The Geneva National Resort completed its trio of course from PGA legends — including Arnold Palmer and Lee Trevino — when Gary Player added the second nine to his route during 2000 (he had previously laid out nine holes during 1995).
The aforementioned Palmer course got the resort’s prime real estate along the shores of Lake Como, so Player needed to use his wit to create an experience that lives up without such scenic backdrops. One such example is the daring No. 5, a short par four that can be played the long way, looping around a dividing tree, or the bold way, which would be taking a significant forced carry straight at the green.
The Player may not be playing along the lake during its last three holes, but Player (the architect) manages to make the finale dramatic nonetheless. No. 16 is a reachable par five, if you’re willing to traverse the inlet of marshland that fronts the green. The following par three probably won’t threaten your shot with its water installation, but the wetland off to the left still makes for a nice photo at this, the last of five short holes.
You may want to leave your driver in the bag on the first hole of the Player course. There is gunch right and a ditch bisects the fairway. Best to have about 120 yards into the green and favor the left off the tee. The 2nd is a par five with the last 100 yards at a 90 degree left turn with water in the elbow and an elevated green. Play it as a 3 shotter. The 3rd is a long par four. Everything will roll left, so favor the right side of the fairway. This green is well protected with half a dozen bunkers short left and on elong right. The first par 3 is short, but don’t let that fool you. A peculiar shaped tee box, from the back it can be difficult to see the pin. This is a two tiered green with a severe drop on the back of the green. Club selection is critical. The 5th is a strange par 4. I suppose some folks have driven it, but…The safe play is right, but be careful to not drive it thru the fairway. Big hitters may opt for the left fairway. However, there are two BAB. In my opinion the potential reward does not justify the risk. The 6th is a mid-distance Florida par 3. Carry over water with a bunker front middle. The 7th is a dogleg left with gunch on the inside elbow and a fairway bunker as well. Aim for the right side of the bunker to set up your greenlight approach. The 8th is a good par five. Left is best off the tee. The fairway splits about 100 yards from the green. You have a choice of high road or low road. There is a pond right and this redan green is also protected with a deep front bunker. The left high approach is best. The 9th is a long uphill dogleg right and is the hardest hole on the course. Bunkers on the inside elbow. Par is a good score.
The back starts with a reachable par 5. Favor the left off the tee as the contour is right. The green is well protected with a water hazard front and right and a front bunker. If you are going to go for it favor the left side of the green. The 11th is a dogleg left with a gaggle of bunkers on the inside elbow and a couple weak right and through the fairway. The fairway rises on the right side, if you can get top shelve you are green light to a difficult 3 tier green. The 12th is a long difficult par 4. Favor the left off the tee, right is a ravine. Take an extra club on the uphill approach. The extreme downhill 13 plays at least one club less. The 14th is a dogleg left downhill short reachable par 5. The only caveat is the there is a stream in front of the green. The 15th is a very forgettable par 3. The 16th is a long par 5 that is a 3 shotter. Very straight with lots of moguls, a fairway BAB right with a water hazard front and right of the green. The 17th is the longest par three and there is a significant walk from 16 green to 17 tee. So long, we were not sure we were heading in the right direction. The 18th is a short par four, good birdie oppty.
Overall, not impressed. I would not play it again if you paid.