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Posted on 17 Oct 2014

Florida Golf Tour October 2014

Welcome to Florida, although a slightly soggy one having experienced 23 out of 30 days of rain, which is a Floridian record.  Our first golfing experience is impacted by the wet as the New Course is closed at Grand Cypress, so we play a combination of the South and North 9s, which provided an excellent challenge and two brilliant finishing holes on each 9.

The next day sees an 8am tee off as the New Course is having a shotgun competition later in the day, so we play millionaire’s golf on this brilliant Jack Nicklaus designed homage to St Andrews.  Terrific slopes adorn the course; good use of a “burn” and some 150 bunkers makes this a real treat.  We all had some interesting moments and left hoping we would play there again one day.

Grand Cypress was an excellent resort and showed off top quality US service at its very best.  In the evenings we had some super dinners the best of which was Emerils in Orlando’s famous City Walk.  After a sumptuous meal we went to Jimmy Buffets Margueritaville where a great band performed and we sampled some more US hospitality.

On Saturday we traveled to wonderful Naples and checked in at the excellently located Inn on the 5th, right in the heart of the town.  All of the fabulous restaurants and shops were within walking distance.  As in the original Naples many restaurants had an Italian theme and the quality of the food and wine on offer was as good as I have had anywhere in the world.  The favourite restaurant came out as Pazzo’s which had an unbelievable menu and an owner straight out of the Soprano’s.  The selection of restaurants in Naples were just stunning and we also found some interesting bars with a variety of live music to relax in readiness for the next day.

Our golf tour in Naples began at another Nicklaus designed course, Old Corkscrew, which was voted “Best Newcomer” in a recent Golf Digest survey in the US.  As with all Nicklaus course, in my opinion the attention to detail is exceptional and the challenge is tough but very fair and everyone had their golfing moment in the welcome sun.  The next day we visited the impressive Tiburon complex, which is on a very grand scale.  We played the Greg Norman designed Gold Course, which hosts the Franklin Shoot Out in December.

On Tuesday we visited the Everglades in the company of Captain Dan, a Naples local who took us on his boat to see some of the fascinating sights of this unique area.  I found it amazing that in many areas the water is only a few feet deep.  The vast expanse of over a million acres is home to some 10,000 islands and some really diverse wildlife.  Apart from a huge selection of fish, which sadly we failed to catch any, we saw some super birds, Osprey and the marvellous Roseate Spoonbill and dolphins.

On Wednesday we played Treviso Bay filled with great holes and a couple of Alligators for company!  Thursday was the Mustang course at the huge Lely resort and the Lee Trevino designed course with a motto of “enjoy the game” which lived up to its words.  Our final round was up the upscale private Eagle Creek course and this presented a tree lined challenge, par excellence, which we sometimes rose to and sometimes not!

Florida Winners
Overall winners for the week enjoying a meal at Pazzo’s Naples Florida

A great trip blessed with fabulous weather, which everyone enjoyed!




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