Course Reviews/Travel


Atlantic City Country Club PDF Print E-mail

 

Atlantic City Country Club established in 1897, is located just west of Atlantic City in Northfield,

New Jersey.The club is certainly on the short list of influential early American golf clubs, it's list

of course architects is storied:John Reid & Willie Park Jr in the beginning, then in 1925 Toomey

& William Flynn put their stamp on the land, and in 1999 Tom Doak added his own influence (as

it plays today).Even some of the most heralded American golf clubs would have a hard time

rivaling the history of this club.

 

- 6 USGA Championships were held at ACCC

 

-1901 U.S Amateur was won by Walter Travis.

 

- ACCC club professional Johnny McDermott was the first American to win the U.S Open

in 1911 at the young age of 19.

 

- Babe Zaharias won her first U.S Open at Atlantic City CC in 1948.

 

The first Champions Tour event (formerly the Senior Tour) was held at ACCC in 1980.

 

In 1951 - 1952 a young unknown enlisted member of the Coast Guard named Arnold Palmer

played the course regularly.He returned last September to spend his birthday evening having

dinner at the club in the famous Tap Room Bar & Grille.

 

 

 

The ACCC Bell was originally used in the early 1900's to remind golfers that the last trolley was

leaving to Atlantic City.

 

 

 

The "Birthplace of the Birdie" originated on the old 12th green, now a shortgame practice area.

 

 

 

The Legendary Tap Room Bar & Grille, tons of history line the walls here.The cuisine and

atmosphere is worth the trip alone.

 

 

 

The father of Atlantic City golf, Leo Fraser is honored with a room that's dedicated to his life in

golf.

 

 

 

The lockeroom is as old school as it gets, lockers with the names Willie Mays, Arnold Palmer and

notorious mobster Al Capone still adorn this golf lair.

 

 

 

At 6577 yards par 70 from the tips, ACCC is not brutal, but the variety will challenge even the

scratch player.The golf course itself is an eclectic mix of bayside, parkland and coastal type

landscape.


Pictured above is the stunning short par 4 third.At only 353 yards, it is considered a birdie hole,

but the prevailing wind is dead into the player here . . . the smallish green is well protected with

sand both left and right of the putting surface, it requires precision here to make 3.

 

 

 

 

The fourth is only 144 yards from the tips, but once again the elements play a major role in club

selection.

 

 

 

 

The 592 yard sixth is the longest hole at ACCC, note the tucked pin on the right.

 

 

 

 

On the 452 yard par 4 seventh, playing partner Michael Kartrude slam dunked his approach into

the jar for an eagle two.In typical MK fashion, this all happened just as the beverage cart girl

and course ranger Ron Moretti arrived on the scene (even in road games he ends up with an

audience, he went on to shoot 65).

 

 

 

The par 3 eighth is 196 yards, with the pin tucked it's advisable to avoid the left sand.

 

 

 

 

On the eleventh, you can see Tom Doaks influence here, the bunkering is outstanding.This set of

cross bunkers creates a deception on the approach.

 

 

 

 

The par 3 twelfth is the shortest and most magnificent on the property.The elevated green

provides tons of drama for an errant tee shot.The big flash bunkers surround the surface and

protect scores here, the long fescue is a great look and will eat up mishits on this 134 yard gem.

 

 

 

 

The green on the 339 yard fourteenth is long and has plenty of undulation . . .  no easy putts

here.

 

 


 

The sixteenth is a sharp dogleg right, the tee shot must carry the wetlands and from there a

short iron remains.

 



 

The seventeenth is the last of the five par 3's, at 157 yds from the tips, it's all about the proper

club selection.The putting surface is elevated and hidden behind dense foliage (aptly named

"Dunes").I'm usually not a fan of blind par 3's, but there is just enough visually to provide a fair

challenge here . . . especially from the forward tees where more of the flag is visible.Most players

will have no more than a short iron in, another beautiful and unique one shotter here.

 

 

 

 

The finishing hole at Atlantic City CC is a dogleg right that's called "Trolley Back", another ode to

the bell that was used to let golfers know the trolley was headed back towards the shore in

Atlantic City.They do as good a job at preserving an honoring their history here as any club in

America, it's a public daily fee facility that should be experienced by all.

