Since being built in 1991, the TPC of Tampa Bay has earned numerous accolades including a four and a half star rating in Golf Digest’s Places to Play. It has annually been voted the top golf course in the Tampa Tribune’s Readers Choice Awards. TPC of Tampa Bay has also been named the top golf facility in West Central Florida as well as one of the top five in the State by the readers of Florida Golf Magazine. In 2008, TPC of Tampa Bay was ranked number 18 of the top 50 public facilities in the country by Golf World Magazine in their annual ‘Reader’s Choice: Best Places To Play edition. Over the past seventeen years TPC of Tampa Bay has truly evolved into one of the most beautiful and exciting courses in Florida.
The 18-hole, par 71 TPC of Tampa Bay layout plays almost 7000 yards from the champion tees and 5036 yards from the forward tees. The course is routed around natural wetlands, cypress heads and numerous ponds and lagoons, which are home to an abundance of wildlife. Deer, foxes, otters, armadillos, alligators, egrets, storks, cranes, blue heron, and eagles all inhabit the golf course. This natural setting and wildlife variety is the reason why TPC Tampa Bay is one of the only two courses in the Tampa Bay area to be designated as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. TPC of Tampa Bay was designed by Bobby Weed with Chi Chi Rodriguez serving as player consultant.
Number 4: Par 4, 408 yards. Number 4 presents a solid test off the tee, even for the most skilled players.
Number 7: Par 5, 533 yards. This par 5 double dogleg has water down the left side of the fairway off the tee setting up yet another risk/reward tee shot. The risks greatly outweigh the rewards because it would still require an enormously long second shot to reach the green. You will need to keep your second shot to the left side of the fairway to avoid the tall cypress trees that impede so many approach shots. Approach shots that go off right of the green can very easily find the woods or the nasty long grass.
Number 9: Par 4, 435 yards. This is one of those holes where either playing with someone that knows the course or buying a yardage book in the pro shop will pay great dividends! Water lines the left side of the fairway and to the surprise of unsuspecting golfers winds back into the middle of the fairway and will swallow up what you may think is a great tee shot. The best tee shot is down the right middle of the fairway; not too far right or you may find the woods. Your approach shot will be anywhere from 175 – 220 yards to a green that slopes back to front
Number 12: Par 5, 487 yards. This narrow par 5 has trees lining the right side of the fairway and water all down the left. The fairway seems to narrow as you approach the green. There is a fairway bunker on the left side of the fairway that often comes into play on your second shot. Your approach shot is to an elevated green that slopes from back to front.
Number 14: Par 5, 574 yards. Tame this monster and consider the day a success! With water all down the left side right up to the green, the best way to play this very long dogleg left is down the right side. Don’t try to bite off more than you can chew off the tee; it’s still going to take three well played, long shots to reach this elevated green. As you play down the right, you will need to avoid three well placed bunkers short of the green’s right side.
Number 18: Par 4, 443 yards. Number 18 offers another risk/reward hole. With water all down the right side the tendency is to bail out left. But not too far left or you will find yourself in the driving range; not only searching for your ball but also serving as a target for people on the tee (am I the only one that does that?). Your approach shot will be in the neighborhood of 150 yards to a green that is very long and well bunkered. A birdie here deserves a drink in the clubhouse.
You will see as you play that the course is set up well for spectators with high banks around the greens. TPC Tampa is host to the Outback Pro-Am which will be played this year April 13th – 19th. To date, the Outback Pro-Am has donated over $3 million to charities including the Child Abuse Council, Diabetic Charitable Services, Everyday Blessings, and Judeo Christian Health Clinic. This year, Tom Watson defends his tournament title for the third time and Tampa Bay Buccaneer Derrick Brooks and Champions Tour professional playing partner Fulton Allem look to repeat as the pro-am champions. To get rates and more information on TPC Tampa Bay, be sure to visit their website at www.tpctampabay.com or give them a call toll free at 866 PLAY-TPC.