We recently returned from Christmas & New Years holiday in Fort Lauderdale. As a matter of background, we tend to have a golfing “themed” vacation as I carry a 4.1 handicap index and living in the northeast United States, my golfing season goes from April until November.
When writing golf reviews, I try to minimize comparisons of Championship, Resort or Public courses. Rather, I measure each individual course based on the course layout & design, conditions, price, pace of play and staff. We completed five rounds of golf: two at the Diplomat Golf, one at Jacaranda East and two at the Plantation Preserve. This review is for the two rounds at the Plantation Course. So, let’s begin:
Course design and layout- 5 stars ++
The course was designed by the famous architectural team of vonHagge, Smelek and Baril. They have built many courses in Florida (including one of the Doral courses in Miami) as well as around the world. Specifically, there are two notable courses (I have played both) in Montego Bay Jamaica, the Ritz Carlton White Witch and Rose Hall Plantation also completed by von Hagge.
The splendid aspect of this course is that not only is it a city course, truly public, but also it has received awards and certification from the Audubon Society. The layout embraces the Florida tropical flora and its low-lying Everglade vegetation. Water contoured holes are many and on some creates a very treacherous shot requiring courage and accuracy.
There is a very good choice of tees permitting every golfer to have his/her appropriate challenging round. I played from the tips (Black) making it a par 72.9 with a slope of 134 at 7,148 yards. The Blues are 71, 129 and 6,704 and the whites are 68.9, 124 and 6,250, respectively.
The course begins easily enough with a par 5, par 3 and two par 4s. This is a balanced beginning since the course difficulty increases progressively with the last three holes demanding some well placed drives coupled with excellent shots into the greens. The 9th hole, signature hole with an island green, requires a super pitch shot with back-spin so as to stop it close to the flag.
The back nine has an equal number of tricky holes. The 12th, par 3, requires a straight shot over everglade water with little room for error especially if the flagstick is long on the right side of the green. This is followed by two great par fours and a 200 yard par 3. The hole that I found very stimulation and requires some cerebral golf is hole 16. Depending on your choice of wood (driver, three of five wood) and where you are able to place the ball, you can have a great shot into the tricky green or a guaranteed bogy or double bogy!
Add to this the Florida wind and you will have to work very hard to conclude with a good score.
Conditions- 4 stars
This course is owned by the city of Plantation, Florida. The management team needs to be congratulated for its superior efforts at keeping the course in excellent shape. At 54,000 rounds for 2012, and the 2012 PGA qualifiers, these are testaments to a job well done.
Price- 3 stars
We played here twice (December 27 and 29) since we liked it so much. The price was high because we played during the holidays. The greens fee was around $160 p/p. Local and Florida residents pay a lower rate. For out of state residents, it is expensive. Yet, it is high season. No, gifts!
Pace of Play- 2 stars
With such a beautiful course and so many rounds of golf, the pace of play is a disaster. Our first round was 5 hours and 15 minutes. There are marshals on the course. Yet, I did not see any openings as we played the holes.
The second time we played (as a twosome) one hour had passed by the time we reached the third hole. The marshal took pity on us and permitted us to skip three holes and pass three foursomes. He called the starter not only to advise him but tell him that we would replay holes 4, 5 and 6 once we finished.
In all the years of playing golf (40!), this act of golf kindness never happened. Thank you.
This by-passing let us finish in 4 hours and 40 minutes
Both tee times were at 11:37 am.
Staff- 4.5 stars
All the staff at this course is super friendly. Those who greet you at the bag drop, those in the Pro shop, the starters and the Marshalls and the cart girls provide for a great experience. I had the best egg and bacon sandwich for breakfast at the restaurant in years. It is a great facility and the wait staff was most hospitable.
All in all, my experience was a good one and I would recommend this course to all to have fun…that’s what golf is all about!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.