Calusa Pines - Florida - USA

Calusa Pines Golf Club,
2000 Calusa Pines Drive,
Naples,
Florida (FL) 34120,
USA


  • +1 (0) 239 348 2220

  • Walt Kozlowsky

  • Michael Hurdzan & Dana Fry

  • Not known


Calusa Pines is an absolute blast and that’s official. You’ll need to befriend a member to get a game here on this intensely private Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry designed layout but persevere because this pine-sheltered course is dynamite. The course is perched on the highest land point in south Florida. It’s actually set some 60 feet up so perched is perhaps an exaggeration!

The dynamite bill alone reached $1m as they blasted through tons of rock to create huge, deep lakes and the fill was then used to create rare Floridian elevation changes. The earth certainly moved at Calusa Pines where numerous sand and waste bunkers connect the playing surfaces to the water hazards in a surprisingly natural manner. The planting of more than 100 mature Oak trees alongside indigenous Sable palms and mature pines has created maturity way beyond its 2001 birth date.

With membership numbers set below 300 and a joining fee of around $150,000 Calusa Pines is a high-end facility so get networking and perhaps one day you’ll be fortunate enough to sample the club’s slippery TifEagle greens.
If the above article is inaccurate, please let us know by clicking here

Write a review

Reviews for Calusa Pines

Av. Reviewers Score:
Description: Calusa Pines Golf Club is an absolute blast and that’s official. $1m of dynamite was used to blast through tons of rock to create rare Floridian elevation changes... Rating: 5.5 out of 6 Reviews: 4

Calusa Pines should be rated higher. The Hurdzan/Fry design along with the vision of founder and owner Gary Chensoff have created a top shelf golfing experience. I was told they spent $1 million dollars on dynamite and moved tons of dirt to create dramatic elevation changes. I was told the ridge that hosts the 9th, 12th and 16th tee boxes is the highest point in Collier County. If you did not know better, you would think you were in the Carolina sandhills. There is one waste area that is supposedly nine acres and the eighth hole has a bunker that is over 25 feet tall. Great walking course, but note well, the greens are faster than teenage sex. If you do not putt off the green, that is a W.

To the course, the first hole is welcoming and two good shots should set up a good round. The same for the par 5 second, not too demanding. The par 3 3rd does not look too intimidating on the card, but with a small green with deep bunkers left, it still has teeth. The 400 plus yard par 4 5th surprised me, as it has large bunkers behind the green. I suspect those bunkers rarely come into play. The par 5 6th, stay left off the tee. The 200 yard plus par 3 7th is a monster. To Hurdzan/Fry’s credit the 8th is a short par 4 less than 300 yards. For big hitters it may be driveable, a Redan green that it is well protected with bunkers and a hellacious pot bunker to the right front.

The backside starts out with a tough par 4 with the green pushing everything left. The par 3 11th also has a predominantly left list to it’s green. The par 4 14th is relatively short. Favor the right with your tee shot. Be forewarned this is a tough green. The 16th is my favorite hole, a down hill par 3 with ample opportunities to put your ball in a water hazard. The 18th is a super finishing hole, dog leg left. Big hitters can cut the corner and get home in two to this elevated green. Me not so much. Tough to get on, but well worth the effort.

5 / 6
Calusa Pines
September 17, 2018


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review

Calusa Pines is for serious players. Despite having lost 776 trees in last year’s hurricane, the course survived at a very high level. This is among the top 5 courses in the state with a huge demand on accuracy. The greens are tough to hit, the aprons around the greens are undulating / Calusa Pines Golf Course - Photo by reviewer punishing and the shaping on the putting surfaces is a massive test.

Dana Fry continues to be hands on at this property and I congratulate his long-term efforts. Calusa is blessed with a unique topography, which really rolls in places – including a dramatic panoramic downhill par 3. Routing the course towards this large sand dune is a work of art and elevates this pristinely maintained course among best in the country.

The variety of short, medium and long holes – especially the par 4s make this a very memorable layout. I asked 6 scratch golfers what their favourite holes were on both the front and back nine, and each player had a different answer. I personally thought this was a huge compliment to the course.

5 / 6
Calusa Pines
May 29, 2018


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
On my ride to Naples I was thinking how lucky I was to be on my way to another of the finest Golf Clubs in the US - this time the exclusive Calusa Pines Golf Club. After punching in the secret code on the security box that grants you entry (I'm not telling the code) you see the wrought iron black gates down the private road open slowly enough to allow anticipation to build as you approach (I felt like Charlie in the Willy Wonka movie holding the golden ticket). Once inside it is absolutely a stunning place that words just won't do justice, but I'll make the effort to paint a picture. Calusa Pines Golf Course - Photo by Jason BrunoAs you wind around the road heading towards the clubhouse, you immediately notice the native flora that fills the property (Slash Pine, Cabbage and Palmetto Palms as well as scrub and Live Oak). There are a handful of scattered cottages set amongst the landscape that members and their guests use during their visits, not unlike the cabins at Pine Valley or Augusta National.

