Course Review and Comments
Location: Very conveniently located near I-75. Most other courses (Bobcat trail, Riverwood, Heron Creek) were not hard to get to, but definitely not as convenient to the interstate.
Clubhouse, range, staff: All were great in my opinion. Staff might not be the most professional (I think some club members / patrons pull double duty in the shop) but they are very friendly, helpful and welcoming. Something I didn't necessarily expect from a once-private club forced to go public by Hurricane Charley. The range is easily accessible, very close to the shop and the #1 tee. The day we were there they were hitting off artificial turf. This was an interesting surface. One long strip of turf (about 3 yards deep) running the breadth of the practice tee. It gave slightly with iron shots, so it didn't feel too hard and you could stick a tee down in it. I didn't see any yardage markers, so that's a negative. We were in hurry, though, so I might have just missed them.
Tee boxes were well marked and in "fine condition", not immaculate and 2 or 3 had some leveling issues, but on average I'd give the tee boxes a 'B'.
Fairways: Great condition. The players do a fantastic job of taking care of the fairways with almost all fairway divots filled and smoothed.
Rough/Waste areas: The rough was in good condition and the perfect length for me as a moderately skilled golfer you weren't losing your ball or hacking out with a sand wedge, but your shot choice was affected. Much of the course had "waste areas" off of the fairway, these look great from the tee and represent a hazard if your ball finds one of the many tall 'maiden' grass plants in the waste areas. I'll give the fairways a B+
Greens: This was a little new to me, but the greens were very firm, I'm guessing to stand up to the near constant play they get for the spring peak season. High lofted full 9 irons barely made a mark. They rolled true, but here the players weren't doing as good a job taking care of the greens as some had un-repaired pitch markets (fewer than your average muni for sure, but enough to make me notice, particularly since I was making so few marks with full 9 irons and wedges). Several greens had some trouble spots, so that will be another ding. I'll give the greens a 'B-'.
Very Good. We played in the morning and the afternoon. With a 7:45 AM tee time we were on #6 in about an hour. There were two groups ahead of us and they were very fast. Our own groups pace slowed on the back nine (it seemed more difficult), but we still finished in 4.5 hours and should have been faster if we were keeping up with the group ahead of us. The afternoon round was slower, the course was much more crowded. We waited on most tee boxes and were probably on pace for over 4.5 hours, but had to skip 17 and 18 to get to a night ball game.
I really enjoyed the course, nice mix of short and long holes. Often landing areas were pinched by bunkers and or water. I found the par 5s particularly challenging. Two of them had forced carried on second shots. If you had a poor drive you might be forced to lay-up in front design elements mean to contain your tee ball. There were six sets of tees and I think it would be all the golf course any scratch player would want from the tips. The "#3" tees at 6,400 yards were best for the mid-cap who hits a 240 to 265 yard tee ball. The starter told us most men were playing the #4 tees (which we played in the morning). These were too short for some of our group forcing half-wedge approach shots from inside 100 yards on too many par fours. Not the most scenic course. You play through lots of housing on the back nine, but not much on the front.
Great. We paid $60 for our morning time, with cart and range, including lunch and a beer (excluding lunch and beer was $55). The replay was just a $20 cart fee.
Overall, this course was a fantastic fit for our group of mid-handicap golfers. This probably isn't one to make a specific trip for (don't drive in from Sarasota or Bradenton or something like that), but give it a shot if you're looking for a high-value, quality round in the Port Charlotte area
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