 

Atlantic City Country Club has been ranked by GolfWeek - #1 Public Course in N.J 2007-2012 and

Golf Magazine Top 100 Course YOU CAN PLAY 2008 -2012

 

Thanks to Charles Fahy for his hospitality.

 

To learn more about ACCC, click here: http://www.accountryclub.com

 

 

 

 

 


 
The Ace Club - Philadelphia PDF Print E-mail

 

 

 

The Ace Club is a 7471 yard Gary Player signature course that opened in 2003, located 20

minutes from the city of Philadelphia in Lafayette Hill.The club is a corporate themed

private club, designed to be an executive escape that includes a heliport pad on site.

 

The driving range is two tiered and stocked with Titleist Pro V1's as well as a two acre practice

area just for wedge and shortgame to get you ready for your round.At 76.1, the Ace Club has

the highest course rating in Philadelphia, beautiful it is . . . but with five sets of tees it'll

challenge all skill levels (even Tour player and Ace Club member Sean O'Hair).

 

The 372 yard 1st at the Ace Club

 

One of the first things that impress at The Ace Club is the service, from Erv in the clubhouse, to

Mark in the pro shop, it's a first class operation and experience.Our caddy for the afternoon was

John Salamone, I really enjoyed learning about the club from John, a great looper and an even

better human being.If you get to the Ace Club for an outing or as a guest of a member, request

John, it'll enhance the day for sure.

 

 

 

 

The 2nd tee at the 476 yard par 4, it's early in the round, but you'll need you're two best here.

 

 

 

 

The approach at the second is where your work just begins, the green slopes severely left to right.

 

 

 

 

3rd hole

 

The third at the Ace Club is where you get your first true sense of what Player's design is

about.At 610 yards, this twisting and turning fairway is framed by flash faced bunkering and

hardwood trees.A true 3 shot hole, this monster requires precision.

 

 


 

the downhill 5th

 

The Short downhill par 4 fifth is a design marvel, the Black knight gives you eye candy, options

off the tee, and challenges all in one hole.A true birdie hole, but not without the possibility of a

double bogey.Left of the green is unplayable, and the bunkers surrounding the diagonal putting

surface are a tough up and down.

 

 


 

 

7th hole

 

 

 

 

 

9th Tee

 

A right to left tee shot on the par 5 ninth is the preferred play, a creek that starts on the right

crosses the fairway and lines the left side on the approach (below).

 

The approach to the ninth is to a wide but shallow target, on our visit the sucker pin was in

play.The clubhouse comes into full view on both the ninth and eighteenth holes.

 

 

 

 

 

10th tee

 

The 471 yard tenth is by far the toughest par on the property, all uphill, the green is without a

doubt the toughest to hit on the course.If you make 4 here, run to next tee.

 


 

 

 

11th hole

 

The 445 yard downhill eleventh plays much shorter than it's actual distance, but as you can see

in the photo above, accuracy is essential.

 

 

 

 

 

Par 3 twelfth - 231 yards

 

 

 

 

 

13th hole - 441 yards

 

Number thirteen is another hole that favors a right to left tee shot, you can see the mounding

and bunkers down the right are higher . . . Gary Player wants you to shape it here, but if you

over do it, the left bunker and trees on the left will leave you scrambling.If you find the short

grass, a mid-long iron is needed for your approach


 

 

14th hole

 

The 223 yard fourteenth is the other par 3 brute on the inward side, it plays downhill, but if you

miss the surface or even hit the wrong tier of this well undulated green . . . it will be tough to

save par.

 

 

 

 

15th hole

 

The fifteenth is a 439 yard straight away par 4 that tilts severely from left to right, avoid the

bunkers and the ravine/woods on the right, the shorter hitter can run the ball up from the left

side of the green.

 

 

 

 

 

16th tee

 


The sixteenth is right there with the fifth as the best and most beautiful holes at the Ace Club,

this 594 yard par 5 is in our top 10 par fives ever featured.Everything funnels to the right here,

so don't get greedy, it's a three shot hole . . . so trying to cut off too much from the tee will

bring the hazard into play.Truly great design work here by the Black Knight.

 

16th view from the left rough.

