I just returned from a four day golf trip to Florida, Cocoa Beach and Orlando with a close friend of mine. This was my first time golfing in Florida and I had a lot of fun. It was interesting to play on different type of grass and rough that I am used to as well. Below was the trip.
Tuesday PM - Played the Savannahs on Merritt Island, $55 with cart. Nice course, but lots and lots of water. Plenty of wild life too including Osprey and of course, gators. We saw an Osprey on 18 in a tree eating a fish. Fairways were nice and greens were in okay shape but a bit slow (8 at most). The rough around the green was a different grass I have not seen before that was tough to pitch and chip out of. Even with pitches, the club would either get stuck or unearth dirt/sand beneath. I took a while to get used to. We hadn't golfed since before Thanksgiving, so this was probably not the course to start on. I brought all my used balls and lost a few on this course. I was the most stiff after this round.
Wednesday AM - Baytree National in Melbourne, $59 with cart - Semi-private. We had a sunrise tee time. The course layout was nice and had some difficult sections and more water. The only disappointing thing was the greens. They looked to be in either tough shape or the winter grass was dying and the spring grass had not grown in yet. Very bumpy with bare patches. We missed seeing Tim Wakefield, former Red Sox knuckleballer by a couple of minutes. I, of course, had my Sox hat on for the trip. We flew through this one because we played behind some members. The whole round was 3:15.
Wednesday PM - Mallards Landing in Melbourne, $25 with cart. Inexpensive Muni. Fairways were decent for the most part, but the greens were better than Baytree. The back nine was in great shape. Not a lot of water. We got poured on at the 8th and had to sit out for 1/2 hour until the storms cleared. This round it where my putting started to really gel. I made a lot of one putts.
Thursday AM (my 54th birthday!) - Turtle Creek in Rockledge, $33 with cart. By far the best deal of the trip. Nicely maintained course with new greens that were running 9-10 and in great shape. Almost made a 60 footer that lipped out. I was surprised that my body was not stiff or tired from the 36 the day before (first time doing 36). I played really well on the back nine and almost beat my friend who usually plays 4 strokes better than me. The course has some water, but also a lot of pine trees between fairways that make the landing areas narrow.
Friday AM - Forest Lake in Ocoee - $47. Nicest overall course of the trip. Great greens running at 10. There was some water, but the course is more set up for waste area and dog leg type hazards. The rough was some other grass on top of sand. It almost played like a sand shot out of it. I had my best round of the trip and was putting lights out. I made a 40 footer with 50+ inches of break for par on one hole. I also played the best back nine of the trip with a 38. Best shot of the trip was a 180 yard uphill into the wind shot with a 4 wood to within 10 feet! Missed the putt right .
I will write reviews of these courses in the Course section. All in all, a nice trip. Folks at the courses were very nice and so were the other golfers. We seemed to be playing with more retirees than tourists. We played as a twosome each round because the courses were busy. Now we have to wait a good month and a half before we play again.