Mini golf at Quinta do Lago is probably not the course that immediately springs to mind at this resort on the Portuguese Algarve. Not when the resort has the recently renovated South as well as the North and Laranjal courses.
Indeed it may not spring to mind at all. Hence this article – consider it as a helpful public service announcement if you like. (Incidentally, have you remembered to turn off the gas?) Indeed, I only became aware of the delights of mini golf at Quinta do Lago by accident. Or rather, by airline schedules and a puzzled press trip organiser.
Mini golf does not feature on many golf press-trip itineraries. Indeed, it only appeared on mine as the organiser’s solution as to what to do with two golf journalists whose flights were arriving well before the rest of the party. The solution was to send us to play the resort’s mini golf course.
To appeal to all ages, and not just primarily children, the mini golf at Quinta do Lago is based on famous holes around the world. The result is rather fun, beautifully landscaped and cleverly done.
The opening hole is based on the 10th at the Belfry, the water in front of the green represented by a blue-painted ditch. This hole is the only par 4 on what is otherwise a par-3 layout, bar one other exception.
This other exception is the par-5 7th, based on the 13th at Augusta National. The 6th is its take on Augusta National’s 12th. For many these will the be the nearest they will get to playing Augusta – although there are ways to get a game at Augusta National.
The layout climaxes with TPC Sawgrass’ island green 17th, the tee shot played to a small ramp. By this stage, you would also have played a version of Troon’s Postage Stamp 8th and Pebble Beach’s iconic 7th, among others.
The whole experience was captivating. So much so that I suggested to the organiser, when he flew in, that the other journalists might like to play, or at least see, the mini golf. Perhaps we could even have a mini golf tournament among ourselves?
He looked at me in a semi-pitting manner: “No point: no-one from this trip will be writing about the mini golf here, will they.”
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