 

 

 

 

16th approach

 

The approach is a short iron over a creek to a fairly generous sized putting surface, the right

greenside bunker might come into play, the left is more likely an issue for the long hitter trying

to get in two.

 


 

 

 

17th hole

 

 

 

 

 

View from behind the 17th, check the slope that funnels down towards this front right hole position.

 

 

 

 

 

18th tee

 

The finisher is a 602 yard par 5 that once again requires three shots, but a generous fairway sets

you up for a chance at birdie.

 


After the round, enjoy a meal out on the patio overlooking the ninth and eighteenth greens.

 

 

On a day when we visited iconic Merion Golf Club (earlier that afternoon), I thought it might be

difficult to review another course, and that expectations should be kept in check after leaving the

site of next years Open Champioship in Ardmore . . . but that was not the case at all.If Merion is

the Fenway or Wrigley of American and Philadelphia golf (small footprint and classic feel), then

The Ace Club would be Citizens Bank Park, PNC Park, or AT&T park in San Francisco (big property,

amazing site lines and a modern clubhouse that has everything).Thanks to Kristofer Fair for

having us out to his amazing club.


 

To learn more about the Ace Club: http://www.theaceclubonline.com/

 

The Ace Club  610-238-4581

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
Bayonne Golf Club PDF Print E-mail

 

Bayonne Golf Club located in central eastern New Jersey, and bordering New York Harbor is the brain

child of Eric Bergstol.Bergstol took a flat industrial wasteland surrounded by chemical factories, and

turned it into a visual marvel and a playground for Gotham's elite.Bergstol is the founder, owner and

designer of this faux links that opened in 2006.True, Bayonne GC is an exclusive club, but thru a

partnership with the city of Bayonne, there is some public access for residents who live within the

city limits.




The unassuming entry to Bayonne Golf Club sits smack dab in the heart of warehouses and chemical

plants, but behind the humble guard gate,  an amazing fescue adventure awaits those granted

access.Fellow islander and club pro Dave Polchinski was my guide on a gorgeous summer

afternoon.




The clubhouse at Bayonne lords over the property and can be seen from everywhere on the course,

if there is a better location for a clubhouse anywhere, let us know . . . it's visible from nearly

anywhere on NY harbor, downtown and Lady Liberty.If there were a clubhouse ranking (we should

start one), Bayonne would win America's Best based on location alone, hands down.


Although Bayonne has a links look and feel, it has more elements of American style golf than of the

"on the ground" variety, many of the greens are elevated, and many of the approach shots need to

be carried. . . very similiar in style to the type of golf you have to play at Kiawah, or Whistling Straits

in Wisconsin (not bad company).However, unlike the other two mentioned, there are enough run it on

opportunities at Bayonne to keep your "bump and run" game sharp.

 

The windswept routing that cambers and twists in the dunes, combined with the unique waterfront

setting of New York Harbor have your senses tingling . . . truly a dazzling dynamic that has to be seen

to be believed.



The dunes that border many holes at Bayonne are shaped so well, that while on the course you

never feel you're on a manufactured layout.A prime example is the 560 yard fourth, the back tee

shown above is a serene spot . . . dunes of fescue frame the tee shot here, if you asked most

golfers to tell you what part of the world this is, very few would say the industrial sector of New

Jersey.





Another view of the 4th hole (from the forward tees), the longest hitters can reach

the bunkers through the end of the fairway .





The uphill par 3 fifth called "Butterfly's feet", note the deep cavernous bunker fronting the green

. . . it's the shortest hole on the property at 146 yards.





The sixth green, the small evergreen tree in the bunker is the only tree on the course.





The seventh hole is a dogleg right that leaves a short approach, finding the shortgrass is a must

here, Bayonne club professional Dave Polchinsky's method for playing this hole is to just take it

down the right side, he said "Forget the cut shot, if you leave the tee shot left, that bunker is

dead".





Your work has just begun once you reach the 7th green, similiar to many greens at Bayonne,

extreme undulations are the norm on Bergstol's putting surfaces.





Approach to the par 5 - 8th called "Salt Marsh".





The front nine does not comeback to the clubhouse, pictured here is the 10th fairway and the

clubhouse in the distance.This 471 yard par 4 "called "Highlands" is your first sign that the inward

nine is no pushover . . . at 3681 yards, the back is nearly 250 yards longer than the outward side.





