The Valencia Golf & Country Club in Naples, Florida opened in 1997 and features 7,145 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72. The course carries a rating of 74.3 with a slope rating of 130 and plays on Bermuda grass. Originally designed by Gordon G. Lewis, Valencia maintained a 4-star rating by Golf Digest from 2008-2010. In 2010 Valencia reopened after undergoing a 6-moth renovation of the course and greens. The course now features Mini Verde greens and offers five sets of tees making Valencia enjoyable for players of all skill levels.
Noted golf course architect Gordon Lewis created a masterpiece in this North Naples community, taking advantage of the pristine natural beauty and carving out a spectacular course. Highlights include many native plants, undulating fairways, sparkling lakes and lush stands of palms, pines and cypress preserves.
Practice facilities at Valencia include a 30 station driving range, 5,500 sq. ft. shipping green and a 5,000 sq. ft. putting green that offers plenty of undulation to get you ready for what you are about to experience on the course. Valencia also has a full service pro shop, and a staff of golf professionals available daily to help with your game. With all of this Valencia Golf and Country club can certainly lay claim to the title of Naples’ Best Public Golf Course!
Memorable Holes (Yardage is From the White Tees – 6175 yards)
Number 1: Par 4, 295 yards. Go ahead and rip it off the tee on this short par 4; there is very little trouble off the tee. However if you have a terrible slice, you could end up on the driving range. A good drive will leave a short chip shot to a large, undulating green that is protected on the right side by a large bunker. The opening hole offers a good opportunity to get your round off to a great start.
Number 6: Par 5, 450 yards. This glorified par 4 offers a great scoring opportunity. From the white tees, you need a drive of about 230 yards over the water on the left. A well-executed tee shot will leave a long iron or hybrid to a large green that features a lot of undulation.
Number 8: Par 3, 176 yards. A large, inviting green awaits on this fairly long par three. Avoid the traps on the right and you are well on your way to conquering this hole. The green is a treat and can provide somewhat of a roller coaster ride depending upon pin placement.
Number 14: Par 5, 460 yards. Here is another par 5 with good scoring potential. Play your tee shot out to the right and avoid the large fairway bunker and you are well on your way. If you need to layup, watch out for the fairway bunker left. The green is fairly narrow and protected in front by traps on either side as well as back right. Two well-executed shots can lead to a low number.
Number 18: Par 4, 320 yards. This short finishing hole offers an opportunity to end the round on a good note. Play up the right side on this slight dogleg left but be sure to be a little short of the two fairway bunkers. From there you will have a short pitch to a green that features a ridge and a lot of undulation.
Valencia is a public facility that offers a good test of golf. You’ll want to choose your tees carefully as there is a big difference between white (6175 yards) and blue (6692 yards); the difference is equivalent to a par 5. Add another 453 yards if you want to move back to the tips!
The fairways are in good shape year round and the rough is not too long; tee boxes are in good shape and water comes into play on about a dozen holes or so. Most of the approaches are open lending themselves to the bump-and-run. The one thing that separates Valencia from other courses in the area is the greens. Rarely do you see the undulation on a green that you will find at Valencia; it’s not uncommon to have a putt that breaks a couple of feet. They usually run pretty fast.
The only downside I saw to our round on a late Saturday morning was the amount of time it took to play. Granted, Valencia does get a lot of play on the weekends including a couple of men’s’ leagues early Saturday morning, but it should not take 5 hours to get in a round. I’ve played there in the early morning leagues and was done in 3 ½ hours.
All in all, Valencia is worth your time and money. Valencia is located in Naples; you can visit them online at www.valenciagolfandcountryclub.com or give them a call at (239) 352-0777.