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Palmares Golf Course Tips

Hole 1 (Par 4)
427 387 318
An opening hole with a long uphill slope. The fairway appears wide and welcoming from the tee but good golfers should focus on reaching the elevated left center but a play too far left could end in a lone greenside bunker. A brave tee shot played toward a group of fairway bunkers on the right hillside will result in a good position from which to approach the green. A single large bunker provides the only visual anchor to the putting surface which perches along the crest of a ridge. The “horizon line” green, which slopes from right to left, will make judgment of distance and depth difficult.

Hole 2 (Par 3)
208 190 155
The second hole is a long downhill playing into the prevailing wind and quartering from right to left. Any tee shots played low and under any wind to the left side of the fairway will find themselves on the large putting surface. A lone bunker awaits tee shots that fail to recognize the cross-slope in the fairway or that overcompensate for the wind.

Hole 3 (Par 4)
362 332 285
Reversing course and playing back up the hillside, The third hole presents the first real opportunity to partner with any prevailing wind. The left fairway bunker and the diagonal putting surface will be kind to the approach shot as the deep bunker on the right front will be taken out of play. With a blue sky as a backdrop for the left half of the green the approach shot can be slightly unnerving. A grass wall protects the entire left side of the green and will save golf shots landing short of the green.

Hole 4 (Par 5)
543 519 467
The fourth hole runs within a deep protected valley. From the elevated tee players can harness the prevailing winds to their advantage. The second shot onward faces two bunkers located just short of the putting surface and clearly dividing the landing area. If the golfer is hoping to reach the green in two strokes or carefully setting up a deft third pitch shot, these two hazards dictate strategic options. When carrying the left fairway bunker the large greenside bunker becomes a less foreboding hazard. If played to the right the next shot must carry the entire expanse of sand to the green that slopes back-right to front-left. Too strong an approach shot may run through the putting surface into a deep hollow behind the green.

Hole 5 (Par 4)
358 340 160
An elevated tee on this this medium length par four hole was designed to use scale and space to give players difficulties. The ample fairway target allows proficient players to shape tee shots from right to left between the two bunkers projecting inward from the right while a single bunker lurks to the left. These bunkers tend to visually pinch the fairway, masking the expanse and the landing area. More aggressive players will discover that the landing area actually does require distance and accuracy. The green which appears very large from the tee has bold contours dividing the large green into two smaller putting zones. The front area of the green is protected by three small deep bunkers and in contrast the rear portion which is defended only by spill-off areas that encircle the putting surface.

Hole 6 (Par 4)
357 335 304
The sixth hole suddenly presents the golfer with the wind swept dunes at firsthand. the tee shot here provides options as numerous as the views are expansive but focus on the lone but effective bunker in the middle of the fairway to choose line of attack. Attempt to play long, right or through the small alley to the left of this focal hazard. The best line of the day will depend upon where the flagstick is located and upon the wind. The island putting green surface is surrounded by trouble. The sand, native grasses, deep fairway collection areas, and rough all necessitate a precise approach to this small green.

Hole 7 (Par 3)
195 168 105
With the players back to the ocean golfers are presented with a very strong par 3. From the tee, the view is both gorgeous and disconcerting. Dunes extend from the railroad line along the entire left side of the golf hole. The most prominent feature is the large dune bunker left of the green. This bunker defends the entire left side of the putting surface and the wind which most often blows from the right will tend to push any tee shots toward this huge hazard. The green surface abutting this dune bunker pitches forward to receive low run-up shots. The green falls away into low areas to the right and at the rear. Because the right of the hole is carefully tucked behind the native hillside shrubs and trees, rolling chipping areas only reveal themselves once golfers reach the green complex. These chipping hollows provide a much greater area, in fact, to recover from a mishit shot to the right. But if your ball comes to rest in these areas, it will require skillful bump and run shots from awkward lies toward the surface of the putting green.

Hole 8 (Par 5)
499 470 346
The eighth hole climbs out of the dunes and rises up through a heavily wooded corridor. This double dogleg will often require heroic play as a three shot hole. Because of the sharp rises of twenty-three meters into a sometimes strong head wind the hole will play long. The lone fairway bunker, visible from the tee shot, provides an aiming point. Play for this bunker and shape your shot from left to right using the natural down slope to your advantage. From this point golfers are presented with several options. The elevated putting surface is on a shelf with the entire left falling away sharply. All but the best struck shots from a long distance out will be repelled from the green. The fairway bunkers short of the green will dictate that the clever golfers plays short. Otherwise challenge the left fairway bunker to reduce the distance for the next shot. The harder a golfer tries to reduce the distance of the third shot, the more trouble he can bring into play.

