Category: Florida

The Deltona Club: Resurrection

The Deltona Club: Resurrection

Florida insiders always spoke highly of the old Deltona Golf & Country Club for its nostalgic simplicity, sandy foundation and beautiful elevation changes that qualify as exotic for this flyover region between Orlando and Daytona Beach. Unfortunately the holes themselves had less appeal. Like most unmodified courses of the era, the 1964 design by regional architect David Wallace was exhausted, its gravity faded…

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Masterpiece Theater–TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course

Masterpiece Theater–TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course

A favorite debate among golf architecture students and historians is about what courses constitute the most influential in the evolution of golf design. Most groupings would include St. Andrews, National Golf Links of America, Pine Valley, Augusta National, and Sand Hills. The PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass is often cited as another construction and cultural landmark. For better or worse (depending to…

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Southern Hills Plantation: Dye Steps Forward

Southern Hills Plantation: Dye Steps Forward

I thought Southern Hills Plantation Club had a chance to win national acclaim when I first heard, around 2001, that Pete Dye was building a course in this part of west-central Florida. Being familiar with World Woods and the sand ridges that run through the Brooksville area, it seemed like the soils, the region’s big and graceful elevations…

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Slammer & Squire, Slighted

Slammer & Squire, Slighted

Slammer & Squire, the original course at World Golf Village, is overshadowed by the companion Palmer/Nicklaus collaboration, King & Bear, which the resort did far more to promote when it opened in 2000. This puts the Slammer in a double bind because, since its development in the late ’90’s, the entire WGV and Hall of Fame complex near St. Augustine has failed to attract the passionate…

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Wasted Potential — Sugarloaf Mountain (NLE)

Wasted Potential — Sugarloaf Mountain (NLE)

[Note: This course is permanently closed. The review was originally written in 2011] Sugarloaf Mountain should be the model for future golf course designs in Central Florida, particularly those built in the scrub, orchard and sand hills regions west and north of Orlando. That is if there are any future golf courses. Unfortunately the course and development…

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A Time to Focus — Smyers’ Southern Dunes

A Time to Focus — Smyers’ Southern Dunes

On one hand it’s easy to recommend Southern Dunes because, between the ropes, it’s a Central Florida original. Steve Smyers’ design has much going for it — great raw material sitting atop a deep sand ridge, gliding elevations, distinctive bunkering that creates distance illusions and alternate angles of play, putting surface contour with knobs, slopes and other…

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Pelican Golf Club, nee Belleview Biltmore

Pelican Golf Club, nee Belleview Biltmore

We’ll never know how good this course originally was (for many years it was an amenity for the historic Belleview Biltmore hotel up the road) because it began to fall into disrepair due to various financial crises shortly after it opened in 1925. Likely it was never very special — Ross’s topographical map would have been pretty…

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Solid and Scenic: Amelia Island Plantation’s Oak Marsh

Solid and Scenic: Amelia Island Plantation’s Oak Marsh

Compared to Ocean Links, Amelia Island Plantation’s other (now deceased) resort course, Oak Marsh is both more solid and less interesting. The holes follow a standard real estate development configuration, playing through wooded condos on the inland side of Highway A1A along the Amelia River and Intracoastal Waterway. Each nine starts slow, flowing in counterclockwise and clockwise rotations on either side…

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