Tag Archives: florida

Golf is a Hazardous Game

Giant ‘dinosaur-looking’ gator found on Florida golf course shocks natives 

When I went to Florida last spring, I came back somewhat disappointed. Despite three rounds of golf in three different cities of the Sunshine State, I only saw one alligator, a baby one at Bay Hill. Now that I know some courses (this one being Myakka Pines Golf Club) out there have actual monstrous dinosaurs prowling the grounds, maybe I should consider myself lucky I didn’t see anything else. Though who knows what might’ve been lurking in all those ponds…

COURTESY MYAKKA PINES GOLF CLUB
COURTESY MYAKKA PINES GOLF CLUB

World Woods Golf Club

World Woods Golf Club Rolling Oaks Course in Brooksville, FL

world woods golf club rolling oaks course
John, me and Craig

The Stats

Tee Time: April 19, 2014, 9:39, 69F, scattered showers

Designer: Tom Fazio (1993)

Playing Partners: Craig and John

Tees: Black, Par 72 (72.3 rating/129 slope/6,873 yards)

Course Handicap: 10 (8.5 index)

Stats: 81 (39-42); 34 putts; 8/14 fairways; 9/18 greens; 0 penalty strokes

The Course

My weeklong Florida journey ended with a third round of golf. (Don’t worry, I did put in a full work week, for those who would be interested). This time I drove north from St. Petersburg and my hotel right next to the Tampa Bay Rays baseball warehouse known as the Tropicana Dome. I continued to drive north, and then north a little more. Google has it as a 74-mile drive, but I swear it never ended. I got close to the panhandle I’m pretty sure. And then I took an exit off the toll road in the middle of nowhere. I thought the Garmin was taking me to a rest stop. I finally saw a sign poking out of the grass and made my way to World Woods Golf Club in Brooksville. I’m glad I found it, because the Rolling Oaks course here is actually my favorite of the trio of courses I visited while in the Sunshine State. Continue reading World Woods Golf Club

Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge

Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, FL

arnold palmers bay hill and lodge club
Me

The Stats

Tee Time: April 18, 2014, 10:10, 81 F, overcast

Designer: Arnold Palmer/Ed Seay (1961)

Playing Partners: Brad, Tyler

Tees: Blue, Par 72 (73.7 rating/139 slope/6,895 yards)

Course Handicap: 10 (8.5 index)

Stats: 96 (53-43); 32 putts; 6/14 fairways; 2/18 greens; 6 penalty strokes

The Course

According to the United States Geological Survey, the state of Florida is 18.5% water. And according to my personal research, 50% of that area can be found at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge. Trust me. Some form of water is in play on 10 of the 18 holes, and you will find it. There is greenside water, long carries over water, water to the left, water to the right. There is nowhere to hide, it will get you. Fortunately only the water is dangerous, as I only saw one baby alligator patrolling one of the 8 or so lakes. Continue reading Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge

The Biltmore Miami-Coral Gables

The Biltmore in Coral Gables, FL

biltmore miami graig mantle
Me and Tyler, dressed in appropriate Miami colors

The Stats

Tee Time: April 13, 2014, 11:39, 84F, breezy

Designer: Donald Ross (1925)

Playing Partners: Tyler

Tees: Blue, Par 71 (69.7 rating/119 slope/6,286 yards)

Course Handicap: 9 (8.6 index)

Stats: 86 (40-46); 38 putts; 7/14 fairways; 8/18 greens; 3 penalty strokes

The Course

The list of golf courses in Miami always begins with Doral, and deservedly so. But since the thought of giving any of my hard-earned dollars to Donald Trump makes me want to puke, I looked elsewhere. Turns out there are a lot of interesting golf courses in this area, but who am I to resist a Donald Ross design? I actually had never played any of his many masterpieces so it worked out perfectly. I showed up at The Biltmore an hour before my tee time on two hours of sleep after a red-eye flight out of the desert, so I was a little out of it before the round. I’m surprised I even found the course. But I’m glad I did. It’s actually not too hard to spot. The resort features a soaring, Spanish-looking tower that is visible for miles around. I could see it from our Miami office a few miles north when I was working a couple days later. Continue reading The Biltmore Miami-Coral Gables

Donald Trump’s $450 Golf Course

trump national doral
The Blue Monster (image courtesy One Sotheby’s Realty)

I watched the WGC Cadillac Championship this weekend, taking place at the famed Blue Monster at the Trump National Miami. After pumping in $200 million to renovate the course and put some teeth back into it, The Donald got his money’s worth as Patrick Reed’s winning score was a US Open-like 4-under-par. Only three players of the 69-man field finished in the red. Friday was especially brutal in the gusting winds. The average score was a 76 as no-one posted in the 60s while four golfers finished in the 80s. The winning score is currently the highest of any event in the 2013-14 season. I know some people get a kick out of this. To them, the scores still aren’t high enough. They want greens so slick you can putt into a water hazard, rough so deep the only way out is with a string trimmer and snowmen populating the scorecard. Some men just want to watch the world burn. I’m not that way. I love watching a second baseman turn a double play, a running back hit the hole at the perfect moment and a well-oiled San Jose Sharks power play score on crisp passing. I love watching the world’s top athletes displaying their talent, not suffering through some guy’s idea of protecting par: three-putts, evil bounces and general unfairness.

Continue reading Donald Trump’s $450 Golf Course