Quinta Do Lago – The North Course
The North Course is technically the newest addition to Quinta do Lago’s five-star golf facilities. The totally revamped course has been one of the most talked-about projects over the last 18 months and is set to be one of the new stars of European golf and the new number one course at Quinta do Lago.
Redesigned by renowned American architect Beau Welling in close collaboration with European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley, the new layout has been built to the highest specifications with a €9.6m investment. The North Course has been redeveloped with the emphasis firmly on precision and strategy.
The course, which re-opened in October 2014, for only 12 months sits amongst some of Portugal’s finest properties, multi-million pound villas line the fairways and surround the greens of all 18 holes. Like the stunning residential architecture, the course is in immaculate condition and is a test for golfers of all levels. Amongst the changes introduced on the 6,776-yard course are overhauled greens, tees, bunkers, irrigation and drainage systems and cart paths, four sets of tees have been introduced on each hole to accommodate players of all levels.
Winning European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley has played a huge part in regenerating this course.
“A lot of people find the game very difficult so the aim with the golf course was to make it as playable as possible for golfers of all levels,” McGinley said. “We didn’t change the template or routing of the course but upgraded it and brought it into the modern world, making it as visual as possible. The course is a challenge but also very fair.”
The stand-out hole on the North Course was the dogleg left, par-four 12th – don’t hook it! With water along the left-hand side all the way to the green, the tee shot is of paramount importance. A good drive to the middle of the fairway leaves a 150-yard approach all over water to hit the sweet spot on the green.
The majority of the greens are all very large, meaning a good green in regulation percentage, can be obtained but they all have their little challenges, often with two or three tiers, and even the most experienced golfer would have to make sure the ball is positioned in the right part of the green otherwise they could be facing an easy 40ft putt!
The North Course gives the impression that it is built around the resort estate, rather than the other way around, but the small aesthetic changes have paid huge dividends, resulting in a gorgeous layout which effortlessly blends into its surroundings. Already a solid and likable track, the recent redesign has made the North course a joy and pleasure to play.