There is nothing mediocre about the course at Loblolly Golf Club, which opened in 1988. It’s one of Pete and P.B. Dye’s unsung layouts that simply bristles with style. Formerly known as Loblolly Pines, this is Floridian seaside golf from the top drawer.
Located next to a wildlife refuge in Hobe Sound, on the southeastern coast of the Sunshine State, the fairways have been set out in a tight, triangular-shaped property within a large residential development.
A fair amount of soil was shifted during construction to create movement in the landscape so there are a few surprising changes in elevation changes to be found during a round here.
Stronger holes on the front nine include the 457-yard right doglegged 4th and the 576-yard 6th, which veers almost at a right angle to a water-protected green. On the inward half, the short par four 13th is a really fun hole in the corner of the property whilst and the 440-yard 18th doglegs right to the home green, ending the round in solid style.
Pete Dye and sons built this course as part of an upscale real-estate development. It’s a private club with perfect maintenance and high attention to detail. It was playing firm and greens were running extremely fast for our visit. A rough guess would have them at 12 on the stimp. Given the greens were anything but flat and straight forward this is a tough course from a putting perspective at those speeds. I also found this course pretty challenging from a driving perspective in typical Dye fashion they give you a lot to think about off the tee, OB, plenty of water and bunkers. Still the result of their work is most certainly a high end Florida course. It’s very walkable and there seems to be minimal visual disturbance from the housing development. In the end we had a great day out in perfect conditions.
My favorite hole was called Calamity and is modeled almost directly after the original famous Calamity Corner hole at Royal Portrush. Loblolly’s version really is an excellent copy, visually impressive and a blast to play. Amazing that this was manageable on flat land. Show’s how much dirt was brought in here and shaped.
I’d say good players will really enjoy a day out at Loblolly, it provides a challenge to every aspect of your game but certainly the putting sticks out to me as what to watch for.
It’s a thrill to play at Loblolly which certainly holds its own as one of the toughest courses in the area alongside neighbours such as McArthur, Medalist and Jupiter Hills. Although Florida is mostly flat, Pete Dye’s bulldozer was working hard when he shaped many of the mounds that gave birth to the amazing putting surfaces. Many features at Loblolly appear manufactured, but the challenge is undeniable. They have a par 3 on the backside influenced by ‘Calamity’ at Royal Portrush. To the educated eye, you’ll see other replicas throughout Loblolly. Hitting great shots into these greens is very rewarding. The conditioning is second to none and the variety of holes leads to a memorable round.