QUINTA DO LAGO ECO-BLUEPRINT SHINES LIGHT TO PATH
As Europe’s premier modern golf destination, Quinta do Lago is well aware of the need to adapt and change and has created a blueprint for the return of golfers and their families post-Covid-19, with the long-term focus on sustainability, mental wellbeing and the environment.
The top Portuguese resort has laid the foundations for life after the pandemic by promoting a multi-tiered plan with the emphasis on outdoor living and incorporating three key principles: to foster nature, conserve resources and support the community.
Following an extended period of lockdowns across Europe, spending time outdoors and living a healthy lifestyle in an eco-friendly environment has never been more important to people.
Nestling in the heart of the Ria Formosa Natural Park, Quinta do Lago has always been passionate about the environment – only nine per cent of the resort has been built on with the rest devoted to golf, water and lakes and green spaces.
As well as featuring improved sustainability on its three 18-hole championship courses – including a €7m makeover of the iconic South Course – the resort has adopted an enhanced approach to conservation across other sectors of its business including at its world-class sports hub The Campus, The Magnolia Hotel, its 12 bars and restaurants and general resort services.
Sean Moriarty, CEO at Quinta do Lago, said: “Following the challenges of Covid, people will be looking for green living, safe spaces and low-density areas, and Quinta do Lago lends itself perfectly to this new approach.
“We have always been a resort driven by nature with an environmental focus. We are a destination which lends itself to outdoor living and we are looking forward to welcoming guests back to experience our new sustainability initiative – one of our key investments which took place during the initial lockdown.
“Covid enabled us to reflect on what is important and launch this strategy sooner than anticipated, there were policies in place but previously we did not have an official master plan to work towards. This has started with one of our renowned golf courses and has spread across the whole resort.
“People are in need of some good news, and we are looking forward to sharing how we are improving and strengthening our environmental credentials – enhancing guest experience and our relationship with the natural world.”
Set amongst 2,000 acres of the Ria Formosa Natural Park and located just 15 minutes from Faro airport, Quinta do Lago is famous for offering residents and guests a variety of lifestyle pursuits and a strong sense of community in an unparalleled location.
At the forefront of the resort’s latest initiatives is the renovation of its South Course, an eight-time host of the Portuguese Open.
Among the improvements made, all of the layouts fairways, bunkers, tees and green surrounds have received an upgrade, with subtle changes also being made to a number of holes to enhance the golfing experience.
Carried out with sustainable goals in mind and with Quinta do Lago golf course superintendent Mark Tupling and his team working with the Golf Environment Organisation (GEO) Foundation, a state-of-the-art irrigation system has also been installed together with more eco-friendly grasses – maximising efficiency and reducing the use of non-renewable resources.
In addition, a planting scheme introducing native plants in and around the golf courses to control and remove invasive exotic species; building ‘bug hotels’ for insects – helping to control garden pests so reducing the use of insecticides – increasing the number of bird-nesting boxes and constructing bee houses; removing single-use plastics at its restaurants; and using a new fleet of electric golf buggies across the resort are among the other initiatives to be introduced to help conserve resources.
Quinta do Lago created its own farm in 2019 to provide its restaurants with homegrown organic produce, while further measures to help foster nature include the placing information boards on the golf courses and nearby nature trails advising people of the wildlife living nearby.
As one of the biggest employers in the Almancil area with more than 500 staff employed throughout the year, the resort also appreciates the importance of supporting the local community in its new eco-strategy.
As well as offering affordable golf to juniors taking up the game and support in playing regional and national tournaments, a series of other events and activities will be available including guided nature walks through the golf courses, educational trips to the resort farm and working closely with the animals living in and around the resort.
Moriarty added: “It is interesting to think about how we will travel in a post-pandemic world, which has highlighted how important our relationship is with our environment – hopefully, this will have a lasting impact and we will begin to travel more sustainably and live healthier lifestyles as a collective.”
Quinta do Lago boasts a combination of world-class golf and lifestyle facilities including three 18-hole championship golf courses and The Campus, a world-class sports hub designed for professionals and amateurs alike to keep fit.
Complementing the sports and leisure amenities is a choice of 12 first-class bars and restaurants that deliver a range of delicious world cuisines, including the acclaimed Bovino Steakhouse and recently-opened Dano’s Sports Bar & Restaurant, and accommodation at the recently-acquired boutique The Magnolia Hotel.
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Quinta do Lago
Since its inception in 1972, Quinta do Lago has been at the forefront of international golf, hosting eight Portuguese Opens as well as numerous other international tournaments. Home to three world-class golf courses, the resort also boasts a wealth of cutting-edge practice facilities.
- Quinta do Lago North Course – Opening in October 2014, the totally revamped North Course has been redeveloped by renowned American golf architect Beau Welling in close collaboration with 2014 European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley and is set to become one of the new stars of European golf. The new layout has been built to the highest specifications with a €9.6m investment programme and has been redeveloped with the emphasis firmly on precision and strategy. While many modern-day developments tend to focus on length, Welling and McGinley have been keen to design a golfing experience where accuracy and course management are the key factors, and a course that is playable and fun for golfers of all abilities.
- Quinta do Lago South Course – A favourite among European Tour professionals, the South Course calls for accurate drives and precise shots, but rewards players for their efforts with the stunning backdrop of the Ria Formosa Natural Park. Regularly included in Golf World magazine’s ‘Top 100 Golf Courses in Europe’, the par-72 layout has received widespread praise for its strategically-placed hazards and varying difficulty across the 18 holes. Having hosted the Portuguese Open on no fewer than eight occasions, the South Course is regarded as one of Portugal’s premier golfing venues.
- Laranjal – Designed by Jorge Santana da Silva in the grounds of an orange grove, the par-72 course was named as Portugal’s Best Golf Course 2011 at the Portuguese Travel Awards, and poses serious tests for players of all abilities. Opened in 2008, Laranjal offers a pure golfing experience right next to the Quinta do Lago estate and features fairways sown with Bermuda grass, providing a challenging playing environment in a picture-perfect setting.
- Paul McGinley Academy – Quinta do Lago is home to the only Paul McGinley Academy in the world, founded in October 2011 by Europe’s 2014 Ryder Cup captain. With a strong involvement from McGinley himself, who is a regular visitor to the resort, the academy aims to cultivate and improve golfers’ play by providing them with the tools and techniques used on the professional Tours. The academy focuses especially on younger players, working in collaboration with local schools and is the perfect way to follow in the footsteps of the pros.
- TaylorMade Performance Center – Quinta do Lago’s TaylorMade Performance Centre is the only facility of its kind in Portugal and is located on the resort’s expansive driving range. Opened in May 2013, the centre is operated by trained TaylorMade technicians, offering golfers a custom-fitting experience testing hundreds of club and iron options, ensuring the best combination for every player’s swing. It also has a fully equipped Tour standard workshop and utilises FlightScope X2 radar technology to measure the entire flight of the ball from impact to landing whilst displaying its 3D trajectory in real time.
Set amongst 2,000 acres of the picturesque Ria Formosa Natural Park and located just 15 minutes from Faro airport, Quinta do Lago offers residents and guests an unparalleled location benefiting from a year-round temperate climate, a variety of lifestyle pursuits and a strong sense of community.
For more information on Quinta do Lago and its facilities, call + 351 289 390 700 or visit www.quintadolago.com
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