Quinta da Ria Golf Course
Quinta da Ria Golf Course is located in Vila Nova de Cacela within the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve, its layout has already been described by experienced golfers as the most breathtaking golf course in the Region. Stretching from Faro along the coast towards the border with Spain, the unspoilt natural woodlands and wetlands form a major part of the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve. Beautiful, rugged and wild, the protected land, known locally as “Sotavento“, provides Quinta da Ria and its sister course (Quinta de Cima) with a wonderful haven away from commercialisation and a promise of no villa-lined fairways and years of noisy building sites.
Opening for play in 2002, the Quinta da Ria Golf Course was designed by the well-known architect Rocky Roquemore, and is a traditional par 72 layout measuring 6,016 metres from the back tees. Quinta da Ria is a fairly flat, parkland course where there’s usually a challenging breeze with which to cope. Designed to provide a good challenge for all standards of golfer the course has wide landing areas that have been created to receive well-struck shots.
Five strategically placed lakes, numerous bunkers and carob and olive trees add to the challenge of reaching the greens in regulation. Once on the short stuff, the golfer will be faced with large, fast greens with many subtle borrows and undulations Quinta da Ria Golf Course is a good course with some excellent, well-designed and tough holes; special mention should go to holes 5, 10, 13 and 16.
The 5th is a cracking par three that has two different teeing areas, both require a good shot over a lake to a shallow green well guarded by bunkers. The par four 10th is a killer hole. Measuring 422 metres from the back tees, with out-of-bounds all down the left side and a large lake guarding the green against 100 metres out. This hole will require your best drive and then a long second over the lake.
Par will be worth celebrating The par three 13th measures 188 metres from the back tee that runs parallel with the Ria Formosa. This is a tough one-shot into the prevailing wind, with bunkering almost completely encircling the green that measures a measly 22 metres wide. The par-five 16th is a potential card-wrecker with a fairway that doglegs right and then left between two large lakes to a green that is tucked closely behind the second lake. Be sensible off the tee, avoiding the water and you may walk off with a par.
The pleasant sea views and sandy beach islands, combined with the mountain landscape of the opposite site undoubtedly make Quinta da Ria a golf paradise.