The jewel in the Quinta do Lago crown, the South Course has played host to the Portuguese Open no less than eight times. Designed in 1974 by William Mitchell, who raised the bar by introducing American-standard greens, tees and bunkers to the Algarve, it soon gained a reputation as one of the foremost courses in Europe and remains to this day one of the flagship European Tour Courses.
The favourite course of many European tour players, it is a 6,500 metre par 72 set amongst umbrella pines, lakes and wild flowers, overlooking the spectacular scenery of the Ria Formosa National Park.
The course hosted the Portuguese Open in 1976, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990 and 2001, the most memorable, perhaps, being in 1989 when Colin Montgomerie won the title with an incredible 24 under par. He finished 11 strokes ahead and broke the course record with a round of 63.
Its championship status does not deter the amateur golfer. Indeed, while the 8th, 15th, and 18th are testing holes for low handicap players, the course provides interest and challenge to golfers of all levels and abilities.
Accurate tee shots are essential in order to reach many of the greens in regulation and the course is made more challenging by a good variety of doglegs and strategically located hazards. The front nine holes, which wind their way through parkland, favour a draw, while the back nine, which loop around the lake, favour a fade from the tee.
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