Quinta do Lago was the first course designed by an American golf architect in Portugal. The areas at his disposal could not have been better. Umbrella-pinewoods, on a slightly undulating ground, and the Ria Formosa National Park in the background, full of migratory birds that usually take shelter there, with the constant presence of the mild Atlantic breeze, offered to William Mitchelllike a picture canvas. But almost as important as nature, a new concept of resort was introduced into Portugal, were the «great» and the «good» combined with exceptional imagination, to form a concept that in a certain way still stands in Quinta do Lago and turns it into one of the most attractive places all over Europe.
Quinta do Lago, whose leitmotiv is quality, introduced a new standard of golf maintenance to Portugal, that was unusual for us and that accounts for the enormous flow of tourists that has invaded Quinta do Lago and, in a way, the entire Algarve. As a matter a fact, for the first time it was possible to play all the year round without preferred lies, because on the fairway the ball was always in an impeccable lie. It was the quality of maintenance and the quality of its managers and employees that has made the charisma of Quinta do Lago survive, beyond all the hardships it endured in the revolutionary period after 1974.
Quinta do Lago now has four nine-hole courses, the first three designed by W. Mitchell and the 4th by Joe Lee and W. Roquemore, who later on did the San Lorenzo, on the Quinta do Lago estate.
All the courses have excellent holes; but the best ones are probably the par 5's - 3rd on the 'A', 5th on the 'B', l8th on the 'C' and 11th on the 'A + D' course combination.In our opinion, the most remarkable one is the 5th on the 'B' course, with a fairway winding through the pinewood, two bunkers that catch all the slices and hooks, allowing a second stroke to the green over the umbrella-pines, that is always possible for long hitters. Two bunkers protect the elevated green in front and on the right. This is the best bole in the whole course.
The par-3 6th on the 'C' course is another unforgettable hole for every player, at least amongst those who leave a total of more than a thousand balls in its lake every week. It is 200 metres long from the back tee to the green and has the lake over 60 metres wide between.
[In O Golfe em Portugal - Fernando Nunes Pedro - Texto Editora-Andersen Consulting]
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