SADDLEBROOK RESORT Palmer Course (813-907-4566)
Florida Golf Course Review
Saddlebrook in Wesley Chapel is a full service luxury resort specializing in golf and tennis packages with accommodations and amenities that earn the
property the industry's highest awards year after year. Included on property are two beautiful 18-hole championship golf courses, a golf preparatory
school with outstanding, comprehensive practice facilities, 45 tennis courts with excellent instructional programs, 540 guest rooms and suites, over 95,000
square feet of flexible meeting/conference space, a new sports village with fitness center, wellness center plus full service spa, a great variety of dining
facilities, spectacular tropically landscaped pool area with hot tubs, and recreational opportunities that includes a 5 acre challenge site. For more info on
this world class resort, visit our page for Saddlebrook on our Florida Golf Resort section, with direct link to their website by clicking here.
The Golf courses are on property - within walking distance from any of the rooms and suites. Both are serviced by one clubhouse, which includes a pro
shop stocked with golf attire, accessories and clubs. The poolside bar & grill is across the way, Dempsey's Steak House is next door and the Tropics
Restaurant - serving great breakfast buffets daily is perched just across from the 18th green of the Saddlebrook Course. Each golf course has a putting
green situated on the way to the first hole. The practice center is about a mile away - with free shuttle available. Besides the prep school, lessons of
various kinds are offered to juniors and adults at Bannlynch Golf..
The Palmer Course is a stunning design that plays tougher than the 6641 yards may indicate. This Arnold Palmer creation features tree lined, undulating
fairways designed to resemble a rolling New England course, but the moss covered cypress, oaks, palms and tropical foliage found throughout, along with
the many ponds and swamplands give way to a lush natural Florida environment. Golfers will encounter some tight fairways with trouble off the tee (see
photos above), but the real challenge on this course is making accurate approach shots to the well bunkered, raised green complexes that generally slope off on the sides and in back.
The putting surfaces are a hazard in themselves, especially if approaches wander too far past the hole. Most greens are tiered and undulating, with slopes
often in a back to front direction. The Tif-eagle greens provide some of the best playing and most true rolling surfaces in golf - but the trick here is to read
the break correctly while staying below the hole on the quick rolling short grass. Downhill putts can be quite treacherous.
The Palmer Course has 3 sets of tees that play to distances and slopes measuring 6641 yards/138 slope, 6044 yards/130 slope and 5187 with a slope of
124 for ladies playing from the red tee areas. The course meanders through the resort/residential community, and is well marked with 100, 150 & 200 yard
blocks on the fairways and cart paths, plus 150 stakes that double as directional devices on all par fours and fives. Sprinkler heads are measured to the
center of the green, and pin placement info is available on each scorecard, which also provides helpful diagrams of each hole. Each cart is equipped with
ice chests and rear covers to protect clubs during inclement weather.
The initial hole is a tough opener - a tree lined 423 yard par four with a pond short off the tee and another to the left from 180 to 100 yards away from the
undulating green. The front side is replete with doglegs, which favor a right to left shot shape that will benefit right hand draws off the tee. The back side
plays more straight away, with a mix of tight and open driving holes - and with a couple of left to right doglegs. Mounding frames the fairways on many
holes, with penal sand traps sculpted into the man-made hills. Players will be able to use every club in the bag, and will have to pull of a great variety of
shots to perform well here.
There is an abundance of native wildlife on both courses, and though the layouts meander through the resort and residential community, golfers will
experience a feeling of serenity, with the age old forests and water lands always nearby. A stay at this resort is highly recommended. Both courses are
also open for public play. For more information, visit our page fro the Palmer Course, with direct link to their website by clicking here.