Monday, September 20, 2021

Shadow Wood Preserve – Membership Does Have Its Privileges!

shadow wood preserve1Shadow Wood at The Brooks is part of a master planned 2,492 acre community of The Brooks of Bonita Springs, Florida. Of the four neighborhoods that make up the Brooks, Shadow Wood is the only community to offer equity golf. Shadow Wood Country Club includes three championship courses designated as Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuaries; an honor bestowed upon only 816 courses around the world.

The North and South Courses at Shadow Wood® at The Brooks were both designed by award-winning course architect Bob Cupp and share a 30,000 square foot clubhouse, complete with restaurant, lounge, private dining room, pro shop, men’s and women’s locker rooms, and a nine-court tennis complex. The Preserve Course, located just 5 miles north at Shadow Wood Preserve®, was designed by Arthur Hills. A second clubhouse and golf shop are located at Shadow Wood Preserve. Each facility offers a full driving range, short game area and massive practice putting green. Five sets of tees make Shadow Wood Preserve enjoyable for golfers of all levels.

Residents in the Brooks communities have the option to join the Commons Club which includes access to a private beach club with private member parking on Bonita Beach. Members also enjoy an expansive Fitness Center and spa, and Rosie Spoonbill’s®.

Shadow Wood Preserve Golf Course

The ability of Arthur Hills; master course designer that he is, to take a relatively flat stretch of land and create a course with contoured fairways and raised greens is a stroke of pure genius. In doing so, he has created a course that is not only beautiful but quite challenging as well.

The course at Shadow Wood Preserve winds around and through natural wild and wooded areas of undisturbed wetlands and marshes that are rich with native oaks, Florida slash pines, sabal palms, palmettos and other native vegetation.

Memorable Holes

Number 2: Par 5, 487 yards. This slight dogleg left par 5 has bunkers straight away that are reachable off the tee. Water all down the left side forces you to keep the ball right. The layup area is fairly narrow and features a good deal of mounding on periphery of the hole. There is a lot of undulation in the green making this a very interesting hole.

shadow wood preserve2Number 4: Par 3 192 yards. Number 4 is a fairly long par three with water on the left side and a couple of sand traps on the right protecting the green. The trap probably gets a lot of balls from people leaking the ball right trying to avoid the water. The elevated green is large with two tiers sloping back to front.

Number 7: Par 5, 528 yards. Number 7 is a long, straight par 5 that is long and narrow. Water on the left can easily come into play on both the tee and layup shots; out of bounds on the right makes accuracy necessary off the tee. The layup shot can be kind of tricky as the fairway narrows and you need to avoid the large waste bunker on the right. A couple of pot bunkers up by the well undulated green on the right side and water on the left make for an interesting approach shot. It’s easy to see why this is the number one handicap.

Number 17: Par 3, 188 yards. Usually number 17 pays into a stiff breeze and requires an extra club or two. The water on the right side tends to make players cheat a little left. If this is you, be sure to avoid the two nasty little pot bunkers on the left. Hit your tee shot over the green and pray you go in the bunker, otherwise you’ll be wet. This is a very challenging par 3.

Number 18: Par 5 Dogleg left. Fairway bunkers visible from the tee can come into play off the tee. Woods and water area left off tee. Keep layup shot left double dogleg water right that protects the front of the green. Pot bunker left; large bunker right just long of the water.

shadow wood preserve3Last Word: One of the nicest golf courses in the area; this Arthur Hills gem will challenge golfers of all levels and abilities. Shadow Wood Preserve is certainly not the longest course in the area however it is a shotmaker’s paradise that requires accuracy off the tee as well as shot placement to the greens. It is definitely a course that requires thought and strategy if you are going to post a low score. Pick the right club and hit the landing area and you are bound to do well here. Although there not a large number of fairway bunkers, they do frame the landing areas and make shot selection off the tee very important. If you are in one of Arthur Hill’s fairway bunkers off the tee, odds are you’re not going to make the green in regulation. All of the greens on the Preserve Course are elevated and well protected with both sand and grass bunkers. Not many opportunities for the bump-and-run here!

If I were a member of the Shadow Wood County Club, this might very well be the only course I play. It is always in top notch shape and quite challenging. For more information on becoming a member of Shadow Wood and enjoying everything they have to offer – including 54 of the best golf holes in the country, visit their website at or give Membership Director Danita Osborn a call at (239) 992-6000 ext. 4504 (

David Theoret
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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