Fringed by southern pines and palm trees, the emerald green fairways of the Tom Fazio-designed course at Coral Creek Club weave through a beautiful 211-acre residential estate. Situated close to the island of Boca Grande on the Gulf of Mexico, the course lies next to the enormous Charlotte Harbor Preserve State Park.
First opened for play in 2000, the course offers a solid test of golf, even allowing for the largely generous width of the fairways, which allow a degree or two of latitude off the tee when the ocean breezes blow, as they frequently do.All except one of the back nine holes involve water as a hazard and the round climaxes in a great three-hole finish where an offset drive across a lake is required at the 16th, wetlands need to be carried at the 212-yard 17th and the longest par four on the card has to be negotiated at the 471-yard 18th.
The Coral Creek Club is fantastic track amid scenic surroundings. A Fazio design, it first opened in 2000. Unfortunately, it had some financial struggles and was closed briefly in 2003 but appears to have turned the corner and is doing very well. I only say that because it claims both George Bush as members and the voice over video narrative is done by Jim Nantz. Not sure how I was able to get a tee time and after submitting to a dozen questions at the security gate recognized that I had fooled them again!
The course has 6 sets of tees topping out at just over 7k yards as a par 71. The first hole is a welcoming par 4. The left side is best for your approach as there is a bunker short right. The second hole is a short par 3. My playing partner, Jimmy Davis, almost aced it as his ballmark was a quarter right of the cup. Sadly, he was so excited he rammed his birdie putt well past the hole to set up his bogey. The 3rd is another scoring oppty, a 500 yard par 5. Can be reached, however the water on the left sneaks progressively closer to the hole as the fairway narrows. The par 4 4th does not look that difficult on the tee box. Left is NG. You can still par but…. The par 5 5th is the longest hole on the course and also the number one handicap. Typically, I find that to be incongruent, but in this case, tough par 5. Off the tee you have bunkers left and swamp to the right. For the 2nd shot be cognizant of the lake on the right side. On your approach try to ignore the bunkers right and the bunkers left to a green that has a plethora of landing areas. The 200+ yard par 3 6th is a tough hole, yet it is the 15th handicap? I was told that this is the signature hole, I couldn’t get my arms around that either. Regardless, long carry over water on the right with a gaping bunker between the hazard and the green. The green slopes significantly back to front so it receives tee shots very nicely. I really liked the short par 4 dogleg left 7th .(yes I birdied) The tee shot is over a pond with bunkers on the elbow with a large tree on the right. Left is better. The par 4 8th looks tougher off the tee box than it is. Yes, you must carry the water hazard, but if you can’t hit it 150 yards you are playing the wrong tees. Cavernous bunker left, thus right is better. Even though the green is protected by bunkers left and right there is ample room to go pin seeking.
The back starts with a fun par 4. Bunkers right with water all the way down the left side with a generous landing area. You should have a short iron for your approach but be wary of the false front. The long 11th is a par 4 and the number 2 handicap. Dogleg left with water in the elbow, there is no sense trying to cut too much of the corner as there is a bunker left greenside. The par 5 13th tee is the highest elevation on the course. Personally, I felt this should be the signature hole. It is possible to reach the green in two by playing left, but you must clear all of the bunkers. Right is safer. This is an S shaped hole and depending upon conditions, one must really know yardages to pick the right landing areas. I am sure this hole plays relatively easy for those who have played it several times. We struggled. We did not have much time to catch out breath, the 14th is a tough par four dogleg left with a forced carry. You not only have to worry about the water but also the multiple bunkers staggered just past the water hazard. The 14th has a difficult to navigate green that is protected with a cavernous bunker on the right. The 15th and 16th are probably your best birdie opportunities, left off the tee is better on 15 and 16 is pretty much what you see on the tee box. The 17th is a 200+ yard par 3 and is somehow the number 14 handicap. The tee shot must carry the gunch to a devilish multi-tiered green. Hitting it is tough, but depending upon where your ball ended up, 4 putt is in play. The 18th is the longest par 4 and a hellacious finishing hole. Water left off the tee with several bunkers on the right side protecting against those trying to shorten the hole. On the approach be careful of the water hazard creeping into play on the left side not to mention the greens ide bunker left and short right. Par is outstanding, not sure why this is rated as #8
Overall, a strong course, well designed and in super shape. I would go back and even pay