As we walked up the embankment around the back of the clubhouse, it was my first glance of the ninth and eighteenth holes (as their greens both sit below the clubhouse terrace (very similar to Whistling Straits). We then played the course in reverse order… There are a series of holes at Calusa Pines where the tee boxes are elevated on top of dunes and ridges that were constructed by the design team of Hurdzdan and Fry (same team that designed Erin Hills in Hartford, Wisconsin home to the 2011 US Amateur). The twelfth’s tee box is elevated some 50 ft above the fairway and is quite possibly the toughest hole on the track, especially into a strong crosswind. This hole plays 468 from the tips and blends all the elements of a championship golf hole - vegetation right, water hazard left and a long approach to a Donald Ross Pinehurst #2 style green that gives you all you can handle.

The par 3 sixteenth is one of the WOW moments at Calusa Pines, playing only 161 yds downhill, the tee box lords over the property from some 60 ft above the putting surface - pinpoint accuracy is essential here, or a big number will be make your card. The eighteenth is a great finishing hole, (along with the eighth, these are my two favourite holes) it is a short dogleg left par 5 at 512 yards - a big drive over the large bunkers on the left will leave a long iron or hybrid second to an elevated green with the gorgeous clubhouse in the backdrop. As a closing hole during a big match, this hole fits the bill perfectly.

The first hole is a nice simple dogleg left as long as you stay out of the large bunker/waste area guarding the corner. The approach is to an elevated green, so be precise. The third is the shortest hole on the course at 155 yds from the tips and the seventh is the longest par-3 at 250 yds, and nothing but a perfect shot will work here. The eighth is one of the best looking inland golf holes I've have ever seen – a driveable par 4 of 291 yds. I fell in love with this hole before I even approached the green…a birdie then cemented this thought!

Coming towards the end of the round, I knew that I didn't want the experience to end but mother nature and the setting sun had other ideas – I was so happy to have played one of the best courses this country has to offer. Congratulations to the design team of Hurdzdan & Fry, the routing was superb, and the creativity used to transform the land into something memorable was brilliant. Calusa Pines is right up there with Seminole, Jupiter Hills, Loblolly, TPC Sawgrass, and Black Diamond as the best that the sunshine state has to offer. Jason Bruno.
6 / 6
Calusa Pines
March 01, 2011


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
2 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
Response
Niall
March 01, 2011
Great review Jason. I'd love to get that secret code one day. This review whets the appetite like few others. Thanks!
Jason Bruno
March 01, 2011
Niall, Thanks for the kind words . . . more reviews like this can be found at LinksNation.com (Bruno's Blog)
Billy
March 24, 2011
I have to say that visitors to Calusa Pines confuse a great CLUB with a great golf course. It most certainly is a better than average golf course which features a hill in one corner of the property to set it apart from the rest of Florida south of Ocala. Compare it to Seminole, the one great course in the state of Florida and you can see the differences. 10% of the USA's courses are in Florida but there are mostly just lovely places to play when it is snowing in the north. Calusa is however rather bland if well-conditioned and is arguably not even the best course in Naples (Hideout - very unsung - gets my vote). A good test, yes - but a better test of whether or not you can tell a great golf course from that which "passes for great" - in Florida that includes Jupiter Hills and especially Black Diamond Quarry. that said do not rebuff the invitation if it comes.
spetrick
September 05, 2012
I have played Seminole many times -- great locker room and great burger but doesnt compare as a golf COURSE to Calusa. Hideout is not even in the same area code as for the quality of the golf course.
BGD
September 06, 2012
I've had the opportunity to play both Jupiter Hills and Calusa Pines, and while Jupiter Hills is a wonderful golf course and club, I think Calusa is the superior course.
JT
September 25, 2013
I usually don’t respond or reply to reviews. But when I read the respose by Billy (on March 24 2011).... I don’t know where he is from, but wherever it is they obviously have strong crack. Because if he thinks Hideout is far better than Calusa. He’s smoking it !!
I had the unique opportunity to play Calusa Pines and I will tell you, it was a remarkable place. The exclusivity of the club is extraordinary with a membership size of less than 200 with most members being out of state. The clubhouse looms over the 9th and 18th greens, but doesn't overpower the property. The men's locker room is exquisite, with members names and handicaps above the main doorway. All this, and the course is the best part. Immaculate greens that read 14 on the meter, fairways that are pure and bunkers you wish you never put your ball in. The course is difficult, but fair. You must play the ball straight because penalites are fierce, especially around the greens. Very Don Ross greens, crowned with severe run offs. A good game around the greens is essential. I had an unbelievable time at this course. It is an absolute treat.
6 / 6
Calusa Pines
February 21, 2009


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
2 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review