Broken Sound is very open about the relative lack of undulation compared to neighboring courses, which is saying something in the flatlands of southern Florida. The only option, therefore, was to make the putting surfaces as interesting as possible. The fact that the course has been named “best greens” on the Champions Tour, which has hosted its Boca Raton Championship at the club for 13 years, demonstrates their success.
The goal, from original designer Joe Lee and more recently from Gene Bates, was to emulate the sandhills of North Carolina among the sandy scrub of Florida. Although the architects wouldn’t be able to create wide swathes of waste, they installed many large white-sand bunkers (unfortunately, you won’t be able to ground your club when you land in these ones). Anyone who is able to get from tee to green on the 535-yard closer should consider buying a lottery ticket immediately following the round; surely skill was involved, but there had to be some luck involved as well!
Another unavoidable dissimilarity, considering the location, are the water hazards. The peninsular greens at Broken Sound would have shocked the pre-Pinehurst Donald Ross.
The Broken Sound Old Course is somewhat unique in that it does not wind through the prototypical Florida housing development. Also, most people are surprised by the size and maturity of the trees. The opening hole is welcoming, a backward S par 5. Aim aim at the fairway bunkers off the tee. There is a water hazard right about 150 yards out. It doesn't take long for Broken SOund to show it's teeth. The second hole is tough. A long par 4 with OB left. Right is better off the tee. The approach is to an elevated green with a water hazard right and OB left. The par 3s 3, 8 and 14 are the requisite Florida par 3s with carry over water and in this case bunkers. The 4th hole is a short par 4 and a birdie oppty. However, there is a waste bunker and OB the entire left side of the hole. Another raised green slopes left to right and is well protected with bunkers. The 5th is another birdie oppty. All you have to do is hit it straight. The 6th is a long par five dogleg left with water on the elbow. Left off the tee is better as there are a plethora of hazards right. Hit your second shot to give yourself your preferred wedge yardage. The 7th is a classic risk reward short par 4. It is driveable, but danger lurks, large waste bunker left, several other bunkers on both sides. Oh, i forgot to mention the water. Regardless, a fun hole. Conversely, the 9th was not so fun. Of course when you duck hook your drive into the water hazard left you get what you deserve.
The 10th is a super golf hole. The fairway is split by an oak tree on the right and palm trees left. As a hooker i aimed at the oak tree and things worked out much better than 9. This requires the player to strategically plan how they want to execute their tee shot. Water all the way down the right. The 13th is one of the toughest hole on the golf course. To have a chance you must hit a good drive, hazards on the left and trouble right. The green is a peninsula and multi-tiered. The par 5 16th is reachable, but be wary of the cluster of oak trees on/in the right side of the fairway. The slight dogleg left par 4 17th looks more intimidating than it is. Choose your aiming point carefully off the tee to carry and cut the water hazard. The par 5 18th i do not like at all. It seemed way to tricked up. Dogleg left, over water with a narrow driving slot. After that you must maneuver around 7 scattered fairway bunkers to a well protected green.
Good but not great