Millennium Golf with 18 hole, par 72 course was opened in 2000, however golfers familiar with the Algarve and Vilamoura may recognise that the original back nine was formerly part of the 27-hole Laguna Course.
There were extensive refurbishments to the course which first began in May 1999 and included the complete rebuilding of bunkers, greens and tees. The changes to the course were put in place to make it more “golfer-friendly” and have certainly worked to make this a hugely popular course in Vilamoura.
This new look Millennium course covers a distance of 6,176m and provides challenges to golfers who need to be able to negotiate the narrower fairways and wooded areas which are characteristic of this course.
The clubhouse provides a welcoming space for golfers and guests, with the bar and restaurant area and golf shop offering everything you could need after a round on the course.
Here is a helpful hole-by-hole guide to this course written by Rob Cheney. Rob is a leading PGA Pro with extensive knowledge of golf in the Algarve and over 15 years of coaching experience.
1. Gentle opening Par 4 which offers a generous fairway to aim at avoiding the right side as there are trees and internal out of bounds. The second shot is uphill to an elevated green with bunkers short and right.
2. Long Par 4 played from an elevated tee box. You must hit two long shots to reach this green in regulation, avoiding the bunkers along the way.
3. You cross the road into a fabulous stretch of five holes meandering their way through the umbrella pine trees. This long Par 3 challenges you to be long and straight. There is a large green to aim at with two tiers and bunkers protecting either side.
4. Par 5 playing uphill and right to left through a corridor of umbrella pines. Keep the ball in the fairway to give yourself the best chance. The approach to the green narrows with trees and bunkers encroaching from the right hand side.
5. Stroke Index 1 – this long Par 4 is demanding from tee to green. Your drive must be accurate enough to avoid the trees encroaching on the left and the fairway bunker on the right. The second shot plays longer than the yardage to a long green with bunkers on either side.
6. Par 3 hole with the green set between a lake on the left and a bunker the right. Not much option to bail out here – time to hit a straight one.
7. Final hole played through the trees which again asks questions of your length and accuracy. The narrow fairway must be found before trying to secure your second shot on to the green. Plenty of danger lurking left and right which will catch any errant shots.
8. Back out into the open, this Par 5 is very reachable in two for long hitters and offers an invitingly wide fairway to aim at following the previous narrow targets. Open your shoulders, but be sure to avoid the two fairway bunkers on the left. The approach must navigate the slight depression in front of the green to give yourself a birdie putt.
9. Short dogleg left Par 4 with bunkers on the corner of the hole. Long hitters can comfortably carry the corner, leaving a very short second shot. The conventional route will require a tee shot to the right of the bunkers, followed by a longer approach to a large, undulating green.
10. Straightforward Par 4 to begin the back nine. Aim at the bunker on the right of the fairway and draw the ball towards the centre. The second shot will be a short iron to a slightly raised green.
11. Another reachable Par 5, this hole plays straightaway with the fairway bunkers the only hazard to worry about from the tee. As you approach the green, the entrance to the hole narrows significantly which can mean those going for it will be very much risk/reward.
12. Short Par 4 requiring a fairway wood of hybrid from the tee. The green is large so check you club selection carefully before you hit your approach.
13. Par 3 where long is definitely better than short. The green narrows the further left you go, and the large front bunker is ready to collect anything slightly under hit. Take one more club here.
14. Short Par 4 plays slightly downhill with two fairway bunkers narrowing the landing area. If you can carry these bunkers from the tee you’re at a distinct advantage as it will shorten the approach shot considerably. The green is a narrow target which sits from front left to back right protected by bunkers on either side.
15. Very short Par 3 where its defence is the large, undulating two-tiered green and the 5 bunkers surrounding it.
16. Long Par 4 where the green is not visible from the tee. The tee shot must be hit as far as possible, otherwise the second shot will still be blind. The downhill second shot can play long as you have to carry the ball to avoid three more green side bunkers.
17. Your drive must avoid the large lake on the right hand side of the hole and the two fairway bunkers on the left. The long green means the second shot can play 3-4 clubs different depending on the pin position.
18. Strong Par 5 to finish with out of bounds on the right and a lake on the left. Play your second shot to the right of the fairway to avoid the water and open up the angle to the green. The final approach shot must be precisely played between the green side bunkers protecting the front and the back of this green.