Home Courses and Travel Golf Club of the Everglades: A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity.

Golf Club of the Everglades: A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity.

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The Golf Club of the Everglades in Naples, FL is located well out of the way off of Vanderbilt Beach Rd in Naples Florida. You won’t find any swimming pools or tennis courts here. It is an 18-hole equity membership golf club that was created by golfers, for golfers.

Golf Club of the Everglades is situated on 261 acres and the facilities include not only one of the finest championship 18-hole golf courses in Southwest Florida but also expansive practice facilities, and a quietly elegant clubhouse. There are no tee times, walking is allowed anytime, and caddies are available. The clubhouse includes a full service pro shop, ladies and gentlemen’s locker rooms, and two dining areas. Breakfast and lunch are served in the grill room or in the fully screened outdoor courtyard.

There are no homes on this beautiful country setting – nor will there ever be. This par-72 Rees Jones masterpiece opened for play in 2000 and plays 7,366 yards from the back tees and carries a course rating of 76.1 and a slope rating of 142 on Bermuda grass. Five sets of tees make it possible for golfers of all skill levels and abilities to have an enjoyable round at Golf Club of the Everglades.

Golf Club of the Everglades is not your typical Florida course. Rolling fairways can easily leave golfers with the dreaded “uneven lie” making you think about your next shot. Expansive lakes, native grasses and sculptured bunkers add not only aesthetic appeal but provide you with challenging diversity. The wind also becomes a major factor for as this course is wide open for the most part.

Memorable Holes

Number 1: Par 5, 495 yards. A wide open fairway lends itself to a “grip-it-and-rip-it” mentality off the first tee. A good tee shot followed by a well struck layup will leave an easy pitch shot to a smaller green. This par 5 offers a great chance to get your round off to a good start.

Number 5: Par 4, 344 yards. Aim for the bunkers on the left side of the fairway off the tee. If you are feeling brave, a tee shot over the tree and bunker on the right side will leave a shorter approach shot but also brings the water into play. Play your approach shot to a small green protected in the right side by water. Not the longest hole on the course but one that requires two well thought out shots from the fairway to be successful.

Number 8: Par 3, 146 yards: There is very little room for bailout on this moderate length par 3; anything short or right is bound to find the water. From the tee, you are playing slightly uphill to a fairly large green. Anything long is trouble so club selection is critical. Par is a good score here.

Number 10: Par 5, 505 yards. If you enjoyed the first hole, you are bound to enjoy number 10; they are pretty much a mirror of one another. Number 10 does feature water down the right side that can come into play on any errant slices. Another wide open tee shot lends itself to an open layup and another short pitch shot to a small green.

Number 15: Par 4, 345 yards. This shorter par 4 requires an accurate tee shot. Favor the left side to take the water down the right out of play. From there a mid to short iron to the elevated green will leave a good birdie attempt. Anything wild off the tee spells trouble.

Number 18: Par 5, 506 yards. If you’re feeling good about your game thus far, take your tee shot over the top of the tall tree on the right side to shorten this par 5 dogleg right. Pull anything left and you are likely to find the large fairway trap which can spell trouble and ruin an otherwise decent round. A well struck tee shot will leave to an easy layup; just avoid the fairway bunkers on either side. A short pitch shot to a slightly elevated green makes for a great finishing hole on this splendid Southwest Florida course.

Last Word: If you ever have the opportunity to play at Golf Club of the Everglades, don’t pass it up. This course is home to the Mike Ditka/Jim Hart Invitational Golf Tournament every April which benefits the Immokalee Children’s Center. It’s a great opportunity to play with some of your favorite athletes and celebrities of days gone by; people like coach Ditka and Mr. Hart as well as Jack Youngblood, Stan Mikita and Bill Laimbeer.

How much you are going to enjoy this course depends upon your choice of tee boxes. The white tees play a mere 6300 yards but will provide the average golfer with all that he can handle. From these tees there are no excessively long carries off of tee boxes and for the most part all of the par fours require a good tee shot and a medium length iron (or less) to the green. The par three hole will require no more than a long iron on one or two holes; par 5s are going to be three shot holes.

The greens at the Golf Club of the Everglades are some of the finest in southwest Florida. They are not the largest greens you will find in the state but you’re not likely to find any buried elephants either. Breaks are subtle and rolls are true. Greens are well protected on approach shots and bunkers are well maintained.

For more information on membership opportunities at Golf Club of the Everglades, call Lynn Josephson at (239) 354-4727 or drop him an email at gcelj@aol.com.

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