I’m not the biggest fan of the Stadium course. Absolutely, it makes for dramatic TV to see professionals hit into the water on the 17th, but does one made-for-TV tricky hole make a good golf course? No. For me there is too much water for the average handicap golfer. The Bermuda grass is also too high and difficult to hit out of. And the round is VERY expensive relative to the quality of the course. It has Pebble Beach prices without the views. One of the reasons I didn't particularly like the course was that I found the front nine and a couple of holes on the back to be a bit bland and uninteresting. If a course is going to rank high in the world rankings it shouldn't have a preponderance of weak holes. Exhibit A is the second hole, a par-five which could be a hole on any course in Florida. It is not a particularly distinctive hole, sitting on flat ground. It is understood among tour professionals that one the toughest finishes on tour is the closing three holes at the Stadium Course, summed up in three words: water, water, everywhere. From the 16th tee in, you either hit a shot with precision or lose a ball. A watery grave awaits any shot that is not on its intended line. The approach to the 16th green is guarded along the right side by water with a firm green that can kick balls into the water. Thus, begins the nightmare for any golfer with a hitch in his or her swing. David Feherty calls the stretch of 16-17-18 the 'schizophrenic ward' of the golf course, and he is right. If you want the novelty of saying you’ve played the 17th, go for it, otherwise there are better public alternatives in the state (Streamsong and World Woods to name two). Or if you are a very good low handicap golfer and want an extreme challenge, go for it.
Date: October 20, 2019