This one was another course I had long had in my pending to play list and the chance to do it never really came close until a Tour I did to TPC Sawgrass last May. Together with the 2 rounds in a day at Mountain Lake I followed them with a night at the Lodge and a round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational course the following day.
First of all I have to point the Lodge, the quality of the rooms, the food, the memorabilia inside the Club House (from golf clubs to pictures and even a Guitar signed by Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top). Food is something of the highest quality as well and the attention to detail the crew has is just great.
The course was in amazing shape due to the winter rye grass not gone yet and the greens were rolling just in great speed and truthness. This one is a course that most of us have seen on TV many times and have it quite fresh in our minds, including that fast left to right putt on 18th Tiger has made a couple of times.
There are many shots than when played on ground are just very different from what we see on the screen:
- Par 5 5th is that one where Daily scored a 15 going directly for the green and sending 4 balls to the water. It looks like you can reach it but from the tees we played it is a 350yds carry, not for me.
- Par 4 8th is a great dog leg where again green a little bit elevated looks like closer, shot is very demanding and a narrow miss can send you to the water easily.
- Par 4 13th which is stroke index 1, the green is very shallow and a narrow miss will be rocks and water, count me a double bogey …
- 16th is a great par 5, second shot demands precision to an elevated green where the carry is longer than it looks like.
- 17th is a very pretty hole, elevated tee and a fantastic view.
- 18th is as tough as it shows on TV. I was not sure with the tee shot, aiming a low cut pulled it to the rough and was left 200yds from the rough to the most narrow entrance in the world! Of course, good shot but not brave enough to the bunker and bogey. This is one shot you must hit from the fairway, this makes it even special that driver Palmer hit off the deck some years ago.
It is not only a great experience but also a fun course, open to scoring if you play well but who will show it’s teeth if you miss. And as it is not tough to play, if you travel to Orlando it is a must play.
Date: June 26, 2019