Those who have been to play golf in the Algarve will be aware of what an amazing golfing destination it is. There is an abundance of choice of courses to play around the Villamoura and Vale-do-Lobo area and the exceptional quality of the Quinta do Lago area, which hosts 3 three 18-hole championship golf courses – the North, South and Laranjal.
Situated just 15 minutes from Faro airport in Portugal’s famous southern stretch of coastline, Quinta do Lago is a golfers paradise, with exceptional practice facilities and a state-of-the-art performance centre. For those staying in the resort, The Campus offers a world-class sports hub designed for professionals and amateurs alike to keep fit.
Complementing the golf facilities is a choice of 13 first-class bars and restaurants that deliver a range of delicious world cuisines – including the acclaimed Bovino Steakhouse and Dano’s Sports Bar & Restaurant – with accommodation on offer at the resort’s recently-acquired boutique The Magnolia Hotel.
As a golf destination, playing the 3 courses here gives 3 different experiences. The design and layout of the courses differs with the one constant being the exceptional conditioning. Even during the crisis of Covid-19 there is no scrimping or saving on presentation and investment in maintenance as the courses are all kept to an exceptional standard.
Quinta do Lago’s South Course is to be given a modern makeover as part of a new €7m golf course investment programme 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. The work was due to be completed by September 1 but has been delayed in the current crisis and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.
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 – have undergone significant maintenance improvements all helped by the recently appointed Mark Tupling, Quinta do Lago’s new golf course superintendent.
After nine years as agronomy manager at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai – where the Earth Course hosts the European Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship – Mark Tupling is focusing his efforts on sustainability to maintain Quinta do Lago’s position as one of Europe’s leading resorts, and the 40-year-old is keen to establish some mutually-beneficial relationships to preserve and enhance the natural surroundings of the resort and the location. .
Tupling said: “Quinta do Lago is stunning. I have known of the property for a number of years having been within the golf industry and having been part of the European Tour Destinations portfolio.
“I am an advocate for environmentally-responsible approaches to life and this is something I also aspire to uphold in the way I manage golf courses. Quinta do Lago is blessed to border the Ria Formosa – one of the world’s largest nature Reserves – and working with environmental organisations is going to be a focus of mine in promoting the benefits that golf courses offer in nature. ”
Originally from Yorkshire in the UK, Tupling is the son of former professional Peter Tupling – who played in the Open Championship four times – but opted to pursue a career elsewhere in the golf industry.
He explained: “I was raised in golf as my father was a PGA professional but knowing I was not going to follow the playing side, I took up education in golf course management and then completed an Excellence in Golf Award programme at Gleneagles. That’s where I fell in love with the turf industry.
“When the opportunity came up to join Quinta do Lago, it was impossible to refuse. Our time in the UAE was coming to a natural conclusion and our two girls are entering their formative school years, so a move to Europe was already in our minds. But the timing was perfect and it’s an exciting challenge.”