As Tampa Bay Times golf writer Rodney Page reported – and what we all know – is that the South Course has some extreme elevation changes unique to Florida courses. You’d better bring every club in your bag and your best shots to the tee.
In fact, the Par 5 11th hole features a 94-foot drop from tee to green – the largest elevation change of any course in Florida. Add to that the generous fairways, velvet greens, and smart hole layouts, and you’ve got a challenging day of golf in front of you when you play the 220-acre South Course. Here’s your best shot at shooting par or better, according to the pros:
Probably one of the most demanding opening holes of any Florida course, the trick is to favor the right side of the tee. A good tee shot can leave you with anything from a mild iron to a fairway wood into the green.
With hungry bunkers and mature trees on both sides, accuracy in your drive is the key to this hole. The pond in front of the green can lead to sweaty palms when going for the green for even the most confident golfer.
This 368-yard Par 4 from the yellow tees can fool you. It might be short, but there’s plenty of trouble to get into. A good tee shot lands to the right of the fairway bunkers, which is precisely where you want to be.
This picturesque par 3 has water short and to the left of the green. Break out your best swing to get there.
The bunkers on this Par 4 scream “keep left”, but don’t listen. The large oak on the left will then come into play, so it’s best to favor the right side to allow an open shot to the green.
Don’t be lulled into submission by the beauty of this hole. It’s a 456-yard (from the yellow tees) par 4 with three distinct plateaus. Accuracy with your approach shot is key.
This sweet 202-yard par 3 has a sneaky feature—those two hungry bunkers at the front of the green. Make sure you take enough club to carry them.
It might not look like it on this 420-yard par 4, but there is actually enough room on the left side off the tee than you might think. Aim for the left side, which usually offers the best angle into the green.
Whether you birdie or bogey this hole has a lot to do with a good lay-up shot that stays away from the bunkers to the left and center and the trees on the right.
Practice the precision of your tee shot before stepping into the box on this hole. It’s a 422-yard par 4, downhill dogleg right that demands precision off the tee. This hole features the most severely sloped green on the course.
Step onto the tees and you’ll feel like you’re in North Carolina. It’s the largest elevation change in Florida, and one that commands your undivided attention in shooting a shot that’s not too long or to the right. Trust the yardages. It’s a lot farther to the green than it seems.
The 221 yards off the yellow tees on this par 3 are deceiving. This hole plays longer than the yardage, so be sure to take enough club. It’s hard to go long.
If looks could kill, this hole would be deadly. It’s a beautiful par 5 with bunkers that line the fairway. It’s visually very intimidating, but there’s more room than you think off of the tee.
This short 146-year par 3 is deceptively difficult. Avoiding the bunkers short of the green will increase your chance for shooting par.
One of the toughest par 4s on the South Course, this hole requires a long and accurate tee shot that favors the right side of the fairway. An overhanging tree on the left makes finding the correct place on this green difficult.
This 451-year par 4 is a demanding hole. A solid tee shot is a must, as is avoiding the bunkers off the tee, which will leave a mid-iron approach to a green with three distinct tiers.
There are bunkers galore on this par 4, including one in the middle of the fairway at the 131-yard mark. Accuracy off the tee is a necessity. A good tee shot will leave you with a short iron to the narrow green. Shoot right and you’ve got a good chance for birdie.
The finishing hole on the South Course doesn’t let up on the challenge. Avoiding the fairway bunkers with your tee shot is a must if you hope to reach this hole with your second shot. This large green is surrounded by ravenous bunkers, so be careful.