The slightly uphill par 3 - eleventh, Called "The Nook" is a beast of a one shotter at 236 yards.Most

of the dunes are hand watered and maintained at Bayonne by Superintendent Victor Frederico and

his grounds staff of 50, certainly not a small task.





While standing on the back tee on the downhill par 4 - 12th, the Staten Island Ferry moved across

our site line towards lady liberty and downtown NYC.The members at Bayonne enjoy a view and

atmosphere unique to no other golf club in the free world.





While a group tees off on the sixteenth, the new Freedom Tower (upper right) stands tall in

downtown NYC (site of ground zero).I couldn't help but notice on the scorecard, the appropriate

name "Heaven's Gate" given to this hole.





The 17th tee, the small pile of soil you see just bottom left of the maintenance path is a future

extension of the fairway, a needed addition considering windy conditions at Bayonne often make

this carry a bear for many members.




The final green at Bayonne is neither small nor tame, two putts are not a given on this hole which

is aptly named "Lighthouse".




Short game & iron range (pictured above) is a great spot to work on fine tuning the

scoring clubs, there is an aqua range as well, where you can hit the big stick.





The clubhouse and practice putting green are the highest point on the property, the 15th green sits

in the foreground to the right.





A touch of class: The ferry transports VIP golfers to and from downtown NYC




Bergstol's creation clearly is in the category of Chambers Bay in Tacoma, Washington (RTJ II) and

Whistling Straits (Dye) in Kohler, Wisconsin as links style facilities that have turned an eye sore into

eye candy . . . all while challenging the accomplished player to score.Bayonne is as unique to the

Met section as Dye and Trent Jones Jr's designs are to their respective region.Oh yeah one more thing,

many clubs have a signature snack that is on display for edible consumption throughout the day . . . at

Bayonne they have the best chocolate chip cookies on earth.

 

Kudos to Head Professional Chris Billington (a fellow Tottenville Pirate) and his staff for an impressive

operation at a setting that only Eric Bergstol could have envisioned.




Bayonne uses a seperate card for each set of tees,  Champ card shown above.



To learn more about Bayonne Golf Club visit their site: http://www.bayonnegolfclub.com/






 

 

 


 
Woodmere Country Club PDF Print E-mail

 

The Woodmere Club is one of the oldest courses located on the south shore of Long

Island, this par 70 Championship layout was redesigned by Robert Trent Jones in 1954.

Although only 6316 yards from the tips, it offers variety and challenges you'd expect from

an RTJ vintage design.


The layout is predominantly parkland style, but has some elements of meadow and low

country aswell.The eclectic nature of the property, lends itself to an extremely interesting

and fun round of golf.You won't feel beat up walking off the final green at Woodmere, but

even the low handicapper will be tested. Although you don't see the shoreline on any hole

(it's less than a 1/2 mile away), it's influence can be felt with the breezes that move through

the property.Head Pro Jeff Cowell was my guide, and showed me the preferred lines around

Woodmere.

 

The Woodmere Club is celebrating their centennial anniversary.

 

 

 

2nd hole - 393 yards


 

 

2nd green

Although the approach on the 393 yard second is a short iron, the green is well protected

by a front left bunker and a severely uphill bank fronting a green with significant

undulations.

 

 

 

3rd green

The third green has elements of a Donald Ross surface, sloping severely front to back.

 

 

 

4th hole

 

 

 

5th hole

The fifth hole is the first par 5 on the course, and at 516 yards it can be reached, but be aware,

long is a tough up and down, Trent Jones gave this green plenty of back to front tilt as well.

 

 

 

 

 

The longest (and tougest) par 4 on the front is the sixth, at 425 yards.It's shaped right to

left with no bail out right.The green opens on the right and falls off to the right, a slight

draw approach is the preferred shot here.

 

 

 

Par 3 - ninth green

 

 

 

 

 

 

10th hole

The front nine is a nice appetizer for the main course that awaits, the back nine is flat out special

. . . the tenth (photo above) at 319 yards is a design marvel.The longest hitters will be tempted

to give it a go, but it's "fools gold"  . . . the elevated green is so well protected, the prudent play

is a hybrid or 3wood off the tee and a wedge approach.

