Played by NCG: Onyria Palmares, PortugalJanuary 12, 2017 Courses & Travel
Twenty-seven holes of tremendous variety and jaw-dropping views await at this Portuguese masterpiece
Where is Onyria Palmares Golf?
Onyria Palmares is located in the Western Algarve, just under six miles away from the popular city of Lagos.
The course was originally laid out in the 1970s by Frank Pennink but is now unrecognisable from those early days due to a massive upgrade in recent years.
Robert Trent Jones Jr is the mastermind behind the new 27-hole layout, which opened in 2011 and consists of the Alvor, Praia and Lagos legs of nine holes.
Reason for going?
I was lucky to be invited along to try all 27 holes as part of a press trip.
What to expect:
A stunning seaside course with great variety and some of the best views in the Algarve.
Palmares will keep every kind of golfer, from novice to scratch players, on their toes.
You will experience a mixture of parkland and dune land golf, meaning you will have to adapt your game as the landscape suddenly changes.
Hiring a buggy is strongly advised because Palmares is a hilly layout.
My best bit:
The views are the best I have ever experienced on a golf course.
Striding up to nearly every tee box and seeing the turquoise blue of the Atlantic Ocean stretching out before you never gets old.
The view of the ocean from the elevated 17th tee was particularly awe-inspiring and I had to be dragged back into the buggy in the middle of my 20th photograph.
What to look out for:
As you tackle this magnificent links layout, you might be lucky to see a train chugging by on the railway line that cuts through the middle of the course.
When I go back:
I will definitely include the exceptional Praia loop (19-27) in my round.
Although this doesn’t quite enjoy the same sweeping views as the higher Alvor and Lagos loops, it is still a special mix of holes.
Several play close to the ocean and the sandy terrain made me feel like I was playing on one of Britain’s finest links tracks but with the added bonus of the baking hot sun beating down on my back.