The South Course is the crown jewel of Quinta do Lago. Designed in 1974 by William Mitchell, who introduced American-standard greens, tees and bunkers to the Algarve. Soon the course gained a prestigious reputation and became a flagship in the European Tour Course. A favourite among European tour players, the 6,500 metre par 72 is set among umbrella pines, lakes and wild flowers, overlooking the serene Ria Formosa Natural Park.
South Course has hosted the Portuguese Open eight times, including Colin Montgomerie’s win in 1989. Having won 24 under par, he finished 11 strokes ahead and broke the world record with a round of 63.
Its championship status however does not deter the amateur golfer. While the 8th, 15th and 18th are testing holes for low handicap players, the course’s varying difficulty challenges golfers of all levels and abilities. Accurate tee shots are essential for reaching the greens, as the variety of doglegs and strategically located hazards increases the course’s difficulty. The front nine holes, which wind their way through the parkland, favour a draw. While the back nine, which loop around the lake, favour a fade from the tea.
The South Course is currently closed for renovation. A €7 million investment into improving the course is underway, in collaboration with GEO Foundation to ensure sustainability and reduce environmental impact. The South Course will reopen in January. In the meantime, the North and Laranjal courses are open and in pristine condition.