Hole 9 (Par 4)
403 374 288
The closing hole on the Alvor nine of the course presents a tee shot unlike any other at Palmares. A collection of tall pines stand at attention and dutifully screen from view any clear view of the green from the elevated tee. Bend your tee shot from left to right around these trees using the sweeping fairway and the green will be revealed. Two deep bunkers flank left and right guarding the entry onto the putting surface. While the green is large, the uphill approach shot provides little guidance as to the real dimensions of the target and a group of chipping areas encircle the back of the green that will gladly collect approach shots that overshoot the green.

Hole 10 (Par 4)
334 313 264
This course opens with a short par 4 designed specifically to entice golfers to cast aside all reason. The prevailing wind combined with the steep descent of the fairway from the tee will produce an idea that the green is very much in reach. Added to these facts is that the fairway was created with substantial width to visually shorten the hole. The right third will feed tee shots some 5 meters below the green elevation into an out-of-sight area from the tee on the right.A tee shot can skirt the large fairway bunker located at 260 meters from the tee and give a short approach shot if well placed the tee shot will reward with a full wedge approach. The green is shallow and wide with the putting surface protected in the front by three steep faced bunkers and in the rear with a steep hillside.

Hole 11 (Par 4)
451 424 362
The first of the nine holes is one of the most challenging at Palmares. A exposed elevated tee the player must aim for a crest of the fairway that appears to be a very long distance. This shot should reach the crest to offer a view of the green below. A singular pot bunker protects the front left edge of the green and another small bunker lurks opposite the green on the center line of the hole. The green is very deep but narrow and falls away from front right and back left.

Hole 12 (Par 3)
164 136 86
A charming hole and one of the most attractive holes on the course.The putting surface is well protected to the left, front and back, by deep bunkering and tightly mown grass banks. Do not be tempted to play short whilst the bank behind will permit an over long shot to roll back onto the putting surface.

Hole 13 (Par 5)
496 481 420
This short par 5 hole that first plays to an elevated fairway. A strong tee drive has to skirt fairway bunkering to successfully reach an area to obtain a helpful roll. The left line of play provides the best decision and the visibility to approach an otherwise blind green. The deep putting surface is guarded by a series of bunkers that clearly define the green. Hidden generous approach areas are to be found in the approach to the green.

Hole 14 (Par 3)
224 200 121
The challenging length of this uphill hole will challenge the more accomplished golfers. The green surface is flanked by two bunkers and there is a slight diagonal to receive shots that ride the wind. A number of hollows and catchment areas await short of the green awaiting the under clubbed shots.

Hole 15 (Par 5)
462 433 340
The overall length and roll of the terrain present a challenge. Players must reach the crest in the landing area to see the attractive view to the green below. Use the left fairway slopes pitching away from the hillside to propel the tee shot to the right side of the fairway. This will assist in missing the lake as a lateral hazard on the lengthy approach shot. The wind will also push the approach shots towards the water. Any error to the right and short of the green will bound off of the steep lake bank and into the lake.

Hole 16 (Par 3)
179 156 113
On this hole the golfer now re-enters the dune lands with a green is expansive that is inviting yet heavily contoured. A player should aim for the right half of the green using the slope. If the flagstick is located on the left half of the putting surface avoid the deep collection areas because recovery onto the left half of the green will require a very delicate short shot

Hole 17 (Par 5)
499 480 463
The fairway on this hole is generous on this dogleg right. Players can potentially reach the green in two by challenging the dunes at the inside corner on their tee drive. However, the full strategy of the hole may not reveal itself until you reach the fairway. The best line of sight to the flagstick is from the far side of the landing area from the tee. The approach is heavily defended by dunes and one lone bunker on the left. The large dune at the front of the green creates an interesting barrier to be overcome to reach the putting surface in two. Alternatively, the less aggressive player must carefully negotiate the fairway area left and short of the green to gain a good position for an important third shot.

Hole 18 (Par 4)
355 334 294
The eighteenth home hole is a medium length uphill hole playing to a well defended green by bunkers. This great hole needs a tee shot that challenges the hillside on the left. By aiming to the right half of the fairway this will bring the largest of the greenside bunkers into contention. Also the prevailing wind may push drives towards the low rough ledge lining the fairway below. The putting surface requires attention to successfully complete the round.

