I had the opportunity to head out to Ridgewood Lakes today, booked the tee-time through GolfNow.com Orlando and it only cost me $20 bucks! T’was a very good deal!
Now, technically Ridgewood Lakes is located in Davenport but I still feel it’s close enough to fall under the Orlando umbrella. It has to be, it’s a part of the Orlando Golf Trail. For those of you who don’t know where Davenport is (myself included), it’s between Orlando & Tampa via SR 275.
I was also able to demo the Skycaddie SG 5 which I shall post about later, but man, what a sweet GPS!
Anyway, I digress… On to the review!
Playing this course was a real pleasure (well, the course was, the weather on the other hand, was not!).
It’s voted top 30 courses in Florida, not really sure why it’s not a bit more specific, but hey, it allows you to decide where you want to rank the course, as long as you keep it in the top 30.. 🙂
It’s also voted Best New Golf Course in USA by Golf Digest.
A Ted McAnlis design, built in 1994.
Here’s the course information
The course was a bit soggy (due to all the rain) but in really good shape, The only real blemish I saw was on the 5th green which had quite a few patches of what I call “wasteland” and yes, the term is patent pending. See below.
The course has water on all 18 holes, which in retrospect, makes perfect sense, I did lose a few more balls than usual today… For the most part the water serves as nothing more than an unforgiving OB marker, but there are a few holes where it’s a factor. My worst hole of the day was one of them, lucky #13 has three different bodies of water, with the most irritating being a little stream about 78 yards from the pin (where my beautiful fairway wood shot landed, giving me my 2nd OB of the hole…)
The other most notable was #15. a nifty par 3 with an elevated tee box and a shot over the water, has kind a pseudo Sawgrass feel to it. I believe this is their signature hole, see the picture below.
Yep, this is their signature hole not to mention the most photographed hole on their course (and I thought I had discovered a diamond in the rough, now I feel like I’m touring the tower of London following one of those beefeaters). See this quote from their site.
Hole 15 Par-3 – “Signature Hole.”
Ah, I almost forgot! #9 is a crazy dogleg left which I’m going to label as a blind hole because you can’t really see the fairway from the tee box, you get an idea but nothing conclusive enough to feel comfortable taking the shot. I’m going to make it easy on you, my lovely readers, because I care about your well being and mental health, so here’s what you’ve got to do. There’s a palm tree thats taller than the rest with an extra bushy fronds and furthest on the right almost a straight line from the tee box. Your shot, should you choose to accept it, is to hit to the right of that palm tree. It will land you in the fairway and give you a great lie for your next shot. Do not, I repeat, do not hit to the left at all, it’s no mans land and not a very fun place. See the below picture (sorry I don’t have any photo editing software, but the tree thats directly below the ed in edit is the one to hit at). 🙂
I think #7 deserves the tricky hole award. Like a moron I didn’t take a picture, but it’s a very narrow tee shot and theres quite a few oaks on either side of the fairway and their branches hang over the fairway making it almost like launching your ball out of a tunnel. One of the guys I was playing with, hit it perfectly, I on the other hand, enjoy a challenge so I took the path less traveled and hit a tree…
#16 is also worthy of note, definitely keep the driver in the bag on this one, anything over 225 off the tee is going to land you either a healthy dose of H20 or Sawgrass. You know, actually, if you decide to play this course, just leave the driver at home! Looking back, 3 wood off the tee would’ve saved me probably 5-10 strokes. Here’s #16.
It’s funny, I mentioned to the guys that I was with that I felt like this grass had fingers because it kept grabbing my club head and one of them laughed and said that his boss asked him if he had ever tried playing golf in his front yard because “that’s Ridgewood!”
I don’t really know how you would combat the grabby grass, perhaps some Crisco, Spray PAM or WD40?
Overall, I really liked the course, it was pretty challenging for me, had plenty of good and bad shots, but this is definitely the course to play if you want to work on your accuracy, it’ll definitely punish you for errant shots. The staff was very friendly and accommodating and I’ll definitely be making the hour drive to play again!
With my un-official ranking system, I give this course 4 out of 5 stars.
Let me know your thoughts!