 

The 10th green complex is my favorite at Woodmere, the bunkering is exquisite.

 

 

 

The par 3 eleventh has a South Carolina feel to it, at 185 yards, checking the wind

direction is a must here . . . especially since their is a narrow water hazard fronting the

putting surface.

 

 

 

12th hole

The par 5 twelfth was the toughest and best par 5 on the course, a small pond guards

the front right side of this green . . . most players will be layin up here.The hole location

you see in the photo above sits just below a ridge that runs from front right towards the

center back of the green.This is another memorable hole, the landscape beautification around

the green and pond add to a great golf hole.


 

 

The 14th green is another surface that has subtle movement, a solid design feature

considering the hole is only 364 yards from the tips, and offers a wedge approach, but that's

the easy part, the slick smooth greens at Woodmere are the biggest challenge to go low here.

 

 

 

 

The 15th tee reminded me of the back tee at Winged Foot West's 18th . . . very serene but

with a challenge ahead.A right to left drive thru the chute is needed here, just like at Tillinghast's

gem in Mamaroneck.

 

 

A mid iron approach into the 15th, another green where long is wrong (but short is no

bargain either).

 

 

 

17th hole

My favorite hole on the property. The drive must carry a crossing hazard, but this dogleg left is

only 370 yards, so accuracy is key here. The entire left side is lined with tall fescue, and

the right side is thick Poa/Rye rough.An approach from the right must contend with the tall

weeping tree guarding the right side of the green.Granted you've found the short grass,

this picturesque par 4 is a birdie hole.


 

 

18th hole approach

The finishing hole is the longest par 4 of the routing (434 yards), a semi blind tee shot to

a fairway wider than a airport runway leaves a mid to long iron approach.Five gorgeous

Crape Myrtles blooming in scarlet red, frame the final green and form the perfect accent

against the classic clubhouse.


Woodmere Club is another Northeast classic, but certainly not a brute . . . almost 60 years

since RTJ worked his magic here, and it's still is a fabulous place to spend a day on the links.


To learn more about The Woodmere Club: http://www.woodmereclub.com/

 

Thanks to Donald Mollitor for hosting us.

 

 

 

 

 


 
The Best of Florida Golf PDF Print E-mail

 

The Jupiter Hills Club (Hills course) tops our list of Florida's Best

 

 

Florida gets many labels, some positive and some not so much . . . golf galore, sunny, no state income tax,

muggy, humid, hangin chad, tourist trap, etc.When many people think of Florida golf you hear terms like:flat

too many water hazards, sand, grainy slow Bermuda greens.Many of those descriptions are just, but believe it

or not, if you get around the entire state, you will see the most eclectic variety of golf courses of anywhere in the

in the U.S.Where else do you have the Sub Tropics-Flat (Keys, Miami, Ft.Lauderdale), then just 70-100 miles

north in Juno, Jupiter, & Vero Beach) there are native Pine forests and a coastal ridge that is the basis for such

spectacular sites as Seminole & Jupiter Hills.As you head north thru the middle part of the state, starting with the

Lake Wales area and extending thru Clermont, Minneola, Howey In The Hills, Ocala and into Gainesville, it is unlikely

that you'd still think you were in Florida, based on the topography and foliage changes.

 

The list below reflects that variety, and although many of Florida's best golf course properties are exclusive

clubs, there are hundreds of excellent Florida layouts that "YOU CAN PLAY", either of the daily fee or resort variety.

There are 3 courses on the list that we have reviewed but haven't teed it up on: Trump International, and the two

courses at Streamsong (that have yet to open).The Tom Doak (Blue course) and Coore/Crenshaw (Red) are

instantly atop our list (1A) and that's without having hit a shot on either.Does that make it unjust, over hyped, or

invalid . . . we don't think so (and we'll stake our reputation on it, that once you see it for yourself your jaw will

drop as ours did).

 

Scotland is the Home Of Golf, Bandon, Oregon the new World Mecca of Golf, and areas like Kohler, Monterey,

Philly/South Jersey, Westchester and South Hampton have the majority of Americas top 100, but Florida is the

home to more tour pros than all other U.S states combined, as well as the World Golf Hall Of Fame, The PGA Tour,

LPGA Tour and the PGA Of America.So as far as American Golf is concerned, it is the capital.Below is our list of

Florida's best.


