Tuesday, October 26, 2021

PGA Village

PGA Village1PGA Village Resort

The PGA Village is a resort complex with over 300 units with amenities that include a variety of luxurious options – full kitchens, laundry facilities and pool access. Accommodations range from standard guest rooms and one-bedroom golf villas to two and three-bedroom townhomes with golf or lake views. The resort has three heated swimming pools for your enjoyment.

PGA Village offers a Pete Dye course and two Tom Fazio courses. These three public courses are among the few that are owned and operated by the PGA of America. Each of the three courses is serviced by a single clubhouse and pro shop, making replays and all day golf very convenient.

Each course is well marked with sprinkler heads providing measurements to the front, middle and back of each green. There are also makers in the middle of the fairway that indicate 100, 150 and 200 yards to the center. Flags are color coded to indicate pin placement for the day.

A full sized, double-ended driving range is included in your daily greens fees as well as practice putting greens and practice bunkers. Nearby you will find a short course with holes ranging from 35-60 yards; everything you could possibly need to get warmed up for a round of golf at PGA Village. The clubhouse features a full service pro PGA Village2shop as well as the 61st Hole Grill which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. There is also a 150 seat banquet/outing room are on the property.

PGA of America Golf Schools and PGA Learning Center

PGA Village is also home to The PGA of America Golf Schools. Here you will find a variety of instructional programs that use the most up-to-date teaching methods as well as the latest state-of-the-art technology. These instructional programs are open to the public and vary from 2 1/2 day weekend to 4 1/2 day schools. The PGA of America Golf Schools offers a commitment to continued improvement and enhanced enjoyment of the game.

The on-site35 acre PGA Learning Center is open to the public and is one of the most advanced practice facilities in the world. It includes an extensive short game area, full swing and specialty shot areas, as well as a 3-hole teaching course and 6-hole short course. There are 8 styles of bunkers available with 4 different types of sand. Golfers pay a flat daily fee to use the PGA Learning Center for the entire day, including unlimited range balls and use of all short game facilities.

StatisticsPGA Village3

Tee Yardage Rating Slope

Medal 7123 74.8 144

Tournament 6610 72.2 139

Standard 6164 70.5 132

Middle 5649 68.0 125

Forward 4964 64.7 112

Wanamaker Course Review

The Wanamaker Course opened in 1996 and plays 7123 yards from the back tees for a par of 72; the course has a rating of 74.8 with a slope of 144. The Wanamaker Course has been awarded 4 1/2 stars by Golf Digest Best Places to Play and has achieved Audubon International Signature status. Five sets of tees provide ample choices for a wide range of abilities

The Wanamaker was named in honor of Rodman Wanamaker, the New York City department store magnate who, in 1916, inspired the birth of The PGA of America.Many golfers that have played all three courses at PGA Village consider the Wanamaker Course the most challenging; many also consider it one of the most beautiful courses in Florida. It is one of two Tom Fazio designs on the property. The Wanamaker Course has hosted various championships including the 2003 PGA Cup, the Callaway Golf Senior PGA National Professional Championship, the TaylorMade-Adidas Golf PGA Assistant Professional Championship, the Special Olympics National Invitational Championship and the National Minority Collegiate Championship.

You will find the Wanamaker Course set against a backdrop of palm trees, palmettos and wetlands. A well placed tee shot is a necessity to set up a good approach shot on the Wanamaker Course. The greens are well-guarded by sand and, on many holes, water. The wet stuff is visible on just about every hole, and affects either tee shots or approaches PGA Village4on at least 10 holes. Several times you will find yourself with challenging carries from the back tees over natural wetlands. There are a lot of sand bunkers of all shapes and sizes along the sides of the fairways as well as surrounding the green. When you combine the sand, with all of the water and tropical foliage on the course, you are left with a visually stunning and challenging golf experience.

The majority of the green complexes are elevated, eliminating the possibility of bump and run. There are few, if any flat putts; the putting surfaces are well undulated and often protected by rolling mounds and deep lipped bunkers.

Memorable Holes (All yardages are from the Gold Tees):

Number 1: Par 5, 519 yards. If your warm up went well on the range, then you should be ready for this par 5 to get your round started. It’s a slight dogleg left however the dogleg doesn’t really come into play until your layup shot. The large fairway bunkers on the left side can come into play from any tee box. Woods on the right are definitely within reach off the tee. The fairway is wide open on your layup shot howePGA Village5ver be sure to keep the ball right; there is a very deep bunker on the left side that makes par much more difficult. The approach shot is slightly up hill to a well guarded, two tiered green which has a long, narrow bunker on the right side and a deep, nasty pot bunker on the left. The green is long and narrow; a back pin placement could be a two club difference from a front pin. Par is a great start on this fabulous Fazio course.

Number 2: Par 4, 426 yards. This is the #1 handicap hole on the Wanamaker Course; it’s a straight par 4 with water on the left which shouldn’t come into play unless you hit a wild hook. This same water will become very prominent on your approach shot as it guards the left side of the green. Two large, deep (about 8 feet deep) bunkers on the right side are definitely in play off the tee. Anything left is bound to be among the mounding that makes up this side of the fairway as well as mounding up the left can lead to an interesting lie. A couple of small bunker to the left of the large, undulating green make this a great golf hole.

Number 4: Par 3, 195 yards. This hole is one of the few forced carries on the course, and it’s not that long of a carry. Depending on pin placement, the hole will play around 200 yards to a large, elevated green. It is surrounded on all sides by bunkers; one of which is a large waste bunker front left.

