(June 2010) Pelican Preserve is a beautiful, 27-hole layout designed by Chip Powell, and is located within the 1,100 acre community of Pelican Preserve. The course opened for play in 2002. Complementing the golf course is a 24,000-square-foot golf clubhouse which includes a state-of-the-art fitness center with wellness, fitness and spa treatment rooms. A full-service member dining and bar area, plus a spacious banquet facility complete the club and provide the ultimate dining experience. Practice facilities include a complimentary aqua range with stacks of balls awaiting guests with starting times. There also is a short game area with practice bunkers, a chipping green and a large putting.
As mentioned before, the golf course at Pelican Preserve winds its way through a very upscale residential community. The course is sculpted from luscious landscape that is meticulously maintained from tee to green. Mounding in the fairways can present Floridian golfers with something rarely seen in these parts – the dreaded uneven lie! Water hazards and white sand bunkers are frequently in play, both off the tee and around the greens. The average golfer will find ample bail-out areas where forced carries are a concern. The putting surfaces are Tiff Eagle and greet you with both subtle and profound undulations, several with hidden ridges and slopes. Accuracy is sometimes at a premium as errant approach shots can leave you with a lot of work to earn a par. Grass swales and collection areas surround many of the greens making an up and down a tough proposition.
Tee Yardage Rating Slope
Black 6930 73.8 141
Blue6499 71.7 131
White 6051 69.7 127
Gold 5405 66.7 116
b>Red 4979 69.2 119
Number 1: Par 4, 375 yards. As you stand on the first tee of the Heron course, you’ll notice that the fairway is quite rolling. Hit your tee shot left or right of the fairway and you will quickly find out exactly what I mean. Number 1 is a slight dogleg right with fairway bunkers on the left side. Long ball hitters should avoid going too far left or risk being wet. Sea grass and small trees on left side can pose trouble. Your approach shot to this elevated green must be precise as the slope on the sides of the putting surface drop off quickly, with water present left and long. Pot bunkers on the right side protect this long, narrow two tiered green that slopes back to front. Accuracy off the tee is essential for a good score and a fast start.
Number 6: par 3, 195 yards. This uphill par 3 plays all of its 195 yards from the back tees. From the tee box you are faced with wetlands on both sides of this large green that slopes left to right. Club selection is very important on this hole and a par is a good score.
Number 7: Par 5, 505 yards. Number 7 plays 481 yards from the blue tees and is the first par five on the course. With a good tee shot, this short par five is definitely reachable in two. Trees come into play on the right as does water that cannot be seen farther up on the right side. Should you choose to layup, beware of the fairway bunkers on the right. Your approach shot is to a large green crowned in the middle. Pot bunkers protect the green on either side. Beware, should your approach shot be short and left you could very well find a bunker that for the most part should not come into play. This is another good scoring hole.
Number 9: Par 5, 611 yards. Very few golfers (none that I know) will be able to reach this green in two. This extra long par 5 plays 611 yards from the back tees and a mere 564 yards from the blue. It’s a dogleg left with marshlands on the left off tee, so keep the ball right; but not too far right or you may find the large fairway bunker. A good drive will leave a layup shot of about 170 yards to clear the fairway bunkers that span the fairway on left. From there you are left with a manageable approach shot to a large green that plays slightly downhill and is well bunkered. Par is a good score here.
Number 1: par 4, 400 yards. Number 1 is a straightforward par 4 that is wide open from tee to green. You may find yourself with an uneven lie if you don’t hit the fairway off the tee because of more mounding along the fairway. Your approach shot is to an elevated green; a good shot offers a great opportunity for birdie to get the nine kick started.
Number 2: Par 5, 590 yards. Unless something goes drastically wrong with your tee shot, you should be able to find this wide open fairway; all you need to do is avoid the fairway bunker on the left. The layup shot is fairly simple; just avoid the large bunker complex about 100 yards out from green. Your approach shot is to a large green that features gentle undulations. Believe it or not, this can prove to be a good scoring hole.
Number 5; par 5, 535 yards. This dogleg left par 5 features that dreaded combination of water to the left and woods to the right off the tee; the fairway bunkers should not come into play from the back tees. Layup shot is wide open. Push it right off the tee and you are in the woods. Another great scoring opportunity
Number 8; par 4, 310 yards. This short par 4 is drivable from most tees including the back tees for long ball hitters. Beware of the sand on the left side of the good sized green. This is a definite birdie hole.
Number 9; par 4, 415 yards. This long difficult dogleg left is only the number 5 handicap hole. It’s a par 4 that is made even more difficult by a huge fountain directly in front of you if you are playing off the back tees. Woods on the left side makes accuracy off the tee important. Accuracy on your approach shot is essential as there is water on the right side near the green. A large elevated green takes away a bump and run shot. The large green slopes left to right. Par here is a good score
Pelican Preserve is one of the premier golf courses available for public play in the Fort Myers area. You’ll find a lot of water, sand and numerous grass bunkers. For the most part, golfers will have little problem getting off the tee or finding their ball for that matter. Landing areas are wide open and golfers can be prone to spray the ball a little bit. The fun begins on your next shot, be it a layup or an approach. Layup shots on the par 5 holes require a certain degree of accuracy; fairways narrow, trees and wetlands come into play. A couple of these holes may be reachable in two depending upon your line off of the tee. The other two, play 611 and 595 yards respectively and leave little chance for the average golfer to get on in two.
The par 4’s can leave you faced with some long approach shots depending upon which tees you are playing. The majority of greens are elevated or at least slightly elevated, eliminating bump-and-run approaches. Many greens are closely guarded by sand and/or water. A couple of long par 3’s will keep you honest on the shorter holes.
The greens provide plenty of undulation and can even have some hidden breaks. The ball rolls true on these Tif Eagle surface although we did find that the greens on one nine were better than the other which changed the speed tremendously.
All in all, Pelican Preserve’s 27 holes of championship golf offer a unique and memorable experience for golfers of any level. For more information or to book a tee time, you can reach Pelican Preserve at (239) 985-1707 or visit them online at www.pelicanpreservelifestyles.com.