|The course at Emerald Hills Country Club – designed by Robert von Hagge with Bruce Devlin – debuted in 1969. Twenty years later, the layout was reworked by Charles Ankrom and reopened as The Club at Emerald Hills.|
The Club at Emerald Hills is one of the top tracks in southeast Florida. Having said that, if you play the wrong tees, you will hate it. For example, if you are on steroids, don’t like the people you are playing with or have self-loathing issues by all means play the tips, at 7827 yards, it sounds like a party I do not want to be invited to. The tees do stair step down 7368, 6931, 6563 and 6328. The latter was more than enough course for me.
The first hole is a long par 5 dogleg left. You can and should cut the corner, there is a bunker on the elbow. For your second shot aim at the left bunker and pick your wedge yardage. The par 4 2nd bends slightly left. Favor the left side off the tee. This green is perpendicular to the fairway with a bunker front middle and is very narrow. Additionally, the left side has a significant tilt back to front. Just thinking of the 3rd hole makes me chuckle. From the tips it is 268 yards! As I was the first group out in the AM I could not help myself and had to give it a go. I carried the water hazard and even got past my tee box, 143 yards, but I was still a good 30-40 yards short. I amused my caddie, if nothing else. The short par 4 4th is a birdie oppty. As you get closer to the green the fairway narrows, take an extra club to this elevated green. I really liked the par 5 6th. From the tips it is 643 and from the member tees 508 yards. There is OB left off the tee. I think it is a 3 shotter, but my playing partner was adamant he could get home in two. After 3 balls ended up in the water hazard, all he said was, ‘I can’t get home in two, today.”. The par 3 6th is the compulsory Florida par3 all carry over water (ditto 14 & 17). This is a 3 tier green, left to right. The 7th is a birdie oppty. However, be wary of the water running down the entire left side. The 8th is the number one handicap hole with water all the way down the right side. To keep you honest there is a fairway bunker in the landing area on the left. The 9th is somewhat of a yawner. Easy enough to clear the water hazard off the tee. The green is protected by a BAB right and 3 pot bunkers left.
The 10th felt a lot like the 9th. Tee shot must be straight as there is OB left and right. It is only missing the BAB right. The short par4 11th is a definite birdie oppty. The par5 12th is long and tight, a definite 3 shotter. With water on the entire left side and OB right, there is not a lot of margin for error. While the short 13th is a birdie oppty there are plenty of challenges along the way. A dogleg right with a large fairway there is water on the right and left. There is a also a tree in the middle of the fairway. Your approach is a carry over the water hazard to a 2 tiered green back to front. The 15th is another birdie hole, dogleg right with water in play on your approach shot. The 16th is a dogleg left with O.B. right and two fairway bunkers on the left elbow. A safe drive is right of the bunkers. The green is protected with bunkers front left. The 18th is the signature hole and it is a mcgilla. On the tee you deal with water and OB right. There is no going for this one in two and your approach has a water carry to a green that is caressing the water hazard over 180 degrees. One last thing, another multi-tiered green.
Wonderful golf course. I would pay to play it again.