Quinta do Lago South Course Feature Review
Review by Golfshake's Kevin Paver
In the Quinta Do Lago estate, you have plenty of golf to choose from. The South Course is rated Highly Recommended on Golfshake is probably the most famous of them all, having opened in 1974 and been host to the Portuguese Open a very impressive eight times. Who remembers the famous win by Colin Montgomerie in 1989 when he won by 11 shots, while also breaking the course record (which he still holds?)
With the stunning Ria Formosa as a backdrop, this 7,000-yard par 72 course is surrounded by pine trees and a good measure of water, it’s a course that is sure to be an enjoyable challenge.
The North and South both begin from the same clubhouse location, so everything you could ever need is here for you. Whether that’s a trip to the pro shop or a rather special pizza in Koko before you play, nothing here is too much trouble for the staff.
If you’re playing a serious match and want some practice, the facilities are superb.
A large practice putting green that is a very fair representation of the course, and across from the pro shop is the fantastic driving range and practice area, also home to the Paul McGinley Academy.
If you can, take a buggy. Firstly, they’re very luxurious but also, it’s quite a walk between some of the holes. Buggies also have very useful course GPS.
Front 9 Overview
The front 9 on the South Course eases you into the round beautifully. As the starter sets you on your way from the first tee, the tone is set for the round ahead. Lush fairways, strategically placed bunkers and undulating greens are here aplenty.
The par 4 3rd is a tricky hole, but one that you can only admire as you stand on the tee. Whilst the fairway looks more than inviting from the tee, hit one too far right and the pines will block your second out. Hit one too far left and you could watch your ball run away into the lake.
The 5th is a great par 5, and one the big hitters will be able to reach in two shots, if you avoid the fairway bunkers on both sides of the fairway! The second shot brings trees into play on the left, and if you push one right, more trees!
As you arrive at the 9th hole with your magnificent score card, you’ll need to proceed with caution to keep it that way. A par 4 from this elevated should not prove to be an issue. However, this hole is usually played into wind, which then makes club selection crucial to avoid the fairway bunkers sitting around 220 yards. Once you’ve made the fairway, the job is not yet done. This tricky green is protected by bunkers off the back edge, and everything runs toward them.
Back 9 Overview
The back 9 was the loop I enjoyed the most. As you get to the 11th, the challenge certainly becomes a tougher one. A par 3 at 170 yards from an elevated tee. It’s a beauty of a hole, but when the wind blows, it really shows its teeth. Forget the shot for a minute and just enjoy the view, as it’s pretty special.
The 15th hole on the South must be one of the most photographed holes in golf, and for very good reason. It’s really is stunning. 175 yards from the gold tees (214 from the blacks if you’re really brave!) and nearly all of it carry across the lake. Once you’ve made the green, you can relax again.
The par 4 16th is a hole you can really go at as you admire the wide and inviting fairway. Hit one down the middle and you’ll be left with an easy short iron to the green. Big hitters could be in trouble down the left though, with the pines lining the fairway running up to another strategically placed bunker. After you’ve holed out for par, have a look at the beautiful Ria Formosa just behind the green.
The 17th and penultimate hole is another picture opportunity, regardless of how well your round has gone. 535 yards with water to the left, to the right and in front of you. There’s plenty of fairway to go at, but it’s a hole that really needs a straight drive. The shot into the green has bunkers left and right, which are raised above the fairway. Once you get to the green, it’s a very tricky one with lots of contours.
The South is a fine golf course; it has a really interesting layout that has its challenges, but generally it plays pretty fair.
Whatever your handicap, I genuinely think you would enjoy the South; the fairways are wide and lush, there are some fantastic views and the greens are world class.
If you plan on going to the Algarve to play golf, a round on the South Course is a must and if you play in the off-season there are some incredible deals to be had.
OVERALL RATING – 9
Course (Conditions) -9
Course (Hole Variety/Layout) - 9
Course (Green Condition) - 10
Course (Challenge/Difficulty) - 8
Club Facilities & 19th/Clubhouse - 10
Practice Facilities - 10
Friendliness/Hospitality - 9
Pace of Play - 9
Value for Money - 9
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