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PapaWhacked

Best courses in Pinellas County (Tampa area)?

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Long time lurker, first time poster!

My father is coming down for a visit and we are looking for 4 or 5 really nice courses in the Pinellas side of the Tampa area.

Last year we did Innisbrook Copperhead, TPC Tampa, and Fox Hollow so we'd prefer something other than those.

He was thinking Innisbrook Island, Innisbrook South, and Saddlebrook Palmer.

I don't really play much and the only course I've ever played more than once is ChiChi's, so I'm not really sure what to tell him.

I'd really prefer to stay on 'this side' of the Tampa area, unless the courses over the bridge are really worth the drive?

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Feathersound in Clearwater is pretty nice. I used to get reciprocal privileges there until they sold it. It is still private, but you could always scam the *member for a day* way in to play there. Not that I condone people pulling that, but the clubs allow it, so why not?

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Did a golf trip in Tampa two weeks ago. We played Feathersound, both world woods courses (Pine Barrens and Rolling Oaks), TPC Tampa, and Lake Jovita.

Feathersound was nice because it was close to the airport. We played there Sunday. Of the courses is was my least favorite. Not because it's not nice... just because the others were that much nicer.

I would rank them:

1. TPC Tampa

2. Pine Barrens

3. Rolling Oaks

4. Lake Jovita

5. Feather Sound

High recommend TPC Tampa. Great course. World woods was also in great shape. Loved the bunkers. Lake Jovita was also very nice. Can't go wrong with any of these courses really.

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Also - use Teetimesusa.com for tee times. That's how we got to play the private courses... feather sound, and I believe lake jovita as well.

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Wentworth and Crescent Oaks (Palm Harbor?) are two that formerly were Private, but now allow outside play. Both were in excellent condition last time I played (Oct. 2012). Rates were reasonable for the season. Especially now- rates should be dropping at almost all the courses in the area. Wentworth is probably the tougher test with narrower fairways and some tricky holes. Neither is especially difficult, though. Lansbrook is one of my go-to courses. It tends to play hard and fast with fairways that can get a bit bare (very Scottish like). Some of the narrowest holes around as well. At least two short par 4's (5 & 15) that have no margin for error so keep it straight. All the par 3's are carries over water so get the club right. there are a couple of 'let it fly' holes as well, but they aren't pushovers, either. Conditions aren't always the best (greens are usually very good and fastish), but they do try, and the people are very nice. There seems to be two distinct camps on the TPC Tampa issue. the "great place" camp, and the "not worth the money" camp. I've played it a few times now and I'll fall somewhere in the middle. If you can get a decent price at a decent time, go for it. There is the "TPC Factor" to tell your friends about, but once played, it isn't all that. NOTHING like TPC Sawgrass. In season it is NOT worth the money they get for it. You can play Cheval next door for less and get a similar experience.
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I live in Pinellas. Like all those course. Cheval on the "other side" of the bay is nice. Lots of nice courses south of the Skyway. I play weekly at Seminole Lakes CC in a league. Play often at Mangrove Bay. An excellent muni. The next couple of weeks my company will be playing a Ryder Cup format at Dunedin CC, Bayou Club and Bardmoor. All 3 are tests, especially from the tips. Friday is 2 man best ball at Dunedin.
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