Number 5: Par 4, 356 yards. No trouble on this hole; except for the small lake all the way up the left side. You will also find mounding one either side of the fairway. Your approach shot is to a long, elevated green which could be a two club difference depending on pin position.

Number 6: Par 3, 165 yards. I think this is the prettiest hole on the course. It’s a slight downhill par 3. With the water on the left, a pin placement in the back, left part of the green is definitely a “sucker” pin; you would have to drop the ball over a large sand trap on the left side to a very small part of the green with water long. The hog’s back running through the middle of the green makes it hard enough without a back left pin.

Number 9: Par 4, 404 yards. This is one of the few holes on the outward nine where water really isn’t in play off the tee unless you absolutely bomb it down the right side. There is a massive waste bunker that lines the left side of the fairway and ends with a large bunker with grass mounds in it. Your approach shot is to an elevated green that is guarded on the right by a deep bunker; anything right of the sand is most likely wet. A par is a good way to end the nine and gain some momentum heading into the back nine.

Number 10: Par 4, 371 yards. This straight par 4 is the narrowest hole thus far on the course. There is water on the right that should not come into play although the fairway bunker on the same side can be easy to reach. Your approach shot is to an elevated green that sits PGA Village6about 4 feet above the fairway. The green is flanked with large deep bunkers and is accentuated by a nasty little pot bunker right and short of the green. The green itself has a false front; anything that lands here is likely to roll back to you.

Number 11: Par 3, 168 yards. Anything right is wet. From an aerial view, the green is shaped like a mushroom. Sand guards the right side of the “stem” and two others guard the top of the “cap.” Anything left of the green is most likely to be among the moguls. Par is not a bad score here, believe it or not.

Number 13: Par 5, 493 yards. As you are standing on the tee box surveying the hole, you will notice what looks to be a mountain of sand off in the distance. After you hit your drive and are contemplating your layup shot, this mountain of sand is exactly that; a bunker with about an 8 foot lip on the front of it; perhaps the most penalizing bunker on the course. The savvy golfer will avoid it at all costs; it’s about 100 yards short of the green. If you play your tee shot down the right side taking Mt. Bunker out of play, you can have a go at the green in two. More sand flanks the green on the right side. If you can avoid Mt. Bunker, this hole can yield a good score.

Number 15: Par 4, 349 yards. Not the longest hole, but one of the trickiest on the Wanamaker course. It’s sort of a double dogleg however a good drive will eliminate one of those doglegs. You want to hit your tee shot left of the deep pot bunker in the middle of the fairway. If you can make it to the top of the ridge off the tee, you’ll be looking at an approach shot of about 120 – 130 yards. If you are going to miss your approach shot, be sure to miss it left. Anything right of the green will most likely find the sand that sits about 10 feet below the green. Although a short hole, pars can be hard to come by on this hole.

Number 18: Par 4, 427 yards. Number 18 is a spectacular finishing hole with an approach shot that is sure to test your mettle. For starters, it’s fairly long at 427 yards. Throw in a waste bunker that stretches all the way down the right side and is followed up with a lake that covers the last 150 yards of this hole and you’ve got a real test on your hands. Anything right is in the waste bunker and leads to an approach shot out of sand with a carry of about 160 yards to an elevated green fronted by a deep pot bunker. Of course the more conventional albeit less trying rout is to keep the ball left and take the water out of play; but what fun is that?PGA Village7

Last Word: This is not your typical Florida golf course. Mounding in, on, and around the fairways leads to uneven lies; there is no over abundance of palmettos and there seems to be more pine trees than palm trees. Most golfers that have played all three PGA Village courses would say that the Wanamaker course is the toughest course; I disagree but that is a discussion for another time. Unlike most Florida courses, the Wanamaker course is not dominated by water. For the most part it is on the periphery and is usually found by errant shots. If you have any shot making ability at all, water should not be an issue. There are virtually no forced carries of any significant length. The bigger problem on the Wanamaker is the sand. The bunkers are exactly what they should be, penalizing. The greens are elevated; some such as the green on number 15 can sit 10 feet or so above the fairway or bunkers. The greens are a special treat; no flat, Florida greens here. There are a number of two-tiered greens as well as a few that, depending upon pin placement, can be a two-club difference. I found a few of the greens particularly tough to read; breaks that didn’t seem to be there were breaking as much as two feet. On this particular day, they were very slow, probably a result of too much rain combined with scorching temperatures.

The Wanamaker course will provide a challenge for golfers of all abilities. All three PGA Village courses are a “Must play” if you are in the Port St. Lucie area. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable and treats you like royalty. The practice facilities that are available to daily fee golfers are, in my mind, second only to Orange County National in Orlando. For more information about PGA Village and what they offer, you can visit them online at www.pgavillage.com or give them a call at (800) 800-GOLF (4653).

David Theorethttp://www.thegolfinguy.com
David Theoret has been in the golf and golf travel industry for over 12 years, primarily selling online advertising. For the past seven years, he has also been a golf writer, reviewing golf courses, resorts, destinations, equipment, golf apparel, and training aids – the latter of which never seems to help. What started as a dream years ago, by God’s grace, became a reality in 2015 when The Golfin’ Guy editorial marketing company was founded. Working together with golf course designer Ron Garl; David’s articles and reviews have been posted on many golf travel, equipment, and apparel websites.

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