Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The Golf Club at Fiddler’s Creek – A Memorable Golf Experience

Fiddler’s Creek is a private, master-planned community which offers its residents a tropical setting amidst unsurpassed elegance. Fiddler’s Creek was built to enhance the natural beauty of Florida; less than one-third of Fiddler’s Creek was developed for residential use. The remainder is dedicated primarily to golf courses, lakes, nature reserves, parks, and recreational areas.

Besides one of the most awe-inspiring golf courses in all of Southwest Florida, amenities at Fiddler’s Creek include a 54,000 square foot clubhouse & spa, fitness center, resort style multi-pool swimming complex, tennis courts, restaurants, and a very active social calendar.

This premier golf experience pays homage to Florida’s natural beauty while enjoying a symbiotic relationship with it. Designed by acclaimed golf course architect Arthur Hills, this signature 18-hole, par 72 course combines open water, saw grass marshes, strategically placed bunkers (in the fairways and around the elevated greens) majestic stone bridges and luxurious comfort stations. The Golf Club at Fiddler’s Creek has received numerous accolades including:

  • GolfWeek’s Top 100 Best Residential Golf Courses 2006 – 2013
  • Links Magazine America’s 100 Premier Properties – Best of Club Life – 2007/08
  • 2008/09 Travel & Leisure Golf America’s Top 100 Golf Communities – 2008/09
  • GolfCourseRealty.com’s Top 10 Best Residential Courses in the Sunshine State

From the Tournament tees, the course plays 7,157 yards with a course rating of 75.2 and a slope of 143. Seven sets of tees make The Golf Club at Fiddler’s Creek challenging yet playable for golfers of all skill levels. Practice facilities include a 13-acre driving range and a practice facility with two short game areas, target greens and bunkers.

At Fiddler’s Creek, membership does have its advantages. Outside of the obvious (use of the golf course and 13-acre practice facility) members here enjoy such amenities as:

  • Seven Tee Placements for Golfers of All Abilities
  • 14-Day Advance Tee Time Sign-up
  • Participation in Off-Season Reciprocal Program (more below)
  • Participation in a Full Calendar of Member Golf Events and Activities
  • Dining privileges at Caxambas and the Gator Grille Restaurants
  • No Food and Beverage Minimums

Memorable Holes (All yardages are from the Championship tees: 6,804 yards, 73.4 rating, 140 slope)

Number 1: Par 4, 388 yards. Favor the right side of the fairway off the tee to take the wetlands down the left side out of play. A good drive to the wide open landing area will leave a short to medium iron into a green. Make sure you take enough club to clear the creek that crosses in front of the green. Par is a good score here and a well struck approach shot can lead to birdie.

Number 5: Par 5, 523 yards. A long straight tee shot is needed here to avoid the fairway bunkers on either side of the fairway. The fairway gets extremely narrow and water sneaks into play on the right on your layup shot. Complete these two tasks successfully and you should leave yourself a short pitch shot to a small green which is literally surrounded by bunkers. Three good shots give you a good chance to make birdie.

Number 8: Par 5, 506 yards. Avoiding the waste and fairway bunkers off the tee is critical in scoring well on this hole. The wise payer will play his layup shot over the pot bunker that sits in the middle of the fairway but short of the two bunkers that appear to be greenside by are actually about 30 yards short of the green which sits about five feet above the fairway (mountainous by Florida standards). The green is framed beautifully amongst a cathedral of sabal palms and oaks.

Number 11: Par 4, 400 yards. Cut off too much of the dog leg on this true risk/reward tee shot and you will be swimming with the fishes. A power fade aimed at the two bunkers on the left side of the fairway goes a long way in mastering this hole. A well-struck tee shot will still leave a relatively long approach shot over the large, left greenside bunker.

Number 12: par 4, 348 yards. Although it is hard to pick just one signature hole on this spectacular course, this certainly has to be considered as one of the top picks. Your best bet could be to leave the driver in the bag and hit a fairway wood or hybrid. Although the lading area is more generous on the right side of the fairway just over the pot bunker, you will bring more of the water into play for your second. Good tee shot will leave nothing more than a wedge to a severely (again, by Florida standards)elevated green that’s guarded by a steep face in front, a deep bunker left and water right. Who ever said the short holes are easy hasn’t played The Golf Club at Fiddler’s Creek.

Number 14: Par 4, 372 yards. Alert the media, this is the first tee shot where there are no bunkers to worry about off the tee! Grip it and rip it down the middle and you will be left with a short iron into the green. Pull your tee shot left and your ball will meet a watery grave! The green is guarded by two small bunkers on the right ad water on the left.

Number 18: Par 4, 462 yards. This hole is a monster; I’ve played a lot of par threes that are a lot shorter than this. Just getting it to the dogleg will take a lot; even then you’re only a third of the way there. Two large bunkers guard the front of the green. Par or better here and you can consider the day a success!

Last Word: The Golf Club at Fiddler’s Creek is a marvelous creation; it has the feeling of a Scottish links course – in the Florida Everglades! This is definitely not the type of course you would expect to find in this part of the country; I swear there is a spot on the back nine where you can see for miles into the everglades, it is that flat. Course designer Arthur Hills did a wonderful job of taking the earth used in creating all of the sparkling water hazards that come into play and redistributing it throughout the course. The result is a masterpiece that features rolling terrain – an uncommon feature down in these parts– and well-elevated greens. It’s not until you hit the back nine and look around that you are reminded that you are in the Florida Everglades.

The key to having a good time at Fiddler’s Creek is selecting the right set of tees. Hills gives you seven sets to choose from with three sets designated and rated for the ladies. Distance ranges from the forward tees at 5,185 yards to 7,157 yards from the tournament tees.

The Golf Club at Fiddler’s Creek is a private course. If you’re a little short of cash and aren’t in a position to establish residency within the community, there is another way you can get on the course. Fiddler’s Creek has established a relationship with the Marco Beach Ocean Resort. Once you check into the resort, just let the concierge know that you want to set up a tee time at Fiddler’s Creek and he will set it up for you. If you are serious about golf, you owe it to yourself to check out and play this course. For more information on Fiddler’s Creek, please visit their website at www.fiddlerscreek.com or give them a call at (239) 732-9300.

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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