San Lorenzo - Algarve - Portugal

Dona Filipa & San Lorenzo Golf Resort,
Vale do Lobo,
8135-034 Almancil,
Algarve,
Portugal


  • +351 (0) 289 396 522

  • Mr. Antonio Santos

  • Joe Lee, Rocky Roquemore

  • Albano Rodrigues

San Lorenzo is a classy golf course, routed in a figure of eight on sandy undulating terrain alongside the Atlantic, with fairways bordered by umbrella pines and the marshland bird sanctuary of the Ria Formosa.

“The course was designed by an American, Joe Lee,” wrote Michael Gedye in the Golfer’s Guide Portugal, “and built by another, Rocky Roquemore. Few golf architects are presented with such an attractive setting on which to lay out a resort golf course.”

Rocky Roquemore handled most of Lee's design projects outside Florida and San Lorenzo is one of his best, which was once bracketed alongside some of the world’s top golf courses. Times do, of course, change. When the course first opened for play in 1988 it quickly became the Algarve’s beacon of shining light, standing head and shoulders above the area’s other mediocre golfing fare.

“The result combines length, a fair measure of strategic difficult and highly enjoyable, scenic golf,” continued Gedye, “The terrain is ideal; rolling sandy land sweeping over slopes well-wooded with umbrella pine. There are holes which border the constantly changing seaside lagoon and marshland bird sanctuary of the Rio Formosa and three real testers which make full use of the inland lake that is a central feature of the property.”

Exciting golf and stunning views open up at the par three 5th where the backdrop is the beach and the sea beyond. The excitement continues at the next two holes which take you past the threatening waters of the Ria Formosa. The finish is also particularly strong and entertaining with the opposite side of the Ria Formosa coming into play on the 17th and 18th. The 18th is a sneaky 400-yard plus par four with water all the way up the left and a semi-island green. It’s a classic risk and reward finish, which brings San Lorenzo to a close.

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Reviews for San Lorenzo

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Description: San Lorenzo is a classy golf course, routed in a figure of eight on sandy undulating terrain​ alongside the Atlantic, with fairways bordered by umbrella pines and the marshland bird sanctuary of the Ria Formosa. Rating: 7.1 out of 10 Reviews: 38
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Dan Hare

This is a review of having played San Lorenzo a few years ago, so can't comment on the current condition, but interesting to see that many of our observations are still current.

The pro shop was unfriendly, expensive and insisted on seeing handicap certificates before play despite our being late due to getting lost in the sandy wilderness of the area courses with the confusing signage.

That said, having raced up the first to catch up with the player we were we joined with we really enjoyed the course, the tight lagoon holes a particular highlight.

Well recommended, and if you stayed at Penina very good value too.

September 23, 2016
8 / 10
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Fergal O'Leary
The Algarve boasts a high concentration of golf courses in Portugal. “San Lorenzo” is the English spelling for ease of pronunciation for the visiting tourists. The 1960s and 1970s saw much growth in golf course development across the Iberian Peninsula. Since its inception in 1988, the golf course at San Lorenzo has had lofty positions on domestic and international rankings. The double-dog-leg opening par 5 gives an immediate glimpse at the quality that lies ahead of you. The club is currently embarking on a multi-year project to replace (upgrade) the sand in each of the bunkers, which is a step in the right direction. There is a flurry of ongoing investments given the popularity of the Quinta do Lago region – most notably the amount of housing construction going on around the course, so be prepared to see high cranes at work. On certain holes (eg: 15th), tee boxes had to be moved because balls were going into people’s back gardens. It’s a shame that housing developments are having such negative influence on the original routing of the course in certain spots.