 

As always these lists are subjective, especially in a state that has over 1,000 golf courses

* - Top 100 course (past or present)

+ - Public or Resort

 

 

1.Jupiter Hills Club (Hills) * : founded in 1970 by the Ford family and Bob Hope, JH hosted the 1987

U.S Amateur Championship won by Billy Mayfair (pictured above).

 

1A. Streamsong Resort (Red & Blue) + : The "Bandon Dunes of Florida" is already a phrase being tossed around

regarding the two courses by Doak & Coore/Crenshaw.Having seen it in person just weeks after playing at

Bandon, that phrase is not far off the mark.Streamsong looks like links golf, will it play similar . . . we'll soon

find out.

 

Below are a two photos from our recent visit to Streamsong:

 


 

 

2.Calusa Pines * This Hurdzan/Fry design is worthy of all the praise, along with Seminole, the two most exclusive

clubs in the state.

To see more on Calusa Pines, ranked #71 in America click the link below:

http://linksnation.com/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=99:course-review-calusa-pines&catid=9:course-reviews&Itemid=10

 

3.TPC Sawgrass *+ Pete Dye, Island green, need we say more.

 

4.Seminole * Most people will never play this ultra exclusive Donald Ross masterpiece, if you get the chance,

count yourself as very fortunate, holes 11-18 might be Ross' best stretch of work.

 

Ben Hogan's favorite par 4, the sixth at Seminole

 

 

 

5.Black Diamond (Quarry) * The Quarry holes are as visually spectacular as any in America.Fazio's

best canvas?Could be.Although Black Diamond is a private club, the FSGA and ExecGolf often hold

tournaments on the Quarry Course.

 

The signature hole #15 at Black Diamond Quarry


 

 

6.World Woods (Pine Barrens) *+ Tom Fazio's Ode to Pine Valley, located in the middle of no where.There is

no better value in American Golf (now that Bethpage Black costs an arm and a leg).The only question mark here

is the condition of the "dodgy" putting greens . . . sister course Rolling Oaks re-opened in Oct.2010 with its new

putting surfaces, time for the folks at WW to shut down the masterpiece and give her the needed facelift  . . . .

1 thru 18, Pine Barrens might be the best overall layout in the state, but conditioning has to count for something.

 

Pine Barrens Par 5- fourth

 

 

7.IsleWorth - Past home and playground of 14 time major championship winner - Tiger Woods . . . oh yeah, and

a famous fire hydrant.


8.Bear's Club - The private sanctuary of the greatest Champion in Golf history - Jack Nicklaus, and home to

many other big names including Michael Jordan, Ernie Els, Rory McIlroy, and Luke Donald.


9.Trump International - Great course, beautiful landscaping . . . built next to a palm beach prison.


10.Dye Preserve - The most under the radar of the exclusive clubs in South Florida, my personal favorite Pete Dye

layout in Florida, a kinder, more playable, shorter "sawgrass" type design (without the goofy island hole).Often

played by locals Ricky Fowler and Dustin Johnson.

 

11.Loblolly Pines - Designed by P.B Dye, nestled within the Hobe Sound community, this club gets less

pub from the "in crowd", than it's famous neighbors just down the road.

 

The 15th at Loblolly Pines is a sweeping left to right par 4.


 

12.Lake Nona - located on the east end of Orlando, this club is part host of the annual Tavistock Cup

 

13.Mountain Lake *

Seth Raynor's classic in Lake Wales opened in 1916, it stands the test of time, to read more about ML click the link below:

http://linksnation.com/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=9&Itemid=10

 

 

 

14.Ocean Course Hammock Beach *+ This Jack Nicklaus design was the first course in

Florida built on the coastline since Seminole in 1929.The Ocean Course is now part of

the Salamander company that also owns Reunion and Innisbrook Resorts.

 

15.Mission Inn "El Campeon" +

The century old El campeon course has dramatic elevation changes and is among the

least known gems of the peninsula.

 

 

 

16.Conservatory Hammock Beach + This sister layout of the Ocean Course, was designed

by Tom Watson, and although it's inland from the Ocean layout, it's bite may be more

fierce than it's coastal sibling.

