Quinta do Lago training camps are recipe for success for England’s elite

Michael Saunder Ashley Chesters QdL

Quinta do Lago’s reputation as one of Europe’s premier golf destinations has received a ringing endorsement after the famous Portuguese resort completed a successful winter of hosting England Golf’s national squads.

After signing an exclusive four-year deal to become England Golf’s new winter training base last autumn, Quinta do Lago staged a series of five and seven-day training camps for its men’s, ladies, boys and girls elite squads between January and March.

The primary focus of the warm-weather breaks was to work on improving each player’s scoring skills, with squad members being put through a series of daily activities and practising on Quinta do Lago’s championship courses and Paul McGinley Golf Academy – the only one in Europe.

Players also had the chance to enjoy the resort’s array of other five-star facilities and England Golf’s  coaches were unanimous in hailing the camps as an overwhelming success.

Scott Godfrey, coach of the England Girls’ Squad, said: “The players certainly benefitted from their week at the resort.  Being able to practice in warm weather and playing on green surfaces as good as Quinta do Lago was a massive advantage for us so early in the year.

“Our camp was very much centred around performance skill testing and competitive play on the course.  Having great facilities enabled the squad to achieve this.

“The North Course was in fantastic condition and was a great test for our players, challenging them in every discipline of the game. The Paul McGinley Academy provided a great base for the players to work on their games.  Each member of the squad utilised the short game area which challenges you with a great variety of shots.

“Quinta do Lago is a fantastic resort and provided everything we needed.  The staff supported us in anything we required and the facility and courses are world class.”

Featuring three 18-hole championship courses – including its widely acclaimed, award-winning North Course – outstanding practice facilities at its Paul McGinley Academy, a TaylorMade Performance Centre and extensive leisure activities and facilities, Quinta do Lago has everything needed to guarantee a first-class golf experience.

As well as working on swing techniques, daily activities for the players included sessions on fitness, the short game, wedge play, ball-flight control, game management and the mental side of the game.

Graham Walker, coach of the England Men’s Squad, added: “I found Quinta do Lago a very welcoming venue with excellent facilities. The courses were in top class condition for the benefit of all the players, and the real strength of the resort was that we could set up challenges on the golf course.

“It was a great benefit to be able to play and practice on championship-standard courses throughout the winter.

“The courses were a pleasure to play and all the players enjoyed them. The other facilities at Quinta do Lago including the food were top of the range and the staff were very accommodating, allowing us to concentrate on our work.”

Under the terms of the four-year agreement, England Golf squads will stay at Quinta do Lago each winter  and use its driving range and practice facilities, as well as having access to both the South and North courses.

In addition, each group will also utilise the swing analysis with a launch monitor, biomechanics golf fitness training sessions whilst being fully catered for with a daily breakfast and lunch also provided.

The England Golf National Performance Programme supports around 50 of the best amateur players within the England national squads and a further talented 160 players within boys and girls regional squads. This programme aims to support players to break into the top 10 of the World Amateur World Golf Rankings and to transition into the professional ranks, following in the footsteps of successful amateurs such as Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Justin Rose and Charlie Hull.

Set amongst 2,000 acres of the picturesque Ria Formosa Natural Park, Quinta do Lago has been at the forefront of European golf for more than four decades with three 18-hole championship courses matched by outstanding practice facilities including Europe’s only Paul McGinley Golf Academy, a state-of-the-art TaylorMade Performance Centre and new short game area.

Away from the fairways, there is plenty to keep everyone occupied, with events, tennis, cycling and watersports just some of the extensive leisure activities available.

For further information on Quinta do Lago and its facilities visit www.quintadolago.com

Image (copyright England Golf): England Golf men's squad players Michael Saunders (left) and Ashley Chesters.