Feature Review: Quinta do Lago - Laranjal
The Laranjal golf course is the newest course to join the the Quinta do Lago family, and was always going to have a tough upbringing with the North and South courses already well established. Opening in 2009, Laranjal was designed by Portuguese course architect Jorge Santana da Silva, and clearly, he did a fine job as it was awarded ‘Best Golf Course’ at the Portuguese Travel Awards in 2011.
Previously, an orange grove, (hence Laranjal) the 6500 yard course is real test. With a choice of tees, including black championship tees (increasing to just over 7000 yards), you can decide how hard you want to make it.
Pre round thoughts
2km east of the other two Quinta Do Lago courses and resort, it still oozes the same class. A great, well stocked pro shop and a really good restaurant to get your pre round fuel up whilst you look over the score card of this par 72 course. Immediately, you notice the unusual configuration of holes – five par 5’s, 8 par 4’s and 5 par 3’s… of which the shortest is 167 yards from the white tees. Thankfully, it was a lovely calm day when we played!
With five par 3’s to choose from at Laranjal, the 7th and the 11th deserve the extra attention here.
The 7th is a beast of a hole, and one of the toughest par 3’s you’ll play. 247 yards with pine trees left and bunkers right, you need a big brave hit, especially if you have a crowd watching! Once you’ve hit the green and holed out for par, you’ll feel on top of the world!
Whilst the 11th really is something special. The signature hole on the course, is 180 yards with a huge lake to the right and their famous ‘beach bunker’ running alongside. You almost want to hit the bunker it looks so inviting! Make it onto the lightening fast sloping green and make par - a great result on this hole.
The 5th, at 392 yards is the first hole that really gets you excited, and is also a hole you’ll need your best drive. From an elevated tee you need to feed your ball between the trees to the lush fairway, before looking left towards the green. It’s one of those tee shots that you wish you could watch in slow motion. With bunkers left and right of a large undulating green, this is one to savour.
The 9th is a fabulous hole, and probably the favourite of the day. 464 yards from the tee, you start with a dogleg right with water on the left, then you have to go the other way with water to the right! It’s not the longest hole, and if you’re striking it well is easily reachable in two… but the sheer amount of water makes you really think about your shots.
The 544 yard 16th is another double dogleg . Tee off with water to the right, all the way up the fairway. If you’ve hit a great tee shot, you might thinking about going for the green in two, but it’s a very brave shot as you’ll need to carry a small lake to an elevated green. Chose to lay up, even the third to the green can make you feel a little nervous! Fabulous hole.
What a stunning golf course Laranjal is, and very much under rated in the Algarve. The layout is interesting, with some opportunities to score well, even with a high handicap. But there are also some real risk reward shots too. The greens are amongst the best I’ve ever played too, fast, true but very fair.
It’s not the longest course you’ll ever play, but it’s definitely one you’ll want to come back to… not just for the free fresh oranges!
Feature Review: Quinta do Lago - North Course
Feature Review: Quinta do Lago - South Course
|Quinta do Lago - Laranjal
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