Laid out within a lush landscape where fairways are framed by melaleuca trees, palmetto bushes and cabbage palms, the course at Mayacoo Lakes Country Club was one of the earliest collaborations of Jack Nicklaus and Desmond Muirhead.
The club crest depicts a tribesman, which harks back to a time when the Myakka Indians ruled the local area around Mayacoo Lakes. It’s highly debatable whether these early settlers were rudimentary golfers but they are alleged to have enjoyed ball and stick games.
Considered a tough track from the first day it opened in 1972, Mayacoo has been nipped and tucked over the years, allowing golfers of all handicaps to enjoy a round here though it still presents a formidable challenge, especially at holes where water comes into play.
And water does indeed feature at no fewer than thirteen of the holes at Mayacoo Lakes. In particular, the 409-yard, par four, 12th has the reputation as a potential card-wrecker because golfers seem to have more water than dry land to aim for between teebox and putting surface.
Mayacoo Lakes is one of Jack Nicklaus first designs. It opened in 1972 and the initial feedback was that it was too difficult. Over the years a fair amount of tinkering and a redesign in 2007 have occurred. It is not long, less than 7000 yards and is a par 71.
The first hole is pretty straight forward. However, it does have that Nicklaus feature of the solitary tree on the right hand side of the fairway on your approach shot. Thus, left is better off the tee. The oar 4 2nd is an unNicklaus like dogleg left! The green is well protected with water right, a bunker right and two more on the left. The 3rd is the mandatory Florida par 3, 200+ yards over water. The4th also goes slightly left with a bunker on the right elbow. A fairly tight approach to another well protected green. The par 4 6th without a doubt is my favorite hole. The drive is to a peninsula fairway and the approach is to peninsula greens. That is correct greens. Depending upon the day of the week you will be hitting to either the left of the right green. I think the easier of the two is the right green, as a hooker the left one is perilously close to the water hazard. Oh, I almost forgot there are also four bunkers. Fun hole. The 8th is a shot makers hole, with 3 fairway bunkers and 3 greenside control is a must. The front finishes with a good risk reward par 5. Fairly straight hole with the green tucked right protected by the water hazard. Big hitters can get there in two, but it is not for the faint of heart.
The 10th and 11th seemed very similar to me. Par 4s just over 400 yards, 10 has one greenside BAB and 11 has 3 regular sized bunkers. The par 4 12th is a cool hole. Also, just over 400 yards, your tee shot must carry the water hazard that comes into play all the way down the right side. Your approach must then carry the hazard and avoid the three greenside bunkers. The 13th is a par 5 dogleg right. It is not reachable, but I do not understand why it is rated as the number 2 handicap hole. Yes, there are several bunkers, but three decent shots should result in a par. The par 4 15th is much tougher, about 100 yards shorter it is the number 6 handicap hole. Water down the right side it also has two fairway bunkers hourglassing the fairway to another well protected green. Difficult hole. The 16th is similar to 6, except it has one green. The 18th is a demanding finishing hole at 440 yards. The approach is not easy as it appears the green is resting on the water hazard.
Myacoo Lakes is demanding, but it is a fine golf course with several unique features. I would definitely play it again, especially if you payed.