Here are Three Worthy Florida Golf Venues to see Out
If you’re headed to the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, here are some golf choices starting from the closest course to the show to an overlooked bargain to a worthy destination a day’s chase away .
Shingle Creek Golf Club
The nearest golf links is that the Rosen Shingle Creek Golf Club, but two miles from the Orange County Convention Center, the sprawling venue for the show.
Shingle Creek was redesigned a touch quite a year ago by the Palmer Design Co. with a discount in bunker sizes, a lengthening of par 4s and 5s and improved sight lines. While the dimensions of bunkers has been reduced, their placement still influences what club is required off the tee.
Most significantly, Shingle Creek’s redone greens are huge – ranging in size from 3,500 to 9,500 square feet.
This is what Thad Layton, head of the Palmer design team, said about them:
“Bold greens with character: a spread of green shapes and sizes with a comparatively great deal of contour will distinguish this course. there’s ALWAYS quite a method to urge the ball close when off the green. the various slopes in and round the greens when combined with fairway mow-outs round the greens will promote creative recovery options.”
We found that to be true during a round last year during the 2017 PGA Show. Although you would possibly face a 40-yard pitch from 10 yards off the green, 30 of it’ll be green that’s so wildly undulating, with two and even three severe breaks, that a pitch and run is not the appropriate play.. What Layton means is that a high shot over the breaks could also be so as to urge one close.
Suffice to mention that if you’re putting from farther than 30 feet, you will be hard-pressed to two-putt.
Greens fees for the week of the show run between $119 and $149 and include cart with GPS, range balls and free valet parking.
A Bargain on Orlando’s Outskirts
Rio Pinar golf links
So much about Orlando is so new, so cookie-cutter, and trending to high end that it had been refreshing when an Alabama golf writer i do know and his long-time pro pal from Florence, Ala., found Rio Pinar Golf Club, a throwback to a different era.
On the northeast fringe of the Orlando Metro area, 22 miles or about half-hour from the PGA Show, Rio Pinar has the texture of an old-style club of the 1950s. The course opened in 1957 and once served because the site of the Citrus Open. PGA Tour stars who played there inluded Palmer , Julius Boros, Trevino , Hale Irwin and Jerry Heard.
Winding through houses of an equivalent vintage, Rio Pinar features many water and many of mature trees, enough of them that missing the green requires a good measure of shot-making. With many shade to chop the Florida heat, I found Rio Pinar an unpretentious delight once I played it in 2017.
Its $40 greens fee for 2018 will go crazy your wallet, and therefore the down-home friendliness of the staff went an extended way toward making me want to travel back.
A long Drive but worthwhile
About two hours south down the Florida Turnpike is PGA Village in Port St. Lucie, where the three marquee golf courses, the Dye, Wanamaker and Ryder courses are joined by a close-by property, St. Lucie Trail Golf Club, now operated under the auspices of PGA Village.
For those not familiar, PGA Village may be a multi-course property operated by the PGA of America. It is a de facto retirement community for PGA pros from everywhere the country.
There are many golf towns in Florida, but none quite like Port St. Lucie, with a thriving community of various age groups. While the demographic does skew toward silver-haired, the dining is great , with many fresh seafood and a robust splash of international cuisine.
While each of the first PGA Village courses – Wanamaker, Ryder and Dye – has been renovated to stay pace with modern technology, the course that has really shown since its renovation has been the Dye Course.
PGA Village Dye Course
The greens were restored to Dye’s original vision. Bunkers were redone with pure white beach sand, and fairways, collars and greens were regrassed with a dizzying array of turf grasses, each with a selected strength, like drought tolerance or shade resistance.
The result’s a feast for the eyes, painted in various reminder green, highlighted by the wrinkles and contours and plentiful bunkering – all of which may cause you to forget that it lies of ironing board-flat, palm-lined terrain. Putting is simple , provided you recognize the effect of the grain of the Tif-eagle Bermuda on putts.
(It was on the Dye where two locals de-mystified the way to read the grain of a putt – with the clean fringe of the cup being the side the grain grows to, and therefore the shaggy side being the side the grain runs from.)
Superintendent Dick Gray, during a round table discussion with reporters last year, said he was intimidated when he got the work to renovate Dye’s work, which had fallen into a tragic state of disrepair, with grass growing in bunkers and poor maintenance exacerbating drainage problems.
The two men had met when Gray worked decades earlier at Crooked Stick, another Dye design in Carmel, Ind. Upon contacting Dye and explaining that he had been charged with restoring the course, Gray said Dye welcomed him and offered guidance throughout the project.
Gray’s success with the Dye renovation project undoubtedly led to his selection because the 2016 Superintendent of the year last February.
A round at the Dye course with cart and range balls through January varies from $97 to $139, with most prime tee times already taken, consistent with the club’s reservations engine. Stay-and-play packages are available through the nearby Hilton Garden Inn and there’s a boatload of condos within the community available for rent for buddies’ groups.