Palheiro Golf has the good fortune to have been created within a unique setting. There are many exotic species of trees and shrubs in and around the course to be enjoyed during a round of golf.
The cluster of stone pines by the clubhouse is reputed to have been planted at the turn of the century. Boarding 1st and 2nd fairways you will find Macrocarpa Cypresses and the old Oak trees by the folly on the hilltop; a reminder of the Conde de Carvalhal (carvalho meaning oak) who laid out the original Palheiro estate and built the folly in about 1810. The Count's folly or 'ruin' as it is often described, has been adopted as the Palheiro Golf logo.
The green of the 3rd is surrounded by Monterey pines (radiata), Cork and Holm Oaks. The spectacular trees shading 4th green include a Canary pine, Norfolk Island pine, a fine Kawri pine and a grove of Metrosideros from New Zealand (also known as Christmas Day tree) – in Madeira the Christmas Day tree blooms at the end of June when a myriad of bees swarm round the red flowers. By 5th green the subtropical garden Banana plant coexist with American Oaks, Camellias, the Mexican Daisy tree and Chestnut trees.
Then along below the Palheiro gardens to the 6th tee bordered with Canary palms and ancient Oak trees. The 6th green is surrounded by an orchard of Proteas, natives of South Africa and in Madeira grown to supply the European cut flower market in winter and spring. There is another young plantation of Madeira endemics and Cryptomerias between 8th and 12th fairways. Perhaps the most spectacular green surrounds are at the 9th green just by the halfway house. Here you can see flowering Eucalyptus, Judas trees and rare cypresses (Cupressus Funebris), all at their best during the summer months.
Your drive on the 10th fairway may have a lucky bounce off the avenue of Plane trees forming the old carriageway entrance to the Casa Velha, built by the Count in 1801. They are not the greenkeeper's favourite trees in the autumn when the fallen leaves need to be blown from the fairway. The high ground above 10th green circled with Plane trees is known as the Pico do Cavalo where riders used to exercise their horses.
Some of the original stone benches can be seen in this area. Close to the 12th green stands a tall single Maritime pine, one of many seen in the island's forests. Try not to hit the elegant Cryptomeria japonica or the Tulip tree when playing across the valley from the back tee at the 13th. Beware of the beautiful Kapok Tree in front of the 15th green; you may get your ball stuck on one of its many spikes!
The lone Macrocarpa cypress in the middle of the fairway before 18th green, is a final reminder of the lovely trees which can be seen at Palheiro Golf.