Feature Review Quinta do Lago North Course
The North Course was often seen as the poor relation to it’s neighbouring South Course that was until it was totally revamped in 2014. The redesign, by renowned American architect Beau Welling in collaboration with European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley, had no expense spared, with an impressive £7m worth of investment. This included new greens, tees, bunkers, irrigation, drainage and cart paths.
The 6775-yard course is now one that they’re very proud of, calling it the new number one course at Quinta do Lago… and they might just be onto something.
Pre round thoughts
When arriving at the Quinta Do Lago estate, it’s everything you’d expect from this 5 star golf resort. A friendly welcome from the pro shop as you check in, collect your scorecards and get your ticket to golfing nirvana, before heading to a fantastic practice green.
Want to hit some balls first too? Head to the fantastic driving range and practice area, also home to the new Paul McGinley Academy.
The North Course has four very different Par 3’s… but all equally good. The 2nd, a 190-yard par 3 has water running all the way along the right, and trees along the left. Hit the left to right green and make par here, you’ll be happy.
The 16th and final par 3 is 159 yards. It’s a downhill tee shot with a bunker at the front. Don’t be fooled by the distance as you can easily be caught out. This is one of the nicest greens on the course, but the slopes on the green carry the ball away from the pin! It’s a much harder hole than it looks.
The opening hole on the North Course sets you off in style. A 351-yard Par 4, from an elevated tee, with bunkers to the right that are in range. Play it well, you’ll be left with a short pitch into the green and certainly a good chance of a par to start.
The 5th is a beautiful hole. A relatively short par-4 at 345 yards, but with a dogleg left leaving lots of options off the tee. Take the bunkers out of play and go safe onto the nice wide fairway. You’ll have a longer approach to the three tier green, but a better chance of par. It’s a total risk and reward hole and a very clever one at that.
The 12th, a 415 yard par 4 is a stunning hole and one of my favourites on the course. With water down the left and bunkers to the right, you are again faced with some tee shot choices. If you’re not brave enough to flirt with the water there’s plenty of fairway to go at too. A totally scoreable hole, but also with plenty of danger.
Of the four Par 5’s on the North Course, the 18th certainly deserves all the attention. Not a long par 5, but hugely enjoyable to play, and a fabulous closing hole. The two fairway bunkers on the left are in range for a good drive. Hit the fairway and you have some more choices to make, as there are two approach bunkers left and greenside bunkers right. If you’re not brave (or long!), there’s lots of fairway to go at, leaving a short shot into a fast, two-tier green. Hole out, get for a beer and just think about what a lovely golf course you’ve just played!
The North is a fantastic golf course, with magnificent fairways and wonderfully true greens. It’s a course that requires you to really think about what shots to play. It’s not an easy course, and even a low handicap golfer could throw in a high score.
Still, the condition and layout of the course is so good, that even a bad card can’t make you too grumpy as you walk off the 18th and head to the bar.
I’d definitely recommend using a buggy as it’s a reasonable walk, plus… they all have GPS and particularly luxurious seats!
Finally, don’t expect to have a quick 4 hour round here. It is relatively slow… but that just gives you more time to take in the scenery!
Feature Review: Quinta do Lago - South Course
Feature Review: Quinta do Lago - Laranjal
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