not the best finisher, a short par 5 that if hosting a Pro event should be a par 4.

Service at every point is great and food at 19th hole as well. One in all a great alternative for holiday golf.

4 / 6
Quinta do Lago (North)
May 14, 2018


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The last of the Quintas on the final day of our trip and a great day out at the north course was had. The rankings have this right as the north is definitely not as good as the south but a ninth more established that Laranjal. Firstly the service was great from the pro shop, to the starter, to the marshal on the course that sat on the 4 ball in front of us and made them hurry and finally the bar staff.

I really enjoyed the course and felt it asked a lot of questions of you. It could be argued that off the yellows in certain places it is short, but this was enough for me having played some courses on the trip that were very long. The greens were great, the fairways true and the fairness is there as when you miss the fairway you in the main will find your ball but will have to play out.

I believe I gave Laranjal a 4 and South a 5 ideally would like to give this a 4.5, but as not quite a 5 for me will have to settle on the 4 ball.

4 / 6
Quinta do Lago (North)
June 22, 2016


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Having just come back from a weeks holiday in the Algarve.The course was in great condition; the greenkeeper placed the pins in some of the most difficult positions possible (especially given the big undulations) and the greens were by far the quickest greens we played on all week (which takes some getting used to).
5 / 6
Quinta do Lago (North)
September 28, 2015


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This was my first round since the 2014 changes to the course – previously I had three rounds on North so I was very keen to see the updates. The opening hole is a memorable start; 345 yards and downhill, so the distance on most drives will flatter leaving only a short pitch in. The first big change comes at the 2nd hole, still a par-3 but now with a lot of water in play down the right-side – this pushes tee shots a little left and with a very undulating green, par is not easy. The long par-5 3rd just lacks a little excitement for me, just a bit of a straight slog really. The 5th however is great;Quinta do Lago (North) Golf Course - Photo by reviewer only 312 metres but dog-legging left with opportunities to take on the left-side trees and go direct to the green – very clever. The middle section of the course (6th to the 11th) in my opinion is ok without standing-out but from the 12th to the final green, this is where the course comes alive. The 12th has water all down the left and has to be crossed to reach the green which is surrounded by a huge dune making a great viewing amphitheatre. The 15th is my pick of the holes on the course; the SI-2, 376 metres long and dog-legging right to a raised green – a very good-looking strong hole. The par-3 16th is an all-carry short to mid-iron to one of the best greens at the resort. The par-5 final hole is strong also, driving over water, you need to favour the left-side to set-up the easiest positional shot to attack another raised green. Overall thoughts on the new North – much improved and a much tougher course now. Some of the promotion around last year’s opening suggested that this is Quinta’s new #1 – not for me if I am honest, yes much better but the South is still the course that will be first choice for me. The rankings of the Algarve’s #9 and Portugal’s #16 are little low and the gap between South and North should close but the order should remain the same.
4 / 6
Quinta do Lago (North)
March 18, 2015


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Played the newly revamped North last week. In my humble opinion it now plays better than its sister course the South. The greens were truly outstanding , very very fast and as smooth as a babies bottom. I would say they were exceptional. The par three's are now well bunkered and are visually very pleasing. The fours play well and are again very well bunkered. A true pleasure to play.
6 / 6
Quinta do Lago (North)
January 31, 2015


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Andy N
January 31, 2015
Thanks for this Tom - we return to QDL in early March and are looking forward to making the comparisons...
Played the newly re-designed North course on the opening day having previously play it in its old guise several years ago. I believe that this may now be the number #1 course in Portugal alongside Monte Rei. The layout remains similar to the original design with the exception of a few totally new creations. The improvements are mainly from the fantastic attention to detail in the bunker positioning, run-off areas around the greens & quality of the fairways. The routing is still quite haphazard cutting back & forth between roads but it’s a small price to pay for such a great track. The only drawback is that carts must stick to the paths (unlike Monte Rei) which I feel significantly reduces the whole experience of a round. Walk or take a trolley if you are able... however the GPS system in the carts is excellent! Now the North course is better than its sister it will be great to see how the re-design of the south turns out.
5 / 6
Quinta do Lago (North)
November 10, 2014


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My first experience of golf abroad, and what an experience!A beautiful course and a fair test. Fairly generous fairway coupled with harsh rough and lovely greens. I found the greens to be a little too fast for my liking, hitting a number of greens in regulation only to 4 putt!My only real criticism is the amount of distance between tee boxes and greens. Having to often navigate long stretches of Portugese highway!If golfing abroad, you can rarely do better than a trip to the three courses at Quinta Do Lago.
5 / 6
Quinta do Lago (North)
September 24, 2013


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I have just played here in November 2012. The course is very good indeed. It winds over undulating ground and through mature umbrella pine trees past the opulent villas of the premier leagues great and the good set back on either side of the fairways at a respectful distance. It is a well constructed test and has everything that you could ask of a high quality golf resort. The par threes are good, the par fives long and narrow and the par fours give a well balanced and varied challenge with out making you terrified! It's an inviting course that is both attractive and well maintained giving you plenty of strategical options along the way. you wont be disappointed with it and as part of the complex Quinta Do Lago you would be hard pressed to find a better location for a great week of Golf.JCB Lay
4 / 6
Quinta do Lago (North)
November 12, 2012


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