Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead Course is a Worthy Finisher to the Florida Swing

The Valspar Championship set to host 34 of the top 50 in OWGR

By Jason Bruno

The final chapter of the Florida Swing – the Valspar Championship will be played March 17-20th at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Florida. The stout Copperhead course designed by Larry Packard winds its way through a unique central Florida landscape of rolling terrain and significant elevation changes around and through dense tree-lined corridors of Florida Slash Pines. The nearly 7,300 par-71 layout is often regarded by tour players as the finest of the stops in the Sunshine State.

We recently attended the Valspar Media Day (on February 28th) with defending champion Sam Burns on hand as the featured guest for a Q&A with Matt Adams. Afterward, the media teed it up on the Copperhead. Here’s a look at a few pivotal holes . . .

The 560-yard opener provides players the opportunity to get on the board with an early birdie/eagle opportunity. The tee shot plays severely downhill and bends gently right on the approach to the slightly elevated green.

“Narrow Neck,” the quirky par 4 third hole that plays 442 yards, is an exercise in discipline and precision – tempting the winding narrow tee shot bordered by water on both sides is pure folly. Tour players will hit no more than a utility or fairway club, leaving a mid-iron approach to another slightly uphill green.

The fifth at Copperhead

The 607-yard fifth may be the show stopper of the Copperhead layout. The tee shot to an ascending fairway requires the players best to clear either of the massive bunkers that guard the fairway. A blind second shot over the crest of the hill must be right-center for a proper angle to the smallish green that’s tucked around a stand of pines.

The biggest elevation change on the Copperhead comes off the tee at the short par 4 tenth (70 ft), but it’s the narrow par 5 11th at 567 yds that sets the stage for the inward side. A straight laser off the tee avoids OB and sand on the left and a Pine Tree forest on the right. Most will choose to lay-up rather than go because of the well-guarded tiny putting surface.

The Par 4, sixteenth marks the beginning of the “Snake Pit”, at 458 yards bending right with water on the entire right side of the hole, this “mocassin” can prove to be a round wrecker. Finding the fairway here avoids the likelihood of a big number on the card.

The Par 3 seventeenth “Rattler”, plays 206 yards to a well guarded slightly uphill putting surface that pitches severely right to left and back to front.

2022 Schedule of Events

Monday, March 14

Course closed to the public
Private Event (not open to the public) – The Carol Martin Salute to Our Veterans Monday Pro-Am presented by AmeriLife

Tuesday, March 15

Professional Practice Rounds
Morgan Stanley Executive Women’s Day presented by Great Bay Distributors (private event)
Louisiana Hot Sauce Junior Clinic, open to all kids, Pro Driving Range @ 3:30pm
ReliaQuest All-Star Kids Clinic, open to special needs kids, Pro Driving Range @ 4:30pm
Gates open at 8:00am

Wednesday, March 16

Tampa General Hospital Championship Pro-Am
Gates open at 7:00am

Thursday, March 17

1st Round Valspar Championship
Tampa Bay Times Senior Day
St. Patrick’s Day at the Valspar Championship (fans encouraged to wear Green!)
Gates open at 7:00am
“Inside the Snake Pit at the Valspar Championship” on the Valspar Championship Facebook page @ 7:00am
Golf Channel – 2:00pm – 6:00pm
St. Pat’s Day Outfit Contest – 18th green, after play

Friday, March 18

2nd Round Valspar Championship
Gates open at 7:00am
“Inside the Snake Pit at the Valspar Championship” on the Valspar Championship Facebook page @ 7:00am
Golf Channel – 2:00pm – 6:00pm

Saturday, March 19

3rd Round Valspar Championship
Chick-fil-A Moooving Day
Gates open at 7:00am
“Inside the Snake Pit at the Valspar Championship” on the Valspar Championship Facebook page @ 7:00am
Golf Channel – 1:00pm – 3:00pm
NBC – 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Valspar LIVE presented by Chick-fil-A featuring Chris Young and Big & Rich at 6:30pm on the Osprey Driving Range

Sunday, March 20

Final Round Valspar Championship
Gates open at 7:00am
“Inside the Snake Pit at the Valspar Championship” on the Valspar Championship Facebook page @ 7:00am
Golf Channel – 1:00pm – 3:00pm
NBC – 3:00pm – 6:00pm

Copperhead superintendent Ryan Stewart has the course in superb shape, the 2022 Valspar Championship headlined by World No.2 Collin Morikawa looks to be a worthy test for games’ best players . . .

For more information: https://valsparchampionship.com/

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