Quinta do Lago’s South Course is to be given a modern makeover as part of a new €7m golf course investment programme taking place at the luxury Portuguese resort this summer.
The upgrade of the iconic layout, an eight-time host of the Portuguese Open, forms the centrepiece of a multi-million euro golf improvement plan announced by the top Algarve destination resort, with all the work due to be completed by September 1.
As part of the South Course’s major overhaul, all fairways, bunkers, tees and green surrounds will be revamped as well as subtle changes being made to a number of holes to enhance the playing experience. The improvements will be carried out with sustainable goals in mind and the resort team will work with the Golf Environment Organisation (GEO) Foundation to further enhance its environmental stewardship.
In addition, Quinta do Lago’s other two 18-hole championship courses – the North Course and Laranjal – will also undergo significant maintenance improvements, the resort has invested in a new fleet of state-of-the-art electric golf buggies and golfers can look forward to the reopening of the main clubhouse this summer following an extensive refurbishment.
Sean Moriarty, CEO at Quinta do Lago, said: “It gives me enormous pleasure to announce this significant new investment in our golf courses.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has been challenging for everyone, but while the world is in shutdown, here at Quinta do Lago we are using this time to invest in and improve the facilities and unrivalled experience we offer to our residents and guests as Europe’s premier luxury golf and lifestyle resort.
“The South Course has played an integral part in the history of the resort and holds a special place in the hearts of so many of our residents and guests. As an eight-time host of the Portuguese Open, it is truly an iconic golfing venue and the enhancement programme that we’ve devised will help to ensure that it strengthens its position at the forefront of European golf. We are looking forward to welcoming golfers back to Quinta do Lago very soon.”
A favourite among European Tour professionals, Quinta do Lago’s South Course is regularly ranked among Europe’s top 100 golf courses. The par-72 layout is regarded as one of Portugal’s premier golfing venues and the improvement programme – which will be overseen by golf course superintendent Mark Tupling – has been designed to enhance its reputation even further.
Among the work to take place, and to help provide a consistent playing experience, all the fairways, approaches, greens collars and tees will be resurfaced with a hybrid type of Bermudagrass.
All 48 bunkers on the course will be trimmed to their original size, with new drainage and sand added and compacted, while several bunkers currently within the pine tree canopy will be adjusted to give access to the green and two bunkers relocated to favour the modern game.
In addition, the lakes on the third and 17th holes will be upgraded with new retaining walls giving a sharp modern look consistent with the other lakes on the course; the fairway on the eighth hole will be softened and a number of pine trees relocated to allow greater access to the green; and the 16th hole is to be improved by bringing the lake into play behind the green, adding drama to the closing holes.
Away from the South Course, Quinta do Lago is also investing in improving the cart paths at Laranjal, as well as carrying out extensive drainage work to the par-five 16th hole to capture and divert natural spring water to be reused as irrigation.
Both Laranjal and the North Course – which underwent a €9.6m renovation in 2014 – will also be given their annual aeration work early so that the resort can ensure that they will remain open and in pristine condition for the remainder of the year.
And in line with Quinta do Lago’s recently updated eco-strategy, all the work will be carried out with a strict commitment to preserving the environment. The installation of state-of-the-art pumps in the lake around the 16th green of the South Course will maximise resort efficiency and reduce power output by 20 per cent. New irrigation installed around the greens will give more control of irrigation water, allowing the promotion of drought-tolerant grass species in the roughs and, ultimately, reducing the use of non-renewable resources and pesticides.
A planting scheme of native species adopted across the course will also increase the biodiversity of flora and fauna, while other features of the multi-million investment will include a new fleet of Club Car ‘Tempo’ electric buggies and the reopening of the main clubhouse following a modern and sophisticated makeover.