|Debuting in 2007, the Jack Nicklaus Signature course at Old Corkscrew Golf Club weaves through a naturally wooded property that, fortunately, remains untouched by real estate.|
Old Corkscrew located in southwest Florida is a Nicklaus design. As Florida is pretty flat, not surprisingly, so is the course. Not a lot elevation changes and perhaps the most undulation one will find is on the green complexes. Having played too may Florida courses, I appreciate the lack of houses and condos on this one.
The first hole is a good welcoming hole. Slight dogleg right, favor the left side off the tee to avoid the fairway bunker right. The front of the green is protected with bunkers left and right. Be careful not to get lost en route to the second hole, at the fork bear right. We ended up near the 7th green as did the group behind us. The 2nd is your standard par 3. Pay attention to the pin location on this redan green as club selection could vary 3-4 clubs. The reveers S par 5 third is a good risk reward hole. Long hitters need to be right off the tee to set up a 2nd shot over the water hazard. For the rest of us, play smart and give yourself a flip wedge to another redan green. The short driveable 4th is a fun hole. A large fairway bunker meanders down the left and middle of the fairway. Water left and two greenside bunkers. This is penthouse or outhouse type of hole. The 5th is a dogleg left with water left and a fairway bunker on the outside elbow. Also, be forewarned drives will roll left. Another well protected green with bunkers right and left front. The par 4 6th is a long what you see is what you get par 4. The fairway bunker left is easily carried, heck if I can do it….The 7th is another standard par 3. The par 5 8th can be reached, but not by the faint of heart or golfers like me. Favor the right off the tee and favor the right on your second shot to set up your attack wedge. The 9th is a classic Nicklaus hole, dogleg right with the green perched in a water hazard. Right off the tee is better, be wary of being blocked out. As long as you avoid the fairway cross bunker on the left you should be fine. Regardless, the approach can be daunting over the water hazard.
The back starts with a mcgilla par 4. Dogleg right with bunkers on the inside elbow and water left. For the approach, water on the right and another green protected with bunkers right and left front. The 11th is a good risk reward dogleg left par 5. Big hitters can get home in two, but the 2nd shot will be just about all carry. Off the tee, fairway bunkers right and water left. The 12th will look similar to the earlier par 3s. Redan green with water left. The 13th is a good birdie oppty. Staggered right and left fairway bunkers. A good tee shot should result in a green light approach. The dogleg right 14th is a bite off as much as you can chew par 4. Be careful as you can drive through this fairway. BAB left of this elevated green, that probably requires an extra club. I suppose some people can get home in two on the 619 yard dogleg left par 5 15th, but I certainly do not know them. Play it as a 3 shotter. The short 16th is a good birdie oppty. If you hit driver you must be left to avoid the large fairway bunker. The last par 3 is the opposite hand of the other par 3s. Redan green right to left with water on the right. The long par 4 18th is an excellent finishing hole. A fairway bunker right pushes you left and the water hazard left pushes you right. You need to hit two good shots to find this green in two.
Overall, a good course. It was nice to see that Nicklaus could design holes that go left. The par 3s are pretty but not real challenging. I think the strength of the course are the risk/reward short par 4s and par 5s.
Old Corkscrew is among the most challenging golf courses I've ever played. It is in my opinion the best course in the Naples area. Corkscrew is pretty unique when it comes to Florida golf; no homes lie on the property and the holes wind through pines. The course itself has a lot of variety, with a lot of risk reward holes, the pinnacle of which is the 345 yard par 4 fourth hole.