PONTE VEDRA LAGOON COURSE (904-285-5200)
Florida Golf Course Review - Note: this course if open for play to Members and Guests of the Ponte Vedra Resort
The Ponte Vedra Inn & Club is a beautiful 250 acre oceanfront resort that has been a Florida landmark since 1928. For the second consecutive year, this property has been
awarded the Five-Diamond Award - one of the most prestigious designations in the hospitality industry, awarded to only 18 resorts in the U.S. Golf Digest also selected Ponte
Vedra Inn & Club as one of the "Top 75 Resorts in America". Three generations of guests and resort members can now enjoy facilities that underwent a 70 million dollar
renovation in 2002. The 250 rooms and suites exude class and sophistication, with amenities worthy of mention in the Connoisseur's Guide to the World's Best Resorts and
Great Hotels. 36 holes of championship golf are complimented by 15 tennis courts, four pools, a sandy beach, four restaurants and 3 lounges, a 10,000 square foot luxury spa
(with over 100 services available) and one of the most expansive health clubs on the East Coast - two stories and over 8,000 square feet. Click here for a link to the Ponte Vedra web site.
Golf History at Ponte Vedra
The Lagoon Course is one of two championship layouts at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club. The Ocean Course was originally designed in 1928 by world renowned designer Herbert
Strong, and won acclaim as one of the "four hardest courses in America" in 1938 and was scheduled to host the 1939 Ryder Cup. Walter Hagan was captain of a US team that
featured Byron Nelson and Sam Snead. The event was cancelled due to the impending war, and after World War II guests of the Inn suggested the ocean links design be softened
. Robert Trent Jones, know for his "tough par but easy bogey" philosophy, was brought in to complete the job. Though renovated, the above pictured ninth green has remained
basically in tact. The small putting greens located in front of the resort were also kept as part of history, as they were originally involved in the Jones designed 18-hole "miniature
course" with holes ranging from 14-27 yards in length. The work that Mr. Jones did at Ponte Vedra along with August National capitulated his career, which now includes signature
designs and renovations at more than 400 courses worldwide. In 1961, Gary Player was brought in as the club's playing professional, and Robert Trent Jones was brought back to
design 9 new holes. Seventeen years later the Lagoon Course was completed when architect Joe Lee designed the second nine. Bobby Weed made final renovations to the
resort's courses in the mid-nineties, careful to remain true to the original designer's traditional concepts.
Today golfers will find that the Ocean Course retains some of the signature characteristics of both Herbert Strong and Robert Trent Jones, and is a "thinking player's course". The
ninth green is a good example, as multiple bunkers, grass swales and an undulating putting surface will challenge any golfer's quest for par, yet five sets of tee boxes ranging
from 105 to 144 yards make the hole playable. Throughout the layout, golfers will find beautifully landscaped grounds and exquisite green complexes, often bordered by bunkers,
water hazards and tropical foliage.
The clubhouse serves both courses and features a pro shop, a beautiful restaurant and lounge, plus locker room facilities with showers for men and women. The men's locker
room in fact, has its own restaurant and sitting area, as well as shoe service. A grass range and practice green are also on property. On course golfers will find yardage markers
on the fairways at 100/150/200 yards and sprinkler heads measured to the center of the green, with pin placement sheets posted on all carts.
The Lagoon Course
NOTE - play on the Lagoon and Ocean Courses at Ponte Vedra is open to resort guests and members only - you must stay here to play here!
The Lagoon Course is a short resort layout that was renovated in the Summer/Fall of 2007 (designed by Bobby Weed) - but one that packs some punch. It is aesthetically
beautiful and features green complexes of varying sizes that are often flanked by palms and water hazards. Bulkhead bunkers ( pictured here) can be found fronting the greens on
many holes - which vary in size and shape from the smallest green we have ever encountered on # 15 - to some that are quite expansive. Generally speaking, the putting
complexes are small in size and very tough to approach, with numerous bunkers and grassy swales. Four sets of tee boxes measure 6022/118 slope, 5542/113 slope, 5105/110
and 4511 with a slope rating of 114. . Judging from the slope and course ratings, one would naturally assume that playing here is a walk in the park. Not so - at least during our
experience... The green complexes are extremely tight, and good iron play in the face of stiff ocean breezes is necessary to score well.
A tee shot near the 150 marker left of the deep fairway trap will leave a good opportunity to reach the dogleg left par four first in regulation. Two par threes follow - with a very small
green complex on two and a water hazard in front of the third, with some room for error on the right. Sand bunkers line the left and a lake is in play along the right on the 326 yard
par four 4th. The putting surface is extremely well protected by a trio of sand traps. The pretty par three 5th is fronted by a bulkhead bunker and is followed by the tight 379 yard par
four 6th, which is the course's # 1 handicap. The fairway on the par five seventh is narrow to begin but opens up past the cart path crossing about 170 out. On eight the fairway
slopes right top left towards the water hazard, with the best landing area being the short grass in front of the green. The putting complex slopes immediately downward on three
sides, making an up and down difficult for approaches that miss. The closing hole on th front is a 445 yard par four that plays to an elevated green protected by 3 bunkers in front -
par is great here.
The tenth is a short and score-able par five, which is reachable in two. The sloping green here is one of the largest on the course. Two good shots can take the water out of play on
the par five 11th, which turns 90 degrees right about 60 yards out. Long is gone on the pretty par three 12th, with the landing area short right of the green a good bail out area.
Choosing the correct club is important on the par three 13th, which precedes the course's longest hole The tee shot on 14 plays through a narrow opening of trees, with the well
guarded putting surface dropping steeply down towards a water hazard left and behind the green. The left center of the fairway is the place to be on 15, which is a tempting 294
yard par four. The tee shot should be aimed at the fairway bunkers deep left along the fairway. A huge bulkhead bunker protects the green complex on 16. Lay up just in front and
this should be a good scoring opportunity. The par three 17th plays though a shoot of trees to a green protected by bunkers in front and back, making accuracy and distance control
important. The finishing hole bends left with the right center of the fairway being the ideal landing area. The sloping green is elevated, requiring a solid hit to reach.
The Lagoon Course is short and sweet - and is a good compliment to the more challenging Ocean Course. If you are short on time, this is a good choice as a round here should
not take more than 4 hours - even on a busy day.
You can visit our page for the Lagoon Course, with a link to the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club website by clicking here.