This is probably the best kept secret in Florida for serious golf travelers. Not only do you get to play on two stellar golf courses on property, you are also housed in a new, well appointed one, two or three bedroom condo. These units are nicely decorated and include a fully appointed kitchen with microwave, living room, dining area, two cable televisions, washer/dryer, iron and ironing board, private baths including hairdryer, and a private screened balcony. There is no restaurant on site so you will either need to bring your own food or head out to one of the wonderful restaurants in the area. There is a swimming pool as well as a fitness center on site. Lely Resort is not only a golf resort; it is also an upscale residential community.
Mustang Course at Lely Golf Resort
The Mustang Course is one of two courses open to the public within the Lely Resort Golf Community. The courses and accommodations are operated by GreenLinks Golf Resort and Conference Center.
The Mustang Course was designed by Lee Trevino and is a course that follows his philosophy of making the game challenging yet enjoyable for the average golfer. The course offers a variety of golf holes that are difficult to a point, but always fun to play. You can easily recover from most errant shots. Trevino also designed generous landing areas and fair entries to the greens; almost always there is ample bail out room. There are few forced carries, and the hazards can be negotiated with reasonable shot placement. These facts alone will keep many people coming back year after year.
Undulating fairways wind around 12 lakes and through stands of towering Florida pines. Strategically placed bunkers will test your decision-making abilities as well as shot making prowess. The course plays 7,217 yards from the back tees with a course rating of 75.1 and a slope rating of 138. Also, the course doesn’t work its way around too many houses as does its sister course, Flamingo Island, giving it more of a natural feel.
A beautiful clubhouse services both courses and features a pro shop, lounge and restaurant which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are both men’s and ladies’ locker rooms with showers. The practice facility is impressive, with a complimentary grass range, short game area, and 3 huge putting greens. To take the guesswork out of club selection, Lely Resort offers golfers the Par View GPS. It is standard on all carts, and provides accurate distances from tee to pin, hole diagrams and tips.
Number 4: Par 4, 456 yards. A lay up towards the fairway bunkers is the wisest move on this par 4. The hole plays as a slight dogleg left and is considerably easier from the white tees (356 yards) than it is from the greens (434) or blacks (456). Large pine trees on the left side catch many errant tee shots as do the fairway bunkers on the right. The approach shot is to an elevated green that slopes back to front. Nothing to it!
Number 6: Par 4, 424 yards. Aptly dubbed “Marsh,” the 6th hole features a marsh area that is not really visible off the tee, yet it is drivable. You will also need to avoid the two bunkers in the middle of the island fairway. A good tee shot will leave an uphill short to mid-iron approach shot to a fairly large green that slope back to front.
Number 8: Par 3, 164 yards. This par 3 is every bit as challenging as it is pretty. The hole plays uphill, over water to a small green and you will need to carry the water off the tee. Number 8 is definitely not the easiest par 3 you will ever play.
Number 13: Par 4, 434 yards. Thirteen begins with a tee shot that must navigate a lake on the left, which filters across the fairway just in front of the tee area. This slight dogleg left plays over water. Fairway bunkers make the landing area fairly narrow.
Number 14: Par 5, 548 yards. More water comes into play on the left side of the fairway and also on the right about 200 yards out. You will be best served leaving driver in the bag because of the narrow landing area. The preferred line of the tee is the far bunker on the right off the tee. Hitting your layup shot left of green over the pond is risk/reward and not advised. The green is very wide and narrow.
Number 18: Par 4, 395 yards. This is a very scenic finishing hole. It plays along a well bunkered fairway that narrows about 130 yards out. Positioning your tee shot on the left side of the fairway will present the best birdie opportunity of the round. You will have an uphill approach shot to wide green that slopes back to front with several undulations.
Last Word: What bad things can you say about a course that is rated 4 1/2 stars (out of 5) by Golf Digest Places to Play? The only downside I could find is the difference in length from the green tees to the white. At 6,691 yards from the green tees the mid to high handicapper is likely to struggle; four par 4s are 423 yards or longer. The next option is the white tees at 6,033 yards with short par 4s and 5s. With wide fairways and few forced carries, the Mustang is playable for all levels of golfers. GreenLinks’ introductory golf packages are extremely well-priced. They include suite accommodations, a full breakfast, and one round of golf per day, cart fees and a bucket of range balls. Pricing is based on a foursome and GreenLinks GUARANTEES that they have the lowest rate publically available on the Internet. For more information you can visit them at www.greenlinksnaples.com or give them a call at (239) 732-9920.