Water, sand, and palm trees. That pretty much sums up every golf course in Florida. The Cape Royal Golf Club in Cape Coral, Florida is no exception, with an added emphasis on the water!
Cape Royal features 27 holes of championship golf and was designed by golf course architect Gordon Lewis, who has designed more than 80 courses in the Sunshine State. This unique facility features five sets of tees, so there’s sure to be one that can be enjoyed by players of all skill levels.
As you make your way around this layout you’ll find 180 acres of sparkling lakes, natural wetlands, and all kinds of Florida wildlife including wood storks, ibis, egrets, and herons, both on the fairways and in the community’s preserves. You might even catch the two otters frolicking about in the pond just off the 3rd tee on the Queen Course.
Water comes into play on at least 22 of the 27 holes, possibly more if you spray it off the tee. As Malcolm, the Starter warned us: “If you see a palm tree or a group of palm trees, it’s a pretty good bet that there’s water nearby!” The greens roll true and have a considerable amount of undulation. They can be tough to read but are more than fair. Sand and coquina-shelled bunkers are well maintained with plenty of sand.
After speaking with several Cape Royal Golf Club members, the consensus is that the favorite 9-hole layout is the Queen Course. The main reason is that there are a wider variety of holes – although no two holes on the entire layout are the same. But I get their point, particularly the 6th and 8th holes, which are more or less target golf holes.
The Queen Nine plays 2,966 yards from the Blue tees with a good mix of par 3s, 4s, and 5s. Ladies typically play from 2,230 yards, while the Blue Tees will challenge the average golfer at 2,966 yards.
Number 6 is a 359-yard par 4 that requires a tee shot of no more than 190 yards (from the Blue tees). Anything longer and you’re not likely to ever see that ball again. Slightly left of the bridge is ideal. Success off the tee will leave you with an approach shot of between 160 – 175 yards, over wetlands into an elevated green protected with a bunker back left.
The 8th hole is pretty much a carbon copy of 6,359 yards with a tee shot to an island fairway and then an approach shot of 170 yards into a slightly elevated green. You probably won’t be hitting the driver off the tee and may well use almost every club in the bag just on this 9-hole layout. Number 9 is the #1 handicap hole, a 507-yard par 5 slight dogleg left with water all down the left side.
The King Course plays 3,057 yards from the Blue tees and features a couple of back-to-back holes that will stick in your memory for a while. The 3rd hole is the layout’s #1 handicap, a 387-yard par 4 with a slight dogleg left with sand and water on the right side and out of bounds/houses on the left. Most players will not be able to carry the water off the tees and a good drive will still leave an approach shot of around 180 yards into a slightly elevated green with water off to the left if you push your shot.
The 4th hole is handicapped #3 and is a 529-yard par 5 that requires a tee shot between two lakes, which sounds a lot more dramatic than it is. Houses and out-of-bounds form the right side. Bunkers protect both sides of the green which is a lot wider than it is deep.
The first hole on the Prince Course is a 343-yard par 4 with a slight dogleg left. Favoring the right side of the fairway will leave the best angle into the slightly elevated green. There’s a small lake about 50 yards short of the green on the left side that is barely visible until you’re upon it. The 5th hole is a short, scenic par 3 that plays 132 yards over water with an attractive rock retaining wall. The green is large and slopes back to front with two large bunkers on the right and one in the back.
Cape Royal Golf Club is an easy course to walk and to make it even easier, they have several of the new Tempo Walk carts from Club Car. Tempo Walk is an autonomous caddie that offers carries bags, coolers, and other accessories and has a built-in GPS tablet to give you yardages. There’s even an auxiliary USB port so you can play your tunes or plug-in other gadgets! Be sure to ask about using one when you book your next round.
As clubhouse restaurants go, Cape Royal’s Caloosa Club sets a new standard. They offer casual dining in a laid-back atmosphere that includes a wide variety of food not typically found at a golf course. Chef Andrew and his culinary staff have created a menu of unique and tasty appetizers and dishes including Duck Fat Popcorn, Buffalo Cauliflower, and their signature dish, Taste of Florida Grouper, a large piece of fresh Florida Grouper served over sauteed greens and charred corn puree and topped with a citrus corn salsa. Trust me, this is not your typical golf clubhouse menu!
When it comes to memberships, Cape Royal Golf Club offers something for everyone, whether you live locally or are only in the area for a short time. Choose from 3, 6, or 12-month memberships with discounts for Cape Royal HOA members. As a member, you’ll receive unlimited greens fees as well as full use of all club facilities, advance tee time bookings, discounts on merchandise, food and beverage and special rates on cart and range passes. And, as a member of a Troon facility, you’ll be a part of Troon Advantage, which allows you and up to 3 guests to take advantage of preferred rates at Troon resorts and daily fee facilities worldwide. Tee time requests can be made up to sixty 60 days in advance (subject to availability).
For more information or to find out about becoming a member, give them a call at (239) 283-5522 or visit them online at www.caperoyalgolfclub.com.