Coral Creek Club, located in the quiet town of Placida, Florida in the southwest region of the peninsula sits along the Gulf Coast Intracoastal waterway. CCC is a private members only club that annually ranks among the top courses in a state that boasts over one thousand layouts.
It had been over a decade since our last visit to the club, but on this Sunday in late spring it was great to see the “Olde Florida” charm still exists here. Since Coral Creek is a seasonal club, they of course chose the summer for their recent renovation, as it turned out, the Covid-19 pandemic worked out as the perfect time for team Fazio to complete the makeover.
Fazio/ CCC Renovation Goals
1. Improve the overall golf experience of Coral Creek, while protecting the legacy of the club and the integrity of the design.
2. Improve Sand Bunkers overall playability, functionality, ease of maintenance, and aesthetics throughout the course. Delete out of play bunkers where necessary.
3. Adjust Tees where needed to allow additional yardage variety and yardage scorecard options.
4. Resurface Greens and Collars, recapture original pin areas, improve green surrounds, and create a sustainable growing medium for premier turf conditions
5. Adjust Fairway + Rough areas on some holes where appropriate.
6. Clean/ Remove vegetation that has overgrown on edges of all holes and course routing.
Original Architect: Tom Fazio
Renovation Architect: Tom Fazio / Ron Smith (on site Design associate)
Renovation Timeline: Started: May 1, 2020 – Completed: October 1, 2020
Course Acreage: 211 acres
Course Par: Medal Tees- Par 70, Blue, Gold, White, Coral & Green tee – Par 71.
Golf Course Specs:
Turf area – 90 Acres
Greens- Certified TifEagle ultradwarf Bermudagrass. 3.5 acres
Tees- Certified Tiftuff. 6 Acres
Fairways/Approaches/ Collars – Certified Tiftuff. 40 Acres
Roughs – Certified Tiftuff. 28.5 Acres
Driving Range – Certified Tiftuff. 12 Acres
Bunkers – Hybrid Capillary Concrete lining system and G Angle sand.
Head Professional Emeritus Ken Raynor was kind enough to be our tour guide for the day. Ken was the Head Professional at Coral Creek Club for decades and was also the Head Pro at Cape Arundel in Kennebunkport, Maine for 38 years. Raynor authored the book, “I call him Mr. President” that tells of his experiences with good friend – George Herbert Walker Bush (the 41st President of the United States).
After a friendly opener gets you off and running, the downhill par 3 second hole gets the shot makers juices flowing.
The one-shotters at Coral Creek just might be the strength of the golf course. Here at the scenic 157 yard sixth (that plays a hefty 220 yards from the tips), a slight fade can take advantage of the mounds Fazio created to act as side boards that funnel golf balls into the heart of the green.
The short 341 yard par 4 eighth features a winding sandy waste area that runs the entire length of the fairway, any pulled tee shot that ends up there leaves a very difficult angle to a well guarded green. The eighth green was one of the more extensive projects during the renovation – requiring a complete tear down/rebuild due to sub-surface issues.
The left to right angled green complex at the par 4 ninth is extraordinary. It’s quite wide, but its shallow back to front dimension provides the challenge. Easily one of our favorites on the property, only the correct shot shape and trajectory will do here or a tough up and down awaits.
The thirteenth is a reachable risk/reward par 5 that dares you to carry this waste area on the corner of the dogleg.
Fifteen plays 415 yards from the blue tees , but like most holes at CCC, it’s all about the approach. An elevated putting surface is flanked by waves of bright white sand. A false front repels any mis-hit back down towards the fairway below.
The 471 yard finisher (451 from the blue tees) demands that you to bring your best all the way to the house. Safety to the left side of the fairway leaves a longer second, take on the right fairway bunkers and the approach shortens considerably.
The view from position A, the ideal play from here is a soft draw to this back hole location guarded by mangrove vegetation along the inlet. A truly stunning close at Coral Creek Club.
Kudos to Fazio Design on improving one of Florida’s finest layouts. The renovation at Coral Creek Club has only enhanced the playability and experience for the members, and will create a better venue for future state and regional championships to be hosted at the club.
For more info: http://www.coralcreekclub.com/Club/Scripts/Home/home.asp