The Algarve is a mecca for golfers, who want to escape the dreary winters in the UK. Quinta has always been at the top of the list, especially with the South Course, which has gone pretty much untouched since its inception.
On the other hand, the North Course was completely redesigned in 2014, by the great American architect Beau Welling in conjunction former European Ryder Cup Captain and frequent Quinta Do Lago visitor Paul McGinley. Welling’s work is renowned and probably most notably is the redesign work he undertook at Quail Hollow.
In total the North course formely the ‘Ria Formasa’ had a staggering €9.6 million extensive facelift. All greens, tee boxes and bunkers were addressed along with dramatic improvements to irrigation and drainage systems. Also four sets of tee boxes were introduced to every hole to accommodate all types of players.
A low cut Bermuda grass approach was introduced around the greens to help the higher handicap players and therefore encourage all levels of play. This has really had time to embed nicely since the redesign and looks class.
The course is a relatively narrow and winding, with a combination of four Par 5’s, five par 3’s and 9 par 4’s. Precision driving will be required and many will favour hitting a long iron off the tee, as wayward drives will be punished. The terrain is superb and very typical of the surrounding area, with umbrella pines lining most fairways. The bunkers are phenomenal and well placed on the fairways and surrounding the greens.
As for the greens, they are lightning and many of them with double breaks. If you are looking to shoot a low score, landing the ball below the hole is essential, as downhill putts are almost impossible to judge.
For me, the stands out holes have got to be the 12th and the 18th. The 12th is a beautiful dogleg par 4 with water all down the left side and right in front of the green. I suggest using an iron for placement and leaving yourself a good number to go right at the pin. The 18th is another great dogleg par 5 to finish, not the longest par 5 out there so get away a good drive and you can easily reach the dancefloor in 2.
The course was fantastic, but not only that - the level of service you get right through from the guys in the shop, to the starter and through to the bar staff, is second to none.
In Summary, The still newly redesigned North course is a brilliant addition to the already spectacular South Course at Quinta Do Lago. It is definitely puts in stern competition for the number 1 course at QDL. The course offers a great challenge to all golfers, and it will make you want to come back over and over again.
Quinta Do Lago as a whole offers you 3 great courses in their own right and both the other courses South and Laranjal are also well worth your time visiting. Making it a perfect destination for a weekend break with friends.
Par – 72
Length - 6,156 Metres
Price – From €122
For more information visit the Quinta Do Lago Website.