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Published on : Monday, November 30, 2015
The 37th edition of the Almond Blossom tournament will run from January 26-30 at a time when the almond trees are in full bloom in the Algarve. It is the oldest amateur golf competition in the Algarve and has been held at the Palmares course since 1977.
The ever-popular event is open to any golfer affiliated to their country’s golf union or federation, with handicaps limited to 28 for men and 36 for ladies. Competition entry costs €245 per person and accommodation packages are available at the four-star Vila Galé Lagos, or the five-star Cascade Wellness & Lifestyle Resort.
The event comprises four separate competitions over five days, one of which is a rest day. The first day is an 18-hole individual Stableford, followed the next day by an 18-hole better-ball contest. Thursday is a rest day, but competition resumes on Friday with and 18-hole pairs aggregate competition and concludes the following day with an 18-hole individual strokeplay competition followed by dinner and prizegiving.
The resort’s operations director, António Pinto Coelho, said: “The Almond Blossom tournament is a hugely popular event and one which draws in people from an increasing number of different countries every year. I think the attraction is not just the golf course but also that, for many people, the opportunity to play in sunshine in January is a delight.”
The Robert Trent Jones II-designed Palmares course was recently named Portugal’s best golf course for the fourth successive year in a domestic poll, and was ranked 21 in Golf World’s Top 100 Golf Courses in Continental Europe 2015/16.
It represents a jump of two places for the 27-hole facility and confirmed its status as the western Algarve’s premier golf destination.
The magazine stated: “All three loops are of a similar calibre, but if you have just time for 18, make sure Praia is one. Exhilarating to play, with downhill drives and spectacular views.”
And judge Joao Viera Pereira added: “Most tees will take your breath away – 27 holes of pure golf. This is one of the most brilliant courses in (the) Algarve and a challenge all the way.”
Onyria Palmares Beach & Golf Resort reopened only in 2011 following an extensive redesign by Trent Jones II. The three loops of nine holes – the Alvor, Lagos and Praia courses – enjoy expansive panoramic views across the Bay of Lagos, with each lay-out offering a different kind of golfing challenge in a glorious and natural environment.
The new five-star, 20-room, boutique Onyria Palmares Beach House Hotel is to be built alongside the multi-award-winning course and will open in 2016. The hotel – the first in the resort – will overlook both the 18th green and the practice area, just a short distance from the beach, and will also provide hospitality services to villa owners at the destination, such as concierge, housekeeping and food and beverage.