The San Lorenzo Golf Course is laid out in a figure of eight, which explains the fabulous number of dog-legs you have to navigate. San Lorenzo Golf Course - Photo by reviewerThe constant change in direction puts a premium on driving the ball to the correct area, otherwise you’ll be blocked and out of position. I really enjoy a golf course like this that tests my precision off the tee, rather than hitting mindless drives. On the front side, holes 5 through 7 get all the attention as the land begins to undulate and the views of the Ria Formosa Estuary and salt water lagoons leading out to the Atlantic Ocean dominate the horizon. The 6th is the signature hole with an elevated tee shot to a sharp dog-leg left caressing the edges of the lagoon leading up to a small green-site. On a windy day, this quickly becomes a par 5. The tee shot is most demanding in terms of accuracy and distance control, and the exposed nature of the approach shot is a wonderful contrast to the opening stretch through the pine trees. The 7th hole continues down the lagoon with a precedent on finding the fairway that moves from right to left. A noticeable feeling at San Lorenzo is how your surroundings frequently change. It offers a cocktail of holes through pine trees, holes along the estuary, holes around a bird sanctuary lake and holes with blind tee shots where the landing area is out of sight. The routing is highly commendable and makes good use of the natural landscape. While it’s an enjoyable course to play on holidays, I found that the course kept starting and stopping. A world class stretch of holes is somewhat interrupted by a weaker stretch. While this may not be a course where you’ll remember every hole 10 years later, there’s plenty of challenge to keep you interested in scoring well. I noted vegetation and trees that needed cutting back, and tee boxes with longer grass than expected – but the greens are well made and the golf staff takes a lot of pride in their club. Hopefully with continued investment in improving the conditioning of the course, this nature lover’s paradise will continue as one of Portugal’s best.
January 11, 2016
6 / 10
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Greg Babbs
I have just come back from a week's golf holiday in the Algarve having played 5 golf courses during the week.We paid 80 € to play San Lorenzo following the reviews from others; but both my playing partner and I thought the course was in really bad condition. The greens were covered in sand, the course is not very picturesque compared with other courses in the area and the condition of the fairways was just not up to par.My recommendation is save your money and play at another course.
September 27, 2015
2 / 10
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Jakob
October 17, 2015
We played San Lorenzo 28th September. No sign of sand on the greens, and the fairways were generally fine with a few spotty places. Allthough the finish does not quite match QdL South its a real nice course with some truly stunning holes and views that easily beats out its nearest competitor.
Nicholas Kjelgaard
Recently returned from a week in the Algarve which we all thoroughly enjoyed. Our top two courses were here and Quinta South. San Lorenzo is just a great place to play and I would recommend to anyone. Turning up the course and facilities felt calm and quiet and after being invited to tee off early we all hit drives down the middle, and the pleasure of playing a course like this just got better. 6,7 and 8 are great holes and 15, 16, 17 and of course 18 are brilliant.
May 28, 2015
8 / 10
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Nick AUBIN
played San Lorenzo 3 times in mid March and once at Quinta South with another single figure golfer. We would come back and play San Lorenzo again every year based on the experiences this year. Yes the clubhouse and practice range is a tiny bit limited, but the golfing experience more than makes up for that with many memorable holes. We might try Quinta North next year, rather than South, as North is suposed to have recently been smartened up to a high standard, but San Lorenzo would be a must again for at least 2 rounds !6,7,8,9 are all stunning holes, but the finish of 16,17 and 18 is equally good.
April 18, 2015
10 / 10
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Smeets
Was it the wheather (mostly cloudly and very gusty wind) that diminished the pleasure of what is supposed to be one of Portugal's better courses? When I enjoy a golf course, I usually can visualize months later the holes that impressed me. Apart from the 6th alongside the river and its awesome view from the tee, I don't think I will remember San Lorenzo as a lasting golf experience. Too much a feeling of playing in a artificial surroundings. It feels like a tourists' golf but misses that little extra of a true championship course.The greens were rather slow.Overall maintenance is certainly excellent. Club house looks like a worn swiss chalet. Not very pleasant. If you want to score, a reconnaissance game is required for some holes (6, 8, 18).A greenfee of 126€ was limit but acceptable.
April 14, 2015
6 / 10
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Brian Ward
