(August 2009) The golf club at Westchase opened in 1992 as the focal point of the Westchase master-planned community, which spans over 2000 acres and more than 5000 homes. Westchase was designed by renowned course architect Lloyd Clifton and plays 6699 from the back tees with a course rating of 72.6 and a slope of 131. Practice areas include an aqua driving range that features an island green, short game area with bunkers and a large practice putting green. Westchase has earned 3 ½ stars from Golf Digest as well as a Great Value award. They have also been recognized by the National Golf Foundation for their outstanding course conditions, service and value and are a former winner of the CLASP award (Customer Loyalty and Satisfaction).
The cart paths and wooden bridges at Westchase wind their way through 213 acres of lakes, pine forest, marshes and scenic natural wetlands. Kudos to the grounds crew at Westchase; the course is always in top condition even in the hot summer months. It is definitely one of the most aesthetically pleasing public courses in Tampa. Although the greens have been converted to SeaDwarf Seashore Paspalum within the last couple of years, you will still find them slower than most however they are in great shape. The white sandy bunkers are light and airy. You can dig in and swing away to your heart’s content.
Tees Yardage Course Rating Slope
Blue 6,699 72.6 131
White 6,233 70.6 127
Red 5,205 70.8 127
Number 1: Par 4, 344 yards. There is nothing like a short par 4 to kick start your round. Be careful off the tee; if you try and fade your tee shot around the lake too much or, in the case of long ball hitters go right at the green, you are bringing the water into play. Anything too far left will be out of bounds. A three wood or hybrid is really all you need off the tee. From there you will have a short iron to a large green protected by a bunker on the front right. A birdie is a definite possibility here.
Number 3: Par 3, 212 yards. This is the signature hole at Westchase and from the blue tees you will know why. The hole plays over two hundred yards from back here and your tee shot is pretty much all carry over water. There is not much room at all between the water and the green; anything way left is in the woods. The green is flanked by bunkers and features a couple of subtle undulations. Par is an excellent score here.
Number 6: Par 4, 417 yards. Woods and scrub brush protect the entire right side of the fairway on this somewhat long par 4. You will need to keep your tee shot out to the left to give yourself an unobstructed shot to the green. Be careful on the left side as water and sand come into play if you push your tee shot too much. From there you will have a mid to long iron into a slightly elevated green that has sand on the left and backside. The green slopes gently from right to left.
Number 8: Par 5, 525 yards. For most, this long, sweeping dogleg right is a three shot par 5. Don’t try and cut too much off the corner on your tee shot as the rough comes into play more than you think; anything with too much of a fade is in the woods. The farther left you go the clearer the line to the green. A good drive and layup will leave a short pitch shot to an elevated green that is long and slopes slightly to the right.
Number 10: Par 5, 505 yards. My favorite hole at Westchase; choosing the right line off the tee is everything if you want any chance of getting on in two. Swampland left off the tee and sand straight away makes your tee shot that much more difficult. For those that have control of their driver, pick a line over the trees on the right. Be wary of the pond that awaits those that push their drives too far right. Should you achieve success off the tee, you will be left with around 225 yards to the green. For those that have to layup, be aware of the water on the right side that crosses the fairway up by the green. A good layup will leave a pitch shot to a small elevated green that is surrounded by sand.
Number 13: Par 5, 505 yards. Although listed at over 500 yards, this green is reachable in two with a good drive. If you can hit a tee shot down the right side with some draw, you will definitely be poised to go for it in two. Watch out for the water left that gets its fair share of golf balls. Should you find the fairway bunkers on the right side, par has just become a chore. The landing area on your layup is fairly narrow and has more sand on the right. The large green is fronted by bunkers on either side. This hole has birdie potential.
Number 18: Par 4, 388 yards. Unless you hit the ball a long way off the tee, the marsh that sits in front of the green should not come into play. Keep your tee shot out to the right to maximize your angle into the green. A mid iron approach shot will get you on the green in regulation and leave a birdie attempt on this large green that slopes for back to front. I hope you enjoyed your round.
Last Word: Westchase is one of those courses where you will shoot your best round one day and your worst the next. The course seems to change each day. The staff is always friendly and accommodating. With a large, 9,500 square foot clubhouse and excellent practice/warm up facilities, Westchase can easily accommodate large tournaments and outings. Allow yourself plenty of time to get around the course. Because so many rounds are played at Westchase it’s not uncommon for a round to take five hours. My recommendation is to give it a try if you’re in the Tampa area; you need to play it at least once. If you can play the entire round with one ball, you’ve accomplished something. For more information or to book a tee time, visit them online at www.westchasegc.com or give them a call at (813) 854-2331.