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Quinta do Lago Laranjal Golf Course Review

By: Matt Holbrook | Wed 14 Feb 2024

Surrounded by the grounds of an orange grove, Laranjal (Orange Grove in English) is one of three outstanding courses situated in the ever popular Quinta do Lago Resort in the Algarve. 

Designed by Jorge Santana da Silva, Laranjal was voted The Best Golf Course at The Portuguese Travel Awards in 2011. 

Opened in 2008, Laranjal is situated close to the Qunita do Lago estate and offers a challenging test of golf in picturesque surroundings with many water features to be negotiated, fairways sown with Bermuda grass, and slick undulating greens. 

A selection of five different tee options means golfers of all abilities are able to enjoy the test without it being too challenging, depending on the desired length. 

Ranging from blacks at 7,083 yards to the reds at 4,095 yards, we played the golf tees that measured at 6,380 yards. 

Pre-Round Thoughts

When you arrive at Laranjal, you will be greeted by the friendly starter, who will give you a warm welcome and point you in the direction of the driving range and practice area, as well as the 1st tee. 

Just over the road are the excellent practice facilities, where the well-equipped area features a range, putting green, chipping green and practice bunker, all of which are course standard. 

From the pro shop entrance you get a glimpse of the daunting 18th hole, and you will also get a peek of the 1st tee as you make your way down to the range that will really get the juices flowing for the experience that lies ahead. 

Quinta do Lago Laranjal

Front 9 Overview

The opening two holes couldn't be more contrasted. 

A gentle par 4 to start that moves from right to left, where either a driver or long iron is fine from the tee to avoid the fairway bunkers. 

The 320-yard opener offers a big putting surface as a target with a wedge to short iron, depending on the play from the tee, and it may offer up an early birdie chance - but don't get too relaxed just yet. 

The 2nd hole is an extremely demanding par 3 over water with a large greenside bunker that protects the front and right side. Playing close to 190 yards, a head cover may come off for some, depending on pin placement on an undulating green. 

The 4th is a fun par 4, around 350 yards, which falls away from the tee, then back up towards a raised green with a false front. 

The fairway runs out at 270 yards, so club choice from the tee is crucial, laying up short of the large fairway bunkers that loom on the right-hand side may be the best play, leaving a full shot up to the green. 

You then take on another challenging par 3 at the 6th with the standout hole on the front 9 following that.

A fantastic par 5 with water left, right and then again left from a raised tee box makes you really want to attack this hole.

The fairway narrows between the bunkers on the left and the water on the right around 250 yards. 

The options on the second shot are either laying up short of the water that surrounds the green leaving a longer second shot, or having a crack at carrying the water to try and hit the green in two. All you can see from the fairway is water and a flag. But who goes away to lay-up?

Back 9 Overview

A lovely risk reward par 4 greets you on the 11th. Just a shade under 300 yards, the fairway kicks in by two fairway bunkers that protect the direct line to the green. A lay-up short will only require a mid to long iron from the tee, but the brave player that decides to take those bunkers on wont be too far short of the green. 

That theme returns on the great par 4 14th. Whilst this is slightly longer - close to 380 yards, the raised tee box playing down offers a really inviting tee short, and a fairly forgiving one at that. Don't think twice here, just pull out the driver and have some fun trying to get it as close to the green as possible. 

An incredible par 5 follows too. Another raised tee box, the fairway kicks in from the left-hand side, with some devilish fairway bunkers down the right. The pine trees funnel the inviting fairway from the tee  and from there you plot your way around the bunkers left and right into a tough green. Close to 500 yards, it may not be in reach for everyone. 

The perfect way to finish the round at Laranjal is another par 5 surrounded by water, very similar to the 7th. 

From the tee, the water up the left-hand side looks the same width as the fairway that runs adjacent to it. The closer to the water you hit, the shorter second shot. 

The fairway moves in a 'S' shape, and as the water protects the left-hand side from the tee, it's the right-hand side that comes into play on the second shot. The sensible player may choose to hit a short iron almost away from the green, leaving a similar shot in. But braver souls will pull out enough club and go for glory to a long narrow green. The bunkers along the left-hand side of the approach may not be the worst play, as this means playing away from the water too. 

A classic par 5 risk reward, that whatever the score, will certainly entertain, right to the sweet end.

Post-Round Thoughts

Laranjal is a special golf course, partly open, partly lined with tall daunting pines. It's a great option for groups of mixed abilities as you have to be very off-line to get in real trouble. Water does come in play on a lot of holes, but you can plot your way around. 

It was in perfect condition, even with a spell of heavy rain the day before we played. The greens were as pure as they come, very undulating in places. 

With a choice of tee boxes, it's playable and enjoyable for everyone who visits and will test players of all abilities. But unless you're having a really bad day, it may not beat you up too badly, which should also add to the enjoyment. 

Quinta do Lago Laranjal


It's not often a golf course sits in such high regard with me, as Laranjal did. I've played enough courses in places like Spain and Portugal to know a good golf course when I see one, and Laranjal is just that. It would easily sit in my top five (probably top two) courses I have played in Europe. As soon as I finished, I could have gone straight back out and had another go. The perfect blend of pine, water, immaculate fairways and greens - and of course, don't forget the oranges!

Overall Rating - 10

Course (Conditions) - 10

Course (Hole Variety/Layout) - 10

Course (Green Condition) - 10

Course (Challenge/Difficulty) - 8

Club Facilities & Clubhouse - 8

Practice Facilities - 9

Friendliness/Hospitality - 10

Pace of Play - 10

Value For Money - 9

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