Bent Creek Golf Club (904-779-0800)
Florida Golf Course Review
Bent Creek Golf Club is a Bobby Weed/Mark McCumber design that incorporates considerable acreage of natural marshland along undulating fairways, with numerous lakes,
ponds and tributaries ready to challenge the shot making abilities of all levels of golfers. On our visit in February the fairways and rough were in a dormant stage, as are those of
many courses in Florida during winter months - and the large, mildly undulating Tif Dwarf greens were beautifully manicured and in wonderful condition. Characteristically, these
putting surfaces were true rolling and score-able - but the bunkers and grass swale complexes and nearby water hazards are such that golfers who miss the greens will often be
challenged to finish the hole with demanding up and downs. A good wedge and short game is important on this course. The fairways are usually quite generous off the tee, but
frequent doglegs and marsh crossings require careful club selection and shot placement.
On property facilities include a clubhouse with pro shop and snack bar, and a practice area with putting/chipping green plus grass range with target flags. The course is well
marked with color coded blocks on all tee boxes, 150 yard stakes on par fours and fives, and sprinkler heads measured to the green's center. Pin placement information is
provided on the scorecard, and each tee area also features a hole diagram. For first time players here, a quick study is recommended.
Three sets of tees measure 6620 yards with a 133 slope, 6007/123 (slope for men) & 132 slope (women), and 5021 with a 120 slope. The mid tees (whites) are a good choice for
the average golfer - and include a good mix of long, short and mid length holes, with the longest par four measuring 418 yards and the shortest 292. The 3 par fives are
challenging, with ratings as the number 1,2 and 3 handicaps.
The opening holes turns to the right, but a line of small trees on that side discourages golfers from trying to cut the dogleg. Play to the left center and this hole is score-able.
Number two is a relatively easy par three with plenty of room short on either side and is followed by tee shot over a marsh on the par 4 third. A water hazard along the right extends
the length of the fairway, as it does on the 4th and 5th holes. The fairway is undulating on four and is lined with Florida pines left and water right. Five invites a tee shot landing
between the sets of fairway bunkers left center, leaving an easy approach and possible birdie. Six also demands a tee shot over a marsh, as it doglegs right along a narrow
fairway. There is a water hazard left and mounds and collection areas right of the putting complex. There is less that 10 yards of grass between the marsh and the green on seven,
and the mounding and swales behind the putting surface create some need for accuracy here. Another undulating fairway awaits on eight, which can play long if the wind is up.
The closing hole on the front features a tree lined fairway with mounding and grass swales greenside.
Number ten invites a tee shot to the left center and features one of the most challenging approaches of the day if the pin is deep right. This figure 8 shaped green is surrounded by
water to the left that will devour short shots hit towards the flag, plus grassy swales/mounding that will challenge players to land soft arcing wedges to a thin section of the green.
Play it safe, and a long lag putt awaits. Eleven is a dogleg right par four that plays over a marsh off the tee, then again about 145 out. The second hazard is about 40 yards deep,
creating the need for a well struck second shot. This is the toughest hole on the course. Twelve is score-able from nearly any spot on the fairway as it plays just 317 yards from the
tips, and precedes a challenging dogleg left par four. A tee shot placed near the 150 stake along the right side of the fairway will leave a good angle for the approach. Fourteen is
a typical par three at Bent Creek, with lots of room in the grassy swales and collection areas near the putting complex. The long par five 15th doglegs right with water all along the
left, and a marsh crossing about 75 yards out. The fairway narrows considerably on the approach. The par three 16th is an easy hole if the pin is placed left or middle, but is a
tough proposition if positioned to the right, as a water hazard rests directly off the green on that side. The open, rolling fairway tightens as you approach the green on 17 with a lone
trap situated to the right. The par four finishing hole presents the largest green on the course, which rests past a huge bunker complex that runs from 150-100 yards in along the
right. Pay attention to the pin placement here!
Bent Creek Golf Club is a PGA Tour run facility - and is a nice bargain for the area. The quality of the greens were as good as we experienced on our week long trip - and the layout
features great variety in design. The course is not so tough that inexperienced golfers will feel uncomfortable - yet it manages to provide enough challenges to keep it interesting
for even the best players. Good people - nice value! We recommend it without reservation.
Click here to visit our information page, which also features a link to the course's website.