Review for Southern Dunes

Reviewer Score:


Wow this course was the surprise of a recent trip to Florida that my wife and I took to play some of the courses in the area. It's less than a 30-minute drive from the Orlando/Kissimmee area near the theme parks and well worth the trip down. The entrance is actually a little frightening as you drive through multiple houses with no golf holes in sight. Visions of a golf course winding through a housing development and dodging backyards and OB immediately come to mind. However the course was thoughtfully laid out and architect Steve Smyers did a fantastic job of routing the course. The front nine actually consists of tow counterclockwise loops of holes 1-4 and then 5-9. The back nine is basically one large loop but the holes are angled so that the wind is always coming from a slightly different direction.

This course actually reminds me of many the design characteristics of the so-called minimalist movement that is so popular now. Despite an incredible 182 bunkers, the fairways are actually quite generous and bunkers help to define play, not dominate it. But more remarkable are the fantastic green complexes. There are numerous slopes, false fronts, and subtle drop-offs that put a premium and precise approach shots and excellent judgment around the greens.

Both nines were enjoyable but I thought the back nine the stronger of the two. I liked this course a lot and I will give it a 4 1/2. I think the course is very underrated and deserves a higher ranking.

Date: April 20, 2021

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