A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to play Sugarloaf Mountain in Orlando and write a golf course review.
I first heard about it from an avid golfer friend of mine who had just played it and he said “Dave, you’ve got to check this place out, it is an amazing course to play!” Then about two weeks later another friend of mine, guy I met through Stracka said the same.
After the 2nd mention of this course I’ve never heard of, I decided it was the golf gods pushing me to write a golf course review on this place…. 🙂
So on the day after Christmas, we played…
Sugarloaf Mountain is the first Coore & Crenshaw design in Florida. They are very selective of the projects they take on, only accepting two projects a year. The course keeps very much to C&C’s minimalist approach, using as much of the local landscape as they can to design the course. I once heard it described as if someone had unrolled a fairway in the middle of nature. I think this is a pretty accurate description of the course, with much of the rough consisting of the natural sandy wastelands we Floridians have come to love.
The course is built on the highest point in the peninsula, 317 feet above sea level affording golfers a great view of Lake Apopka and off in the distance, the city of Orlando.
Playing the course is not so much a walk in the park as a walk through the woods or a ride through the woods as the situation dictates. The course was built on an old tree farm and it conveys a sense of peace and connectivity with nature. Driving the course is like a lazy drawn out roller coaster with many elevation changes as you play.
Being the golfing stud that I am, I elected to play from the Blues. 🙂
Our tee time for the round was at 7:10am. I wanted an early tee time to beat the crowd and catch the early morning sun for the pictures. Well, turns playing early is not the best time to play or at least it was not on that particular day. Here’s the 1st hole as we saw it 🙂
as opposed to this 🙂
But we are REAL golfers, not ones to be intimidated by a little bit of fog, so we played on. We learned that playing in that heavy fog isn’t that bad, you can follow the trail left in the dew to your ball, assuming of course, your shots take you to the fairway! 🙂
Some of the fog photos turned out pretty good though.
Here’s a shot from the tee box of Hole #2
Here’s my arch nemesis’s chip shot on the 2nd Hole
Everyone’s favorite lefty golfer.
While playing in the fog was a cool experience, it does add a new level of difficulty to the game 🙂 Especially on the 4th hole, which features a blind tee shot. For your information, there’s an “alleged” radio tower off in the distance you’re supposed to aim at, well, didn’t see it and of course our tee shots went in the wrong direction. 🙂
There’s another blind, the 13th hole on which you are supposed to aim right(??) of the water tower which we can confirm to be accurate. 🙂 This was my 2nd favorite hole(and not only because I had such a beautiful tee shot and because of the slope the ball rolled an extra 30 yards).
The 14th was my favorite on this Orlando golf course review. It features a dog leg right with a natural conservation area all along the right hand side of the hole.
You’ve got to play it smart on this hole, that stand alone oak tree down there is about 213 yards from the tee or at least, from the blues.
This is the first time in my life I’ve ever seen a sign like this
I came to the conclusion that I need to start taking pictures of the hole markers before I start taking pictures of the holes because I can’t remember all the holes to which the pictures belong.
Sugarloaf Mountain in Orlando was a real pleasure to play and overall it was very well maintained.
If I had to make some critiques and, since it’s a golf course review, I do, it’d be that there is no course layout on any of the scorecards and the hole markers are little more than wooden sticks in the ground with hole numbers carved into them. Playing for the first time is a real challenge because you don’t have any idea how some of the holes play. Sometimes the cart paths were a little hard to find (because most of the time they’re sand paths that blend in well with the rough 🙂 ). Other than those two things, some of the greens on the back nine needed a little TLC.
The staff was really friendly and helpful, we didn’t get a chance to encounter the cart girl, either we were too early or she took the day off. 🙂
It’s a private club but currently they are allowing residents of the tri-county area to play. Below are the rates.
Before 11am – $69.99
After 11 am – $59.99
After 2 pm – $49.99
Rates are good seven days a week.
Reading back over the post, I realize that there are ALOT of pictures, I won’t apologize for it, it’s a really beautiful course and there were many great photo ops. 🙂
Sooooo, if you are looking for a challenging, minimalist, totally different than what your used to round of golf, check this place out! 🙂