(February 2010) Ron Garl, the championship golf course designer has crafted another masterpiece in the Tampa area; namely Bloomingdale Golfer’s Club. In fact the course has received numerous accolades: 3 1/2 stars by Golf Digest Places to Play and #15 in the state by Golf Digest. In the past, Bloomingdale has hosted a PGA Tour Qualifying School, U S Open Qualifiers, and a Florida State Amateur. Many publications rank the course as one of Florida’s top ten year in and year out.
Instead of bulldozing away meadows and cutting trees, Garl did a great job in not disturbing the natural beauty of the land; in fact half of the 219 acre property is still designated as a wildlife preserve.
Bloomingdale Golfers Club is a ‘tough but fair’ test of a player’s ability. From the back tees the course plays 7,155 yards with a par of 72. From back here, the course has a 75 rating and a slope of 136. If that’s too tough for you, Bloomingdale offers four other sets of tees, making the course playable by golfers of all levels.
Golf Digest has described Bloomingdale Golfers Club as having the best collection of par 5’s on one golf course. Not only are they long (playing 564, 546, 547, and 514 yards), they twist and turn in all directions making it unlikely for someone who has never played the course to get on in two. The 514 yard 16th hole offers the best chance at this. Positioning and strategy, not shear length will be needed to be successful on these four holes.
The practice area features a grass range with target areas, a 1000 square foot putting green and short game area with sand bunker. The clubhouse at Bloomingdale offers a full service golf shop where you will find custom club fitting/making, competitive pricing and a huge selection of attire and accessories. The Legends Grill provides a casual dining atmosphere while serving up great food. There are also locker room facilities for both men and women including showers and full lockers. Bloomingdale offers excellent year round playing conditions and wonderful banquet facilities. No wonder that Bloomingdale is a favorite for corporate outings and for special events.
Tee Yardage Rating Slope
Raccoon 7165 75.0 136
Blue 6660 72.0 130
Green 6386 70.9 127
White 6038 69.4 123
Red 5397 72.3 131
Number 1: Par 4, 385 yards. If you are playing from the white or red tees, this is a straight par 4; from the green tees back to the “raccoons” or back tees, it’s a slight dogleg left and a little more interesting. Playing 385 yards from the back tees and typically into the wind, you will want to lay your tee shot out to the right to take the woods on the left out of play. Be careful not to go too far right as water and some large trees come into play. The ideal shot off the tee is a draw. Any approach shot from the right side will be over water with sand between the green and the water. The green is elevated and very wide but not real deep. Par is always a good way to start the round.
Number 4: Par 5, 564 yards. Since there is virtually no way to get on the green in two, the emphasis is on accuracy rather than length off the tee. Play your tee shot left of the moss-covered oak trees that line the right side of the fairway. From here you will need a mid to long iron; play it out to the right side of the fairway but be sure to hit it far enough to get around the second dogleg. Your approach shot is to a large, elevated green protected on the left by a large bunker. The green has a crown in the middle and features several undulations.
Number 6: Par 4, 439 yards. You will need to hit your drive far enough to get around the dogleg left on this long par 4. Keep your drive out to the right or risk flirting with the large waste bunker on the left. The waste bunker features clumps of pampas grass that seem to magnetically attract golf balls. Anything that makes the dogleg will leave a mid-iron approach shot to an elevated green. This is the number one handicapped hole at Bloomingdale.
Number 7: Par 3, 197 yards. This is a straightforward par 3 however you will need to carry the water off the tee and avoid the many sand traps that surround the green in order to be successful. The hole plays slightly uphill to a large, long green that can be difficult to putt depending on pin placement.
Number 9: Par 5, 546 yards. This has to be of the signature holes at Bloomingdale Golfer’s Club. This is most likely another three shot Par 5 however long ball hitters not afraid of a long second shot that is all carry over water might have a chance at it. A good drive will leave a mid to long iron layup shot that will need to go over the corner of the water and leave a healthy pitch shot to a semi-island green. Par is considered a good score on number 9!
Number 12: Par 4, 407 yards. Do not bother trying to carry the trees on the right side to shorten your approach shot unless you are looking to earn your forestry badge. Ideally you want to leave your tee shot out to the left and leave yourself a clear shot to an elevated green.
Number 17: Par 3, 206 yards. This long par 3 is all carry over water; the water on the left side runs all the way up to the green. With woods on the right side, there really is no bailout area. The green is very large and slopes back to front. There’s nothing wrong with a par here.
Number 18: Par 4, 409 yards. Accuracy is important off the tee on number 18 if you want to score well. You will need a good drive of about 280 from the back tees to have a look at the green. Even then your view might be obscured by the tall marsh reads. Your approach shot is blind over a 100 yard marsh area. There is no bailout area on this hole either and you can’t see the bunker on the right side. Consider yourself lucky if you made par or better.
Last Word: If you’re afraid of the trees, then stay away; this course will eat you up. Trees of all types including century old, moss-covered oak trees, cypress trees, pine trees and palm trees can be found on most holes so be prepared to get imaginative on shots from the forest! Water comes into play on ten of the holes. Overall, there is more of an emphasis on placement of a shot rather than shear distance, making this a shot maker’s dream. At Bloomingdale, you will enjoy a round abundant with wildlife and the challenge of spectacular holes threading their way through the woods and around several lakes. Perhaps that’s why several players various pro tours call Bloomingdale Golfers Club their home.
For more information you can visit them online at www.bloomingdalegolf.com or give them a call at (813) 685-4105.