Designed by Joseph Lee and opening in the 1980s, the San Lorenzo Golf Club is one of the better known resort style courses on Portugal's popular Algarve coast. Set amongst a residential development, and blessed with more sand and sea views than others in the area, the layout is slightly more impressive than the rest in this neighbourhood but doesn't reach any great heights.
Arranged in two large loops heading in opposite directions, the layout features both dry resort holes and others that make use of the site's natural water hazards. The 6th and 7th face the Algarve coast and run alongside an Estuary, these are the most famous holes here but, like the 17th, each is actually best played by hitting your ball away from the hazard. The 6th drops dramatically toward the estuary and then turns left toward the coastline, drives up the safer left side away from the water are ideal. This anti-strategic arrangement won't worry all golfers, but those who appreciate just how good this course could be will leave frustrated by the lack of really great holes. The 18th is the only water hole that favours an aggressive drive, here flirting with water from the tee still leaves a pitch across a further pond to a virtual island green so even here the advantage for being right against the lake from the tee is minimal. The 1st hole is a nice left sweeping par five through dunes and big bunkers toward a large, undulating green site. Other holes of note include the 2nd and 16th, both valley par threes into shallow greens
Throughout San Lorenzo the greens and bunkers are quite good, especially for this region, and the design itself is straightforward but solid. With a more dynamic routing and some design refinements this place could have been terrific, but as it stands San Lorenzo is probably still the best course on the Algarve.