Hole 19 (Par 4)
367 352 273
The view from the tee is stunning as it overlooks the entire southern coast of Meia Praia and the golf course below. A sharp downhill dogleg right negotiates across a steep hillside and presents yet another test for the player. From the tee the conservative approach will use the downhill slope by aiming straight. However, fairway contouring will propel shots played to the right half of the fairway down the hillside resulting in a shortened second shot. There possibly remains a difficult lie to hit the necessary soft approach. Unseen bunkers and the rough defends the landing area between these two tee options.

Hole 20 (Par 5)
514 483 408
A hole providing Links Golf through coastal sand dunes at its best! The exposed nature of this portion of the course embraces the wind as one of the key “tools of defense”. Study the contouring of the fairway and use the roll of the land as you see fit. There is no correct line of play from the tee. The green is shallow and wide set on a diagonal peaking out just slightly from behind the dunes. Approach shots must be precise as the green falls away to a series of terraces from right to left behind the dune at the front left of the green.

Hole 21 (Par 3)
142 127 105
A hole which has its own character. The test is in conquering the putting surface which is small and defined by subtle contouring. The wind will push tee shots toward the coast reducing the any error in distance control. A large bunker area protects the right side of the green with a small pot bunker front left and the dunes just long of the green.

Hole 22 (Par 5)
548 506 458
This is a long hole with the golfers often accompanied by the sound of crashing waves. The fairway extends well left of the landing area but play should focus towards the large dunes that divides holes 22 from hole 20. The wind can push tee shots played along this line back into the fairway and away from the dunes. Too strong a tee shot played along the right side of the hole might find it difficult to remain in the short grass. From the first landing area a glimpse of the green can create the idea of playing just two strokes to reach the green. With the assistance of the wind there may be days when this is possible, but as the slope within the green is slight the stopping of lengthy approach shots will be difficult. The green is surrounded by fairway collection areas. The approach into the green in front is steep to both deaden strong approach shots and as well to repel shot that are not solid. An elevated ramp ties the green to the fairway from the second landing providing players the opportunity to choose between the running low shot onto the green or through the air.

Hole 23 (Par 3)
198 160 125
This hole is the longest par 3 at Palmares and will present a challenge as the prevailing wind will nearly always defend the target. The large ‘Gull-Wing” style green presents three main cupping areas. The back right portion of the putting surface is elevated and protected in front by marshland, whilst behind by dunes and to the left by the internal contouring of the green. This later is only accessible by aerial assault from the tee. A low running tee shot can be considered to the left side of the green and will feed golf shots back into the middle of the green.

Hole 24 (Par 4)
287 262 212
The shortest par 4 on the course and surrounded by the dunes. Golfers are enticed to attack the small green directly through the narrow alley lined with dunes. As the golfer is playing into the prevailing wind it leaves no room for error. Far left flagstick locations are most visible from the right, but approach shots must be played from a sunken bowl offering potentially awkward side-hill or downhill lies.

Hole 25 (Par 4)
315 288 237
On this hole players must navigate a route that is best suited to their game and the prevailing conditions. The green is shallow and wide with a slight diagonal from left to right. Tightly mown chipping hollows surround the green and stretch into the putting surface allowing for a bad approach shot. However, they do not properly respect the heavily contoured putting surface.

Hole 26 (Par 3)
133 105 67
The tiny green on this hole appears to float on top a sea of sand and waiving grasses. A small deep hidden pot bunker protects the back left of the green. The defense of the green requires a lofted and accurate approach shot into a prevailing wind.

Hole 27 (Par 5)
465 440 357
A medium length par 5 plays sharply uphill through a deep protected valley. A large bunker is positioned on the outside of the dogleg on the tee shot. Shape the tee shot left around the dogleg so that the drive does not fall to the strong left-to-right slope and then run off the fairway. The fairway area around the green is littered with bunkers and conservative play requires laying up short of the bunkering. The surface of the green is large and deep and has two parallel plateaus that dissolve together in the rear. The flagstick location determines the correct plateau and will require different shots depending upon where the hole is cut. Playing to the wrong plateau may end in a three-putt which will spoil the final card score.

Palmares Golf Course Layout

Palmares Golf Course layout
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