Quinta do Lago’s Director of Golf Brian Evans has been a familiar face at Algarve’s top golfing resort for many years, overseeing the world-class golfing facilities that attract some of the biggest names in the world.
The resort’s three courses are among Europe’s best and are accompanied by world-class golf facilities such as the Paul McGinley Golf Academy and Southern Europe’s only TaylorMade Performance Center, with Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy among the golfing A-listers who practice at Quinta in the off-season.
Golf365 sat down with Brian to get his views on what puts Quinta do Lago’s courses at the top of Europe’s elite list.
Tell us about your role at Quinta do Lago
I have been a golf pro since 1968 and I’ve been out here for a long time, working at this wonderful resort. While I would love to play golf like Rory McIlroy and win major tournaments, I wasn’t quite good enough as a player and this is undoubtedly the next best thing. Teaching golf and all aspects of this job are so enjoyable and I love going to work every day. I have been honoured to be part of a wonderful golf set-up at this resort.
Is Quinta looking to attract elite golfers or lovers of the sport at all levels?
We want everyone to experience what we have to offer here. The facilities we have here mean we can cater for golfers of all levels. We have facilities that will appeal to every type of player. We have Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy practicing here and then we can have a beginner on another corner of the complex. That is the beauty of what we have to offer at Quinta.
What role does former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley have with his academy at Quinta do Lago?
He was very hands-on as we set things up and was great to work with as the building blocks were put in place. Since his wonderful success as Ryder Cup captain in 2014, his profile has been raised to a new level and he has done a lot of broadcasting and punditry work that takes up a lot of his time. He is one of the very best pundits on TV now, but still has an active interest in what happens here at Quinta and we also have the buggy he used at the Ryder Cup here with us in Quinta, which is a wonderful piece of golfing memorabilia.
Is Quinta the best golfing resort in Europe?
I think so. This is as good as it gets in Europe for golf. When you look at the number of people it is serving and the quality of facilities we have available here, this is second to none. There are some wonderful courses across Europe, but many of them are very exclusive and servicing a small number of people, so this is on a different scale in terms of the quality and the scale of what we are doing here.
What can golfers of all levels look forward to on a visit to Quinta do Lago?
Some of the best courses available to the public in Europe and so much more. We have developed a wonderful TaylorMade Performance Center, we have some top golf pros to help players of all levels and we want to encourage people who are new to golf to join us in down here in the Algarve sunshine. Even if you are new to the game, we believe you will enjoy everything we have on offer here and our coaching team will improve players of all standards.
Quinta do Lago has been famous for its golf facilities for many years, so what can the resort do to expand its appeal?
This is the area where I have seen huge advances in the resort over the last three years. The great thing now about Quinta is we have such a wide range of sports from tennis to padel and even dance classes for kids all here on the same complex. It really is a class place. We have had the best golf facilities for some time, but now the owners want more and they have opened this wonderful facility at The Campus that includes world-class tennis, padel and gym facilities that will appeal to a whole new audience. My cousin Chris Evans, who is a well know broadcaster in the UK, was down here a few weeks ago with him family and he loves The Campus and what it offers to his kids. The hope is that many more families will join him down here in the years to come and we are already seeing huge increases in the numbers coming into our wonderful bars and restaurants.
So Quinta do Lago is now aiming to become a resort that attracts families rather that just golfers?
Absolutely. The diversity of what we offer and two quality of all aspects are fantastic. If you fancy tennis on a Monday, padel on a Tuesday, golf on a Wednesday and maybe a cycling tour on Thursday, all that is now possible at Quinta and that will hugely add to the appeal of what we have to offer here. We have a wonderful new sports bar at The Campus and and an atmosphere that is appealing for everyone. This is a great place to be and the future has never looked brighter.
READ MORE: Book a luxury break at Quinta do Lago
Participation in golf is waning in the UK, so how can we turn it around?
In the UK, golf is struggling. The demographics of who plays the game now are older, with the changes to family life making it difficult for young men to spend several hours away from their families at weekends to play our game. I feel the sport is not adapting to the changing times and that could be a problem moving forward. We need to look at ways to attract younger people into the game and maybe offer versions of the game that take up less time.
Despite a widespread reshuffling of the golf year, and the cancellation of The Open, the 2020 Ryder Cup is still scheduled to take place in Wisconsin.
The R&A, which oversees The Open, confirmed after weeks of speculation that it would not be possible to hold the world’s oldest major.
The PGA Championship, the US Open and the Masters have all been rescheduled while Yorkshire have placed their players and cricket staff on furlough.
The Open was due to have taken place at Royal St George’s from July 12-19.
Golf doesn’t escape coronavirus disruption.
Five time Augusta winner Tiger Woods will not be relinquishing his 2019 Masters title easily, but who is expected to be in the running…
The old guard are back.