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.