Laranjal is the newest member of the 3 courses at the Quinta Do Lago Resort and opened in 2009. Instantly and well deservingly, gained great attraction from a number of people and was voted the best golf course at the 2011 Portuguese Travel Awards.
The course is situated approximately 2km from the Quinta Resort itself. Once an Orange grove, it is now a Par 72 championship course, with five stunning lakes, umbrella pines and orange trees.
From the Black tees it is a monster - measuring 6,480 metres ( 7,100 yards). Driving the ball well is essential and although it has a more open feel than that of the other 2 courses strategically placed hazards, Pine trees and more water can easily catch you out.
I really like the fact that the course is all in one place and compacted into one area. There is no crossing of any roads and the holes are not on top of each other. The layout works brilliantly and the distinctive rolling terrain provides a class golfing experience.
A few holes that really stuck in my mind were the 5th, 9th and 16th. Although the par 3 11th was also brilliant with its beached bunker sprawling down the right side and merging with the water. That is the first time I have seen anything like that but it worked really well.
The par 4 fifth hole is a cracking hole off the Black tees – A testing par 4 with bunkers up the right hand side in prime catchment area for errant drives and bunkers covering the front edge of the green.
The 9th hole is a Par 5 with Water on the left so you need to hit down the right and long enough if you want to have a chance at the getting on in two. Another lake comes into the second shot covering the front of the green and if they stick the pin where they did when we played (5ft on) you will not want to go flag hunting. This is the epitome of a risk reward hole.
Then there is the 16th another cracking par 5 that require you to navigate it around another two lakes. Get a good drive away and again you can have a chance to get on in two. I would recommend laying up with water in front of the green and not much room to play with at the back.
For me, if there was one small thing that lets Laranjal down is the clubhouse... It is just too small and situated quite far back so you can’t see much action if you are having a well deserved cold drink afterwards.
It is quite different to the North and South Courses down the road, but you can tell that the same high standards are applied to the Laranjal, with beautifully manicured fairways and greens. It’s never easy to create another great course when the Algarve as a whole offers many great options but especially when there are already two stunning courses at QDL, but they have done a cracking job and highly recommend.
Par – 72
Length – 6,480 Metres
Price – From €108
For more information visit the Quinta Do Lago website.