Quinta do Lago is the dream which entrepreneur Andre Jordan realised in the early 1970s. This 2,000-acre luxury residential development was perhaps a bit ahead of its time, but now the “Manor estate by the lake” (to which Quinta do Lago roughly translates) is well and truly established.
Located fifteen minutes northwest of Faro airport, American architect William Mitchell raised the bar in terms of golf course architecture here at Quinta do Lago by importing American standard greens, tees and bunkers. The original and best course is now called the South and it opened for play in 1974.
The Quinta do Lago South course is certainly the most famous in the area and it has played host to the Portuguese Open on no fewer than seven occasions with Mark McNulty and Colin Montgomerie being former title holders. Given its championship pedigree, this is also a course which will be enjoyed by the average handicap golfer. The fairways are relatively generous and the predominantly sandy but undulating ground flatters medium hitters.
With umbrella pine-lined fairways, bold bunkering and a splash of water features, the South course at Quinta do Lago is certainly an eye-catching layout and one which will appeal to discerning golfers.
In May 2020 the South course closed for
renovations and is scheduled to open in September. The layout will be reseeded
from tee to green with hybrid Bermuda, bunkers renovated, the lakes on #3 and
#17 upgraded, #8 fairway softened and pine trees relocated to improve
sightlines to the green. The lake behind the 16th green is also being brought
into play to add further drama.
The south course is the most traditional of the 3 Quinta courses, but also in my opinion the most boring. The first couple of holes are nice before it loses interest for the majority of the front nine. The back nine is much better, and holes 14-17 are really nice.
The course is good, but not worth the price. If you were to chose 2 rounds, I think Laranjal and North are better options.
I always enjoy Quinta South when I visit the Algarve. I’ve played it around a dozen times over the last 5 years in varying conditions and it never fails to impress.
The front nine gives away some birdie chances (2nd, 4th, 6th) but there are a couple of tricky holes, especially the Par 5 5th which requires three accurate shots to a raised green.
The back 9 begins with a long and tricky par 4 followed by a very nice downhill par 3.
My favourite hole on the layout is the downhill par 4 14th, which is followed by a great long par 3 over water.
Overall a strong layout with no weak holes and always in good condition.
Quinta South is the stronger of the two courses at Quinta Do Lago. I am a big fan of this course having played it for the last 30 odd years. The variety of the holes is one of its strong points as are the undulations. If you can shape the ball well off the tee then you will be successful here as there are a number of drives that require a fade or a draw. The approach shots which are mainly struck to raised greens need a bit of thought I would advise choosing one more club to navigate the false fronts. The greens are deceptively slopy and can catch out even the best putters. There are many very good holes on Quinta South but the 5th an unusual par 5 with a double dogleg is an excellent hole and I really like the 6th a sharp dogleg right to left par 4. The 8th though is a terrible hole as it is virtually impossible to hold the fairway…it would be great if someone could come up with a solution to improve this tee shot. The 10th is a cracking long par 4 and 13 is a fun hole which you can drive in the right conditions. 15 is the signature hole a longish par 3 over the lake to a green that runs off both left and right. The 17th meanders through the pine trees to a green that is protected by two large pines at the front left of the green and deep bunker on the left side. The green itself slopes from back to front and many a ball spins back off the green. When in good condition Quinta South is a course I would happily play for the rest of my golfing days but the conditioning is average at present although I hear that plans are afoot to give it a makeover in the next couple of years…something this course deserves!
Have played this course three times over the past 5 years I think it is getting better and better - refurbished, buggies and new clubhouse and improving greens.
What a place Quinta Do Lago is for golf courses. The best thing about it is that all 3 courses that they have are pretty much as good as each other, all in great condition and all give you a great golf course to play. The South course was fantastic and had so many stand out holes where you would feel like you are in heaven. Would love to play again as I loved the experience of playing there last time (even though it was about 35 degrees!)
Very nice parkland layout with some really beautiful holes at the end of the round. Water and narrow fairways are often in play and accuracy is a must. Really nice golfers destination with also the North and the Laranjal courses nearby.
During my round course was in really good condition, it offers a nice start in the round with a downhill par 4 short hole, but if you cant keep the ball on the fairway you will get some trouble. But definitely a must play in the Algarve region.
A little more variety than the North, the round takes a little time to get going but a very strong closing to the course.
Pace of play wasn't bad considering the volume on the course, definitely superior to many Algarve courses.
Just below San Lorenzo, but the best 36 hole destination in the Algarve for strong golf on a beautiful course in good condition and excellent greens..
Played this one the following day to having played the North Course and the first impression is that the course is a little bit more challenging, specially from the tee boxes where you need to move the ball in both directions. Greens are a little bit easier than North with no grain in both directions and slopes smoother, but all the same you can face some extremely fast putts in some holes.
In this 18 holes I found some holes really spectacular and that will last longer in my memory:
- Par 4 1st is a nice opener where you can bomb it close to the green downhill.
- Tee shot on par 5 2nd demands very good direction if you wish to go for it.
- 3rd is a great par 4 where lake on the left can be a problem for longer hitters.
- 6th is a nice uphill dogleg left short par 4, second shot is one of the nice ones to hit.
- 8th is a weak hole because from the tee box it is not that clear where to aim, but the best option is short and a mid iron as second shot.
- 10th if not the one I liked most, it will be close. It plays similar to 10th at Shinnecock (yes, but with trees on both sides!) where you can bomb it down the slope and have a nice uphill wedge.
- 13th is another good short one, dirvable for everybody able to hit 260yds.
Then the stretch 14-18 gives you a very nice end of the round, with 15-16 being the best ones and most scenic in the 36 holes with some views of the Ocean.
I am 4 rounds short on the Tour and so far this is very good!
Played during very rainy period and the course was in best condition of any course we played this trip. Greens were slick, but fair (mostly). Was lined by houses, but the course seemed to provide more room than other courses in the area if you strayed a bit off line. Felt I had to hit a extra club(s) all day whether into or with the wind. Absolutely want to play here again.
Very enjoyable course with some great holes and of course some great properties to marvel at on the way round. Best buggies i have ever had. Place was absolutely rammed but to be fair afte the first tee it opened up and flowed very well. Highly recommended