 

16(a).Bella Collina - This amazing Nick Faldo course in Monteverde is the longest course in

Florida at just under 7600 yards, located on the same ridge as Sugarloaf Mountain (#17).

Economic times have hurt this super high end exclusive neighborhood/club, the Tuscany

Style clubhouse and entryway is bar none the most impressive that I've ever seen

anywhere.

 

17.Sugarloaf Mountain + The first Coore/Crenshaw creation in the state, this ranking would be atleast 10

spots higher if the club hadn't fallen on such tough economic times.Elevation of over 300 feet, make Sugarloaf

the most unique piece of property in the entire state.If the economy claims this baby, it will be a tragedy.


18.Coral Creek Club - It's coastal backdrop has a Kiawah like charm to it, CCC hosted the state Mid Am just a

few years ago (where yours truly missed the 36 hole cut).

 

19.Pine Tree *

Once Among Americas Top 100 (like Mountain lake) this Dick Wilson original garnered praise from the one & only

Ben Hogan."The Hawk" stated his opinion 50 years ago (see photo below).

 

After playing in an Amateur stroke play event there last summer, it would be tough to debate Hogan's opinion.

 

 

 

20.Innisbrook (Copperhead) *+ This long, hilly shot makers layout annually hosts the Transitions Championship

each March on the PGA Tour

 

21.Southern Hills Plantation - Another Pete Dye Brute, this Brooksville course annually hosts the 2nd stage

of Q-school

 

22.Orange County National (Panther lake) +

It would be tough to find a better all around facility in the U.S, Orange County National hosts the PGA Demo

Day each January, as well as PGA Tour Q-School on a semi annual basis.With no homes on the the property, 36

holes of Championship golf, a lodge for die hard golfers, a fun par 3 course, and possibly the best public practice

facilty in the U.S . . . OCN is seriously a must as a golf destination.

 

23.Juliette Falls + This semi private/daily fee course designed by John Sanford has the feel of a Georgia layout.

It's another lesser known Florida course that will test every part of your game, while giving the beauty few in the

state can match. Located just outside of Ocala in Dunellon.

 

24.Golden Ocala - This private club boasts 8 replica holes, a few of which might satisfy your lust for the famous

club where they award a Green Jacket to their champion each April.(photo below)

 

Golden Ocala's replica of Augusta National's 12th

 

 

25.Old Marsh - Another Pete Dye, this course is designed to intimidate, and when the wind blows, it'll

show no mercy.

 

26.Adios -This private Arnold Palmer design was founded by the late Dave Thomas (Wendy's Restaurants),

and is the playground to famous athletes Dan Marino, Cris Carter and Joe Namath.


27.Turnberry Isle (Soffer) - This 36 hole Paspalum facilty in Aventura, is the most beautifully landscped &

best conditioned course in Miami.

 

28.Bay Hill *+ The King's renovations a few years ago were a HUGE improvement, the course is once again

regarded as a special place to play.

 

29.PGA National (Champion) + Among the toughest layouts on tour each year, the home of the Honda Classic

brings water into play as its main feature (Bear trap).

 


 

 

30.Reunion (Independence) + This Tom Watson design is the jewel of Reunion Resort, as tough a resort course

as you'll find amongst the many that exist in central Florida.

 

31.Breakers Rees Jones + This course is a private member club, as well as a resort facility (Breakers Palm Beach).

Rees Jones totally reworked a tired routing almost 8 years ago, and the result is perhaps the best layout on the

western side of Palm Beach County, the professional staff and service is second to none here.

 

32.Deltona Club + Bobby Weed re-routed and designed an entirely new golf course at the former Deltona Hills

Golf & CC.The result was runner up in Golf Magazines's 2008 renovation of the year award.The land at Deltona

has dramatic elevation changes in a town that gets its name for being between two cities (Deland & Daytona).

If World Woods is the best value in the state, than Deltona Club is not far behind in that category. . . but similar

to Pine Barrens, conditioning of the greens can often be a question mark here.

 

Bobby Weed's bunkering at Deltona Club is extraordinary.

 

(Medalist & McArthur have yet to be reviewed, therefore they do not appear on this list)

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
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