This is a beautiful course laid out alongside the picturesque Ria Formosa estuary. Well bunkered throughout, this undulating layout winds its way through and around the many umbrella pines. Although the majority of the Bermuda fairways are tree lined, San Lorenzo Golf Course - Photo by reviewerwater hazards dramatically come into play on a handful of holes on each of the two nines. My personal favourites on the front 9 would be the 6th and 7th which both border the nature reserve. Not only are they visually superb but great fun to play. The excellent par-5 8th bordering a large lake follows and after an uphill tee shot on the 9th you are left with one of the best approach shots of the round. The back 9 is not quite as strong visually but still has much to offer, the pick of the holes possibly being the last three. The long par-3 16th with its well protected raised green is particularly tough and both the 17th and 18th have water to contend with from tee to green. The 18th also has one of the most demanding 2nd shots of the round over water to a well defended small green. The off course experience and course conditioning may well be a little bit behind the standard set by Montei Rei but San Lorenzo is still one of the best courses in Portugal. Brian W
December 27, 2014
8 / 10
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Alex Grant
Was expecting much much more. Has some nice holes along the shoreline but to be honest I was a little disappointed given the very steep green fee. Enjoyed Palmares much more.
August 30, 2014
6 / 10
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David Jones
This is definitely a very good course to play which is well worth playing if in the area.The course has a great variety of holes on it. The front nine leads to a fantastic run of holes on the lagoon which really do require testing shots to keep out of the water. Knowing your carry lengths for mid irons is really important to score around here. Water comes into play a lot, as well as carries over deep and punishing bunkers.While the back 9 is less dramatic than the front the holes have a good range of challenges and are a pleasure to play. It would be fair to say though that maybe the front 9 spoils you a little as the quality decreases from the 10th. The 18th is a strong finishing hole though which requires a carry over water for a tee shot before being faced with another carry over water for the approach to the green. It's a classic risk and reward hole - the further up to the hole you go the shorter the club you will have in - play safe off the tee an face a daunting carry for the approach.A few points regarding the set-up in the club. The greens were tined and top-dressed when we played but they did it in a really intelligent way. They were effectively split in half, top-to-bottom and one half was dressed and the other running as usual, the pins all on the 'good' half - great idea.Two watch-outs. The insects were out by the lagoon for our afternoon round and they were biting ferociously, some repellent would have been a good idea. Also, they are hell-bent on monetising their visitors to the max and may have gone a little too far in my opinion. Green fees are steep at 170 Euros but you know about that before turning up so fair play. However, a sleeve of three Pro V1s came in at 22 Euros! Water was in small bottles at 4 or 5 Euros a go, at Vilamoura Old we had 2L bottles for less!Anyway, the golf was really good. OK, it's not in your top, top drawer of European courses - it's too 'resort' in setup for that - but it's great fun to play. Just watch out you don't get stung by the mossies or the pro shop!
May 21, 2014
8 / 10
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Ady Keeble
Totally agree with the previous reviewers who question the customer "service" at San Lorenzo. Our party of eight played here in January and, having agreed a price of 120 Euros per person some time before our trip, found a far cheaper offer online for the day of our visit. We asked for the deal to be matched and were greeted with a surly attitude - unhelpful in the extreme. We eventually accepted buggies at no extra charge and set off for the practice area which, to be blunt, is woefully inadequate for a course which ranks itself right up there with the best in Europe. About ten grass bays and the tiniest putting green I have seen. Having warmed up, we made our way to the tee and the starter didn't even bother emerging from his hut - we were given no information regarding pin positions, yardages etc. The course itself has some memorable holes, especially those down on the coast, but I'm afraid by the time we actually played it the damage had been done. And things got no better when we got back to the clubhouse - no caddy staff to help unload the buggies, and when we walked through the otherwise empty shop to get to the bar the shop staff never even raised a smile. Sorry, but for 120 Euros I expect far better - the staff could do with spending a day over at Monte Rei, where they can see how it should be done.
February 05, 2014
6 / 10
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Andy
February 06, 2014
This is a real shame that some of the off course experience affected your thoughts of the course - it really is one of the better Algarve courses. Hopefully the club sees these comments and things may improve...