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Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo Golf
the Royal's 16th hole and the most famous Vale do Lobo golf view
Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago, the names for those in the know are synonymous with luxury, natural beauty and world class golf. Here nestled amongst woods of distinctive umbrella pines with their faces turned to the great expanse of the Atlantic ocean you?ll find some of the most idyllic and breathtaking golf courses you?ll ever have played on
It is a place where world class designers have taken full advantage of the beauty and drama of the landscape perching holes on red sandstone clifftops, overlooking mile upon mile of golden beaches and blending the natural woods, streams and wetlands with attractive man-made lakes and clever planting. Many of the courses overlook or form part of the natural park of Ria Formosa a wetland haven for many unusual bird species.
There are six golf courses in and around Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago. Together they enjoy a reputation as some of the most challenging and memorable in Portugal and are meticulously maintained all year round.
Vale do Lobo Golf CoursesVale do Lobo Ocean
The Vale do Lobo ocean course was originally designed by Sir Henry Cotton then updated and improved by Rocky Roquemore. It is set amidst stunning scenery bordered by fragrant pine, eucalyptus, fig, olive and orange trees to the North and the shores of the Atlantic to the South. The 5,493 metre course winds it way through undulating park land, past attractive lakes and streams to arguably some of the best sea views you?ll ever enjoy while golfing. The course consists of a combination of links style and parkland holes presenting a challenge to golfers of all standards. Its most memorable holes are probably the two Par 4s the 11th and the 14th which really test your golf while offering spectacular views and the 15th, which runs alongside the beach. This is a par 73 course with 18 holes.
Vale do Lobo Royal
Created by Rocky Roquemore, based upon plans drawn up by Sir Henry Cotton this course boasts one of the world?s most photographed holes. The cliff top carryover 16th hole requires a 218 metre stroke over three cliffs to reach the green and has become a symbol of golf in the Algarve. It offers a breathtaking view all along the coastline over the famous red sandstone cliffs, the seemingly endless golden sands of Falesia beach and the sparkling blue of the Atlantic. The rest of the course is equally challenging with championship tees that will really test your golf. It is generally seen as more difficult than the Ocean course as it has more interrupted terrain, a greater number of water and sand obstacles and generally longer holes. As well as the spectacular 16th, there are other memorable holes including the 9th which has an uncommon almost island tee. The designers have gone out of the way to retain and enhance the natural beauty and character of the setting with rolling fairways, umbrella pines and lakes surrounded by wild flowers and lush vegetation. It is a 6,175 metre,18 hole, par 72 course.
Quinta do Lago Golf CoursesQuinta do Lago South and Quinta do Lago North
The two renowned Quinta do Lago courses were designed by William Mitchell, Rocky Roquemore and Joseph Lee. Originally a single course with four nine hole loops it has now been split into two distinct 18 hole par 72 courses: Quinta do Lago South and Quinta do Lago North. They form part of the Ria Formosa nature reserve and the undulating courses combine the natural beauty of the pine woods, sweetly scented wild flowers, seaside location and breathtaking views with attractive fairways, artificial lakes and championship tees. The North course is thought to be slightly easier than the South as it has less water features however both continue to offer a challenge to golfers of all levels. The Quinta do Lago courses have hosted 8 Portuguese opens so far and seem to set to remain at the top of many a golfers' wish list for years to come.
The São Lorenzo course enjoys an idyllic setting within the Ria Formosa Natural Park. It winds its way through pine woods, past lakes and beaches to the shores of the Atlantic where there are spectacular views over the ocean and estuary. Long a favourite amongst golfers for the sheer beauty and magnificence of its setting and the challenge of its golf it has been named best course in Spain and Portugal and ranked number 8 in the world by Golf Digest magazine. Designed by Joseph Lee, it kicks off with an enticing but surprisingly tricky par 5, but it is after hole 5 that the real drama unfolds with breathtaking sea views and challenging lakeside tees. It is an impeccably kept 18 hole par 72 course and has an excellent practice area.
Pinheiros Altos is an unusual and intriguing course as it combines two sets of holes with very distinct and different characteristics. The first 18 holes lead you through rolling and sandy countryside dotted with umbrella pines and the occasional lake, while the other 9 nestle at the bottom of the valley where the natural wetlands present an interesting challenge. The course was designed by Ronald Fream and has been enhanced by Peter McEvoy and Howard Swan. It is very popular with golfers as it demands all your nerve and accuracy. The 17th hole with its tantalising island green is particularly tricky. If you can tear your eyes away from the action, this par 72 (3 x 36) 6409 metres championship course enjoys a tranquil setting with beautiful views of the striking plants and birdlife of the Ria Formosa natural park. It is enjoying a growing reputation as a favourite pre-season practice ground for professional golfers with putting greens, areas for bunker, chip shots, several greens and tuition including video analysis.
Etiquette and Practicalities
Handicap certificates are needed to play on Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo golf courses with the average maximum handicap for men 28 and ladies 36.
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We hope to see you on a Quinta do Lago or Vale do Lobo golf course soon!
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