The official opening of the stunning Onyria Palmares Beach & Golf Resort, in Portugal’s Algarve, will be performed by the man who has designed the 27-hole complex to stunning effect: American course architect Robert Trent Jones II.
The three loops of nine holes – the Alvor, Lagos and Praia courses – enjoy expansive panoramic views across the Bay of Lagos, following a development which has fulfilled the potential of a glorious and natural environment.
The course is as breathtaking as the milieu with each distinctive loop enjoying its own unique setting. The Alvor is predominantly parkland, on the elevated areas of the site; Lagos combines parkland and dunes and is named after the two small lakes contained within it; and Praia, laid out upon the site’s lowlands, presents a links experience through impressive natural and restored coastal dunes.
Trent Jones II will officially inaugurate the course on Saturday, 11 June, in front of a specially invited audience, who will be invited to play the course for themselves alongside the architect. .
Trent Jones II said: “The Algarve is a renowned golf destination, much like Pebble Beach or St Andrews. So when I first came here I said ‘Well I have to play up here, we have a lot of good golf courses in this region’. But when I saw the land I thought ‘Wow! Maybe once a decade I might get a piece of land to work with like this’.”
Trent Jones II, who has been described as a ‘landscape poet’, has designed golf courses throughout the last four decades across six continents, and like his much-vaunted father before him, he is a true master of his terrain.
He added: “We studied the land at great length, in order that the golf course would have the minimum impact upon it. In fact Mother Nature is the best master and the best architect, so we follow her. Never fight with Mother Nature. We follow the land, and let the land evoke a response to us.”
The Alvor course plays through pine tree-lined corridors with the majority of holes ascending hillsides or descending through intimate valleys. The parkland setting disappears momentarily and the area of mature trees is replaced with a series of more exposed holes. A momentary preview of the dunes holes to come is also provided at the sixth and seventh holes. As the round concludes, the course ascends once again into parkland.
The Lagos Course begins with the same parkland character, incorporating the only two lakes found on the entire site in the short par-three third hole and the long par-four sixth.
Holes seven and eight immerse golfers in expansive dunes on the south-west portion of the site before the loop concludes by ascending back to the clubhouse amid a more parkland setting.
The Praia is classic seaside dunes-land exposed to the elements. Four seaside holes are bracketed by the beach and the railway line, after descending from a parkland setting.
Abruptly, the second hole whisks golfers into the true coastal links, which continues to the closing hole: a strong, uphill par-five, rising back out of the dunes through a deep valley to an amphitheatre just below the impressive clubhouse.
In Trent Jones’ own words: “The links park, with natural dunes land, it’s very rare … it’s a kind of soft Scotland. A much warmer Scotland…”
Onyria Palmares Beach & Golf Resort www.onyriapalmares.com