Within the natural amphitheatre of the Bay of Lagos, Robert
Trent Jones II has
fashioned Europe’s next great golf course, Onyria Palmares Golf. The
brief given to this exceptional American golf course designer was to
craft a 27-hole
golf course which
maximised the potential of its extraordinary environment. The
result is a golf course of breathtaking natural beauty which is a
delight to play. The course opened 18 holes for play in October 2010
and the full 27 last June 2011 and it has matured nicely.
Robert Trent Jones II designed
the golf course with the highest level of international tournament
golf in mind as well as a pleasurable golf experience for members
and tourists alike. There is plenty of challenge, if that’s what
you want – especially from the white tees! Onyria Palmares Golf is
composed of three
returning nine-hole loops that
can be played in any sequence. The genius in the routing is that,
depending on the sequence of play, each golf experience is different.
Each nine-hole loop – Alvor,
Lagos and Praia -
has its own character and ambience.
Located primarily on the northern
part of the site, the Alvor Course has a parkland character with
mature trees and lovely views of the Monchique hills. Changes in
elevation are integral to the design of this nine as a majority of
the golf holes ascend hillsides or descend through intimate valleys.
The parkland setting disappears briefly with a series of holes with
more expansive views. A preview of the dunes and links holes to
come is provided in the sixth and seventh holes. As the round
concludes, the course again assumes the parkland character.
The Lagos Course begins with the same
parkland character. This course incorporates the only two lakes
found on the entire site at the short par-3 third hole and the long
par-4 sixth hole. Holes seven and eight immerse golfers into the
expansive dune lands on the southwestern portion of the site. The
round concludes with a climb to the clubhouse and back into a more
The third nine at Palmares presents
the golf experience every great designer dreams of having the
privilege to create: a seaside landscape with dunes exposed to the
elements. The four seaside holes are between the beach and the
railway line. The course opens by descending from a parkland setting.
The second hole then whisks golfers into the true links part of the
course. This dunes character is continued through the remainder of
the Praia Golf Course with the closing hole, a strong uphill par-5,
rising up out of the dunes through a deep valley to an amphitheatre
just below the clubhouse.