The Algarve is one of Europe’s premier golf destinations and Vilamoura is, undoubtedly, by excellence the region’s most prestigious golf resort. With five challenging golf courses, Vilamoura contributed significantly to the election of the Algarve as “the best Golf Destination for 2006”.
Vilamoura is a purpose built golf resort, which covers some 20 km² and offers many golf courses varying in difficulty and layout. The Oceânico’s golf courses in Vilamoura, all with their own characteristics and challenges, register up to 250,000 rounds of golf per year, a figure possible to achieve due to the hours of sun a day, the greens and fairways condition, together with the excellent service on the courses. Apart from Millennium Golf Course; & Laguna Golf Course the three courses in Vilamoura managed by Oceânico Golf are: The Old Course; Pinhal Golf Course and The Victoria Clube de Golfe, host to the Portugal Masters of The European Tour for the past four years.
Oceânico Laguna Golf Course
Laid out over low lying coastal terrain, this course, with its many water hazards and few trees, is considerably different from the other ones in Vilamoura and many of its holes convey a links atmosphere. American golf architect Joseph Lee designed this course which opened in 1990 and many previous visitors will recognize it as part of the former 27 hole Vilamoura III course. It has been subject to continual improvements over the years.
Measuring 6121m from the white tees, the par 72 course includes several lakes which influence play on a total of 11 holes. In addition to acting as hazards and emergency water reservoirs, these lakes serve a useful purpose in attracting a variety of aquatic birds, both resident and migratory, as well as amphibians, otters and terrapins.
Vilamoura’s master developers, Lusort, have also established an environmental nature park not far from the course. Apart from the lakes and an impressive total of 79 bunkers, another hazard is the wind that frequently blows over this somewhat exposed location. The Laguna Golf Course shares a large, welcoming clubhouse with the neighbouring Millennium Golf Course.
Oceânico Millennium Golf Course
This conventional par 72 course opened in the year 2000, although the original back nine was formerly part of the 27-hole Laguna Course. Refurbishment to the existing nine holes commenced in May 1999 and included the complete rebuilding of the tees, greens and bunkers, particularly for holes 8 and 9, the only ones on this loop with water hazards, with the aim to simplify the strategy of the course to make it more golfer-friendly.
The renovated 9 holes were joined together with the new 9-hole loop to offer a layout of different character, style and playing quality. The work was undertaken by the well-established UK golf Architects Hawtree & Sons which culminated in the creation of the new, exciting 18-hole Oceanico Millennium golf course.
The course is particularly open, although some holes (the 3rd to the 7th) wind between pine trees and are similar to the neighboring fairways of the Old Course and Pinhal. In this more wooded area, the fairways are narrower and require greater accuracy – while the rest of the course has a clear landscape enriched by lakes at the 4th, 17th and 18th holes.
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