Golf staff at Onyria Palmares Beach Club and Golf Resort, on Portugal’s Algarve coast, have celebrated the first anniversary of a redesigned golf course by driving a ball off a bottle of champagne.
António Pinto Coelho, the resort’s operations director, hit a corking drive to start the birthday celebrations (pictured).
Robert Trent Jones. Jr makeover
The 27-hole golf resort, which was formerly the 18-hole Palmares Golf, relaunched in June 2011 following Robert Trent Jones Jnr’s €10m redesign of Frank Pennink’s original Western Algarve layout.
In its first year, the new course – which enjoys panoramic views over the Bay of Lagos – has won widespread praise from the international golf media and travelling golfers.
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Onyria Palmares was voted Portugal’s second-best course by readers of Today’s Golfer magazine, one of the UK’s biggest selling consumer golf titles, only six months after opening for play.
The course ended 2011 at 26th position in Golf World Magazine’s poll of Top 100 European Golf Courses.
The three loops of nine holes, the Alvor, Lagos and Praia courses wind through the hillsides above the coastline and Bay of Lagos.
Its popularity continues to grow and more than 14,000 rounds have been played already in 2012.
Joao Pinto Coelho, sales director at the resort, said:
“We enjoyed a fabulous first year and to be regarded so highly by two of the UK’s most prestigious golf magazines within the first six months was testament to the work put in by Onyria Resorts and, of course, the inimitable Robert Trent Jones Jnr.
The reaction to the golf course from visitors has been universally positive. I remember what an Irish friend said to me when he first came over to visit. He said ‘I won’t tell anybody about Onyria Palmares otherwise soon you won’t have availability for me to play anymore’.
He was joking but as people are becoming more aware we are finding ourselves busier and busier.”
Pines, dunes and hilliside views
While the Alvor course plays through pine tree-lined corridors with the majority of holes ascending hillsides or descending through intimate valleys, the Lagos course is a mixture of parkland and links features, and the Praia is set on classic seaside dunes-land exposed to the elements.
£300m price tag
The 27-hole set-up is part of Onyria Palmares Beach & Golf Resort which will have cost £300m by the time the entire complex is completed.
Onyria Palmares Beach & Golf Resorts offers a unique location in the Algarve with views to the Ria de Alvor, Meia-Praia and Bay of Lagos.
Read Global Golfer’s guide to golfing on the Western Algarve, West is Best by clicking here