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Just got back from Tampa-quick weekend golf trip


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To get out of the terrible Midwest winter we have had, a buddy and I flew to Tampa and played 114 holes of golf over Fri-Sat-Sun. Here is a brief review of each course we played in the order we played them. We are both low single digit handicaps, so length of a course is never really a concern to us. But here we go.

 

Fri AM-Innisbrook/Copperhead-Started of the trip with this course. The PGA tour holds the Valspar Classic here in March. Since we are only 4 weeks away from the tournament, the course was in top notch shape. The tournament tees were closed, but we were still able to play the course at about 6900yds. This was a great way to start the weekend, but we may have been better off playing it later in the weekend and we were both very rusty not playing in over 9 weeks due to weather. Except for the fact the pros play here, there was nothing really great or unique about this course, but it is always fun playing holes you've seen on tv. Plus the conditions made this a must play for us.

 

Fri PM-Innisbrook/Island-we were told this was the hardest of the 4 Innisbrook courses. It is mostly flat and entirely uninteresting to me. The conditions ranged anywhere from average to so-so. This might be an okay course to take a beginner or kids, except the cost may be prohibitive if that is your goal. We were paired with a nice couple from South Dakota who both had rental clubs. Neither of them finished most of the holes, but they seemed to enjoy themselves more than I did. It was fairly crowded on a sunny, Friday afternoon. If I were to go back, I would not play this course again.

 

Saturday AM-World Woods/Pine Barrens-this was probably my favorite course of the trip. World Woods is a 36 holes facility in Brooksville, FL that also has a 9 hole short course and 3 practice holes. We had the 2nd tee time of the morning off and were paired with two nice guys. We all had a lot of fun and loved playing the course. It just had a relaxed, cool vibe about it. Kinda like Pinehurst, but without the commercialism. Much more low key. Even though they had a lot of people playing, we did not feel like the course was crowded or that we were rushed in any way. Lots of cool, interesting visuals and would play here again.

 

Saturday PM-World Woods/Rolling Oaks-I did not enjoy this course as much as Pine Barren's but it is a decent 2nd course to the other. If you have ever played at lake of the ozarks in Missouri, that is the type of course this is. The look on some holes looked like they were trying to get an Augusta feel, but I felt there was not a lot of definition of the holes from the tee boxes. If I had to give this course a letter grade, it would be a C+. I would play it again, especially since it is on the same property with Pine Barrens.

 

Sunday AM-TPC Tampa Bay-This is a high gloss golf course that just slightly misses the mark, to me. Don't get me wrong, it is a solid course with above average conditioning, but I was not "wow"ed by it. The marshals/starter ran a tight ship and despite being a very busy saturday morning, we played the course in 4 hours. Were paired with 2 member that could not have been better playing companions. There is water on about 13 of the 18 holes, but the feel was a bit disjointed, maybe because part of the course is across a highway, so you go under the highway and back a few times. I would play here again as everyone was great, the proshop was nice and all seemed interested in you having a great time. This course used to hold a Champions Tour even a few years back.

 

One more note about the TPC, we went back out to play 9 more at noon, since our flight didn't leave till 5pm. We assumed with as crowded as they were that it would take 3 hours to play 9, but that was not the case. The marshals/proshop had things in order and we got around in 2 hours. Very nice for a weekend.

 

I would rank the courses we played, in the following order. (trying not to weigh that fact that the Copperhead course holds a PGA event)

 

1. Pine Barrens (World Woods)

2. Copperhead (Innisbrook)

3. TPC Tampa Bay

4. Rolling Oaks (World Woods)

5. Island (Innisbrook)

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Thanks for the update(s). I brought a few friends last year to WW and I was impressed more with with Rolling Oaks than PB. Maybe because of the early morning frost delay and my tough start off #1 & #2, but I loved Rolling Oaks in the afternoon.

 

I haven't been down to Innisbrook in 10+ years but always found the conditions to be good on the Island course. Trying to get my buddies down to Tampa next year and stay on premise for some golf. If you don't mind me asking, what'd they hit you for greens fees at Innisbrook?

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Thanks for the update(s). I brought a few friends last year to WW and I was impressed more with with Rolling Oaks than PB. Maybe because of the early morning frost delay and my tough start off #1 & #2, but I loved Rolling Oaks in the afternoon.

 

I haven't been down to Innisbrook in 10+ years but always found the conditions to be good on the Island course. Trying to get my buddies down to Tampa next year and stay on premise for some golf. If you don't mind me asking, what'd they hit you for greens fees at Innisbrook?

 

The Copperhead course was $250 a piece and the Island was $140.

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I prefer Pine Barrens over Rolling Oaks. I think Rolling Oaks is a really good track, but Pine Barrens borders on 'special' to me as it's very unique, but not goofy or over-manufactured. If you can make over to World Woods and the conditions are top notch, it's really a great place to be.

 

I liked TPC Tampa Bay quite a bit. I just thought it was a really solid design. Overpriced? Sure. But I think if it was more appropriately priced for its conditions and didn't have TPC in front of it...it would probably get more rave reviews.

 

Personally, I think a great trip for golf would be Pine Barrens, Rolling Oaks, make a short trip to Southern Hills and then make a 45 minute trip (from World Woods) to Juliette Falls in Dunnellon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RH

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Love me some Pine Barrens

Ping G400 Max 10.5* Project X 7.0 6A4

Ping G400 5w 16.5* Blueboard 63x + G400 7w 19.5* Blueboard 73x

Cally Apex '16 4h 23* KuroKage Slvr 80x + 5h 26* Fubuki AX400 82x

Srixon ZX7 6 - PW PX Catalyst 100 6.5 (SS 1 X)
Vokey TVD M 51* & TVD M 57* Oil DG TI s400 

Vokey SM2 Oil Finish 63* DG TI s400 

Scotty GoLo 7 (35g weights)
 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I live locally and just setup a trip - weekend golf for a buddy from NJ. WW - on one day (both PB and Rolling Oaks), then Mission Inn El Campeon, then Streamsong RED and Blue and finally on Monday to close out - TPC Tampa bay.

 

WW is a must play for people from out of the area. It's great, especially PB, although some like Rolling Oaks. Remember Rolling Oaks was supposed to have an Augusta Feel while PB is supposed more like Pine Valley in NJ. I chose Mission Inn just to prove that not all of Florida is flat. And there are courses that are hilly. It's also old school more than some. Of course I can list a bunch of others, including Juliette Falls, and both Lake Jovita Courses that are also moderately hilly.

 

I like Innisbrook but feel that it isn't that special and gets the high reviews due to the tournament there. And is seriously overpriced. Southern Hills is much better and better priced.

 

TPC Tampa bay is better for older solid players as it's not the easiest course in the area unless you are very long and reasonably straight. Remember it has several holes that were ranked in the top 15 on the senior tour year after year for being the toughest on the tour. Way overpriced in my mind but worth playing. Lots of issues with drainage and has lots of wet areas and sometimes that causes fungus issues on the greens. But generally decent shape.

 

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Played TPC 2x in the past week and it's the best condition I've seen it in the past year. Rates are insane but I didn't pay rack so no complaints in that department. It's a good, not great course. You need to play the right tee's and I find that the snowbirds don't and it makes for a miserable round. Leave the northeast and come to Florida and you lose a lot of elevation and don't get as much roll.

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