This is a very familiar name to British golfers who have flocked to the Algarve for five decades since nearby Penina began the area’s love affair with the sport.
Frank Pennink designed the original Palmares and it had long been a favourite with British golfers – whether ex-pats or holidaymakers – when owners Onyria decided in 2011 that an overhaul was required.
They thought big, bringing in celebrated American Robert Trent Jones Jnr to carry out the work, and the £8m investment has paid off, with the new-look Palmares the undoubted highlight of the western Algarve.
NCG visited Palmares during the renovation and frankly it was more of a new-build altogether than an overhaul. That’s how deep RTJ Jnr went in his work here.
Now is behind only continental superstar Monte Rei in this celebrated south coast area of Portugal.
Palmares, located in the hills to the east of the town of Lagos, has 27 holes of consistent quality.
The new stretch of holes down at the bottom are linksy in nature and are a unique aspect to playing golf on the Algarve.
Its three loops of nine each have different character. The first, Alvor, starts high up in the forested hills as the old course did.
There are fabulous views across the Bay of Lagos from its lofty location – as well as another of the loops, Lagos.
It is parkland in nature, includes two lakes and is also strong golf even if we don’t include it in our ranking of Palmares.
That’s because choosing 18 from the 27 holes is categorically a case of the third loop, Praia, plus one other.
This new stretch of holes down at the bottom are linksy in nature and are a unique aspect to playing golf on the Algarve. Chris Bertram