Laid out over low-lying coastal terrain, this course, with its many water hazards and few trees, is considerably different from the other ones at the resort and many of its holes convey a links atmosphere.
U.S. golf architect Joseph Lee designed this course which was opened in 1990 and many previous visitors will recognise it as part of the former 27-hole Vilamoura III course. It has been subject to continual improvements over the years.
Measuring 6,111 metres 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, terrapins etc.
Vilamoura's master developers, Lusotur, 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.
Laguna shares a large, welcoming clubhouse with the neighbouring Millennium Course.
Pro's Playing Tips
The first hole here is an impressive par 5. You need a good drive and a second shot, but the crunch comes with the approach. You have to carry an impressive array of bunkers to find the stepped green. And that is the least of your worries, because the green slopes to its front, creating huge burrows, with the step to complicate the line.
The par 4 fifth strikes terror for even the staunchest player. Yes, the tee is nicely elevated,but the overhanging trees on your left narrow the line of drive which has a lake to carry: its about 160 meters. If you are lucky enough to strike the ball well, then there are waiting bunkers beyond the landing area. The approach must carry fingers of the lake to find a generous but sloping green. It is a great hole, worth a glance back over your shoulder to fix it in the mind's eye.
This second nine starts off with a fairly straightforward par 5. However, that categorically belies the demands for accuracy which this nine makes. None more so than the par 3 twelfth of some 178 meters, with carry over an extensive lake. The par 4 fourteenth will test the tee shot of every golfer. A right handed dog-leg determines the length and direction of the shot. The target is a very tight landing area between fairway bunkers and the lake on the right. The approach to a well protected green is then over the corner of the water. It is always a tough hole. The par 5 fifteenth is a "hop, skip and jump" hole, and needs a good drive, good second shot and accurate approach to the forward sloping green. With water intersecting the fairway, and to the right, the chances of a "Barnes Wallis" are more than likely.
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