The 18-hole Westminster Golf Club in Lehigh Acres, Florida is the centerpiece of the master planned, gated community of Westminster. The privately owned and operated public golf course plays 6,930 yards from the back tees for a par of 72. The course rating is 73.4 with a slope rating of 133. Westminster Golf Club was designed by Ted McAnlis and the course opened in 1996. Westminster Golf Club is a semi-private golf course and accepts outside play. Seasonal and affordable prices make Westminster a favorite of Snowbirds and locals alike; you don’t need to live in this community to play here.
The course winds around eight lakes with generous landing areas off many tees making it both player-friendly and exciting to play. These water hazards, as well as strategically placed bunkers in the fairway and around the greens, make for a challenging round of golf. Practice facilities include a full-length driving range with separate chipping, and putting practice areas. Westminster also offers a well-stocked pro shop with a friendly and knowledgeable staff that can help work out the kinks in your game. A pub-style restaurant is open every day for lunch and Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday nights for dinner.
General Manager Steve Gard refers to Westminster as a “TEE it FORWARD” golf course and they have added two new tees in 2012 for a total of six sets. In order to thoroughly enjoy your round at Westminster, it is important to choose the tees that are best suited for your game; there are charts in the clubhouse that suggest the tees you play from based on your handicap. Although you are not required to do so, it will make for a more enjoyable round for you and those behind you.
On the first Saturday of every month (more or less), Westminster hosts the Westminster Open, a two-person “Fall Back scramble where the tees you play from are determined by your score on the previous hole. They also have a night golf tournament every month complete with glow in the dark golf balls.
Number 1: Par 4, 382 yards. Nothing fancy here, just grip it and rip it off the first tee. Be sure to play your tee shot out to the left or you could be facing a strand of trees to play over from the right side. The approach shot tends to fool a lot of players. It actually plays slightly downhill and usually requires about ½ a club less than you think you need. Carry your approach far enough as to avoid the bunker on the right which has seen its fair share of balls. The green is slightly elevated and fairly flat
Number 4: Par 3, 170 yards. This long, narrow green is very receptive to well struck tee shots however if you miss the green you may be in trouble. Out of bounds left and a large, deep bunker surrounded by palmettos on the right making hitting the green a necessity if you want to score well. Be warned – this is about as easy as the par 3 holes at Westminster get!
Number 5: Par 4, 359 yards. This is one of the risk reward holes here at Westminster. The right side poses the most trouble in the form of fairway bunkers and water however a successfully navigated tee shot down the right side provides the best approach into the green. I guess you could consider it a slight dogleg left; the palmettoes do a good job of shaping the hole. A tee shot played down the right side will need to carry more of the water on your approach shot. Out of bounds can come into play on the right side of the hole.
Number 9: Par 5, 510 yards. This dogleg left offers a good opportunity for birdie. Many golfers will play it safe and play down the middle of the fairway; long ball hitters can cut the dogleg and have a go at it in two.
Number 13: Par 4, 405 yards. Play at the middle bunker off the tee; the fairway slopes down towards the water on the right and most shots right of center here will find the water.
Number 18: Par 4, 422 yards. Why not save the longest par 4 on the course for the very end? There is a very generous landing area off the tee. The fairway bunkers come into play very often; especially if you are trying to shorten this slight dogleg right. End up in the right fairway bunker and just about all hope for par is gone. Hit it right of the trap and you are flirting with out of bounds. The left is no bargain either as water can easily come into play with any errant shots hit that way. Depending on the wind you can be hitting anything for a three wood to an eight iron, even with a good drive. The green is large and slightly elevated and slopes gently from the back right to the front. The lone bunker on the right side can make for a tough up and down depending on pin placement. Number 18 is a great test of golf and a good finishing hole.
Last Word: One word sums up your experience at Westminster: FUN! It may not be the toughest golf course in the area; in fact it’s pretty straight forward. What you see is what you get. There aren’t a whole lot of doglegs or tricked up short holes; you can hit driver off of the tee on every par 4 and 5 except maybe the 324 yard number 8. The one thing you will need off the tee is control – there are certain areas on each hole that make it easier to go for the green; especially like number 5 and 13. Westminster Golf Course boasts some of the most challenging par 3’s in the area and will definitely test your mettle. The shortest from the blue tees is 165 and the longest is 192. Step it up to the back tees and the shortest is 185.
Pace of play at Westminster; the average round can be played in less than four hours. The staff is knowledgeable and courteous and always willing to go the extra mile to ensure you have a great time. The practice facilities are conveniently located directly behind the clubhouse – no five minute cart rides to get warmed up. For more information on Westminster Golf Club or to book discounted tee times online, visit their website at www.westminster-golf.com or give them a call at (239) 368-1110.