Heritage Bay is located in North Naples, FL and features 27 holes of golf that have been astounding and confounding golfers since November 2006. The facility is located on Immokalee Road, 1.3 miles east of Collier Blvd (SR 951). Heritage Bay is bordered on the south side by two huge quarry lakes, to the north and west by 1800 acres of Cypress preserves and to the east by Bonita Bay East, a premier 36-hole stand alone course.
The gated and guarded entry bridge as you enter Heritage Bay spans the two quarry lakes and as you make the turn to the clubhouse you will see a huge water fountain. The grounds that lead up to the clubhouse are quite impressive; hopefully this is all just a prelude to an equally impressive round of golf.
Heritage Bay offers three nine hole courses. Although the holes are numbered 1 – 27, picking a favorite is by no means cut and dry. Miles of natural preserves and crystal blue lakes make these three nine hole courses nothing shy of spectacular. Although each nine is unique in its own way, yet they all blend together with their pristine lakes, sand and grass bunkers, mounding and undulating greens. All three nines feature ample landing areas for occasional players and hazards strategically placed for the lower handicap player. All 27 greens are large and undulating; the average green size is over 7,000 square feet of Tif Eagle grass – which offers the best putting surfaces in the Southwest Florida area. They are hand mowed for a more consistent playing surface and have been acknowledged as some of the best in Southwest Florida.
Holes number 1 – 9 make up the Pine Course, which plays 3407 yards from the back tees; 10 – 18, the Cypress Course which plays 3572 from the back tees and numbers 19 – 27 are known as the Oak course – which many golfers claim is the most challenging – plays 3605 from the back.
Course Statistics Oak – Pine
Tees Rating Slope
Gold 74.1 140
Blue 710 131
White 69.7 123
Green 67.5 115
Red 63.7 107
Pine Course – Memorable Holes:
Number 2; Par 4, 361 yards: This hole is far from the longest par 4 on this nine. There is water left off the tee and up by the green, making this hole anything but a sure par. Hit your drive up the right side, as close as possible to the fairway bunker. From there a short iron to the green may earn an early birdie. Take it and move on!
Number 4; Par 4, 315 yards: A true risk/reward hole. While a high tee shot over the bald cypress on the left may have a chance of making this elevated green; it is just as easy to find one of the many traps that surround the putting surface. The smart play off the tee is to hit a three wood or hybrid at the bunker straight away and leave a short pitch shot to a long narrow green. Birdie is a definite possibility for the smart player.
Number 6, Par 3, 186 yards: This par 3 is somewhat intimidating from the back tees. You play across the water to a small green that is guarded on the right by water and sand in front. Par here is a good score.
Number 7; Par 5, 535 yards: Many members at Heritage Bay will tell you that this is their favorite hole; they refer to it as “Z.” Whatever you want to call it, it’s another risk/reward hole. Drive up the right side if you are planning on hitting a layup; choose the left side if you’re thinking of reaching it in two. Long ball hitters beware; there is a lake within reach if you hit too far up the left side. This is certainly a fun and challenging hole that does surrender the occasional birdie or eagle.
Cypress Course – Memorable Holes
Oak Course – Memorable Holes
Number 20; Par 5, 543 yards: This hole features one of the large quarry lakes all the way down the left side. There is also a pot bunker that sits in the left center of the fairway. Find this bunker and you will struggle to make par. The green stretches from left to right with bunkers protecting the raised center of the green. You will need to play your second shot to the proper area of the fairway in order to make an approach shot to the pin.
Number 21; Par 3, 228 yards: This par 3 is relatively straight forward, however it does have one of the largest bunkers on the course. The entry fountain frames the shot to this green. Par here is a good score. If not, take out your camera, snap a picture of the fountain, and move on!
Number 23; Par 4, 418 yards: This is the only significant dogleg on the Oaks Course and another risk/reward hole. A lake guards the right side of this hole from start to finish; the closer you take it to the lake, the shorter your shot to the green. If you lay too safe off the tee and hit it into one of the many fairway bunkers, you will be left with a second shot that all of a sudden becomes very scary! The green is one of the largest on the course and sweeps from left to right.
Number 27; Par 4, 377 yards: This picturesque finishing hole has water running down the right side of the fairway and has a green that is surrounded by yet more water. The hole plays fairly straight forward; control off the tee as well as on approach can easily lead to birdie.
The clubhouse at Heritage Bay was completed in April 2009 and includes the administrative offices for the facility, a fully stocked golf pro shop, men’s and women’s locker rooms with sauna, card room, billiards, a grille room, and also a fine dining room. Tennis facilities, fitness center, a swimming pool that equals any resort in Florida pool and the Chikee bar/restaurant round out this full service operation.
The golf professional staff at Heritage Bay is quite knowledgeable in all aspects of golf operation from instruction to tournament operations and merchandising.
Tal Buchanan serves as both the head golf professional and director of instruction; he is one of the most tenured and decorated PGA members in Southwest Florida. Tal has lived in the Naples/Bonita area for over 30 years and says Heritage Bay is “the best course he has ever stepped on and is an absolute pleasure to play”. As you step on the range to warm up, look to your left and you will see his collection of teaching toys.
The practice facility at Heritage Bay features a hitting area that’s 200 yards long and 65 yards deep, offering up to 60 hitting stations. There are two large practice greens near the first tee of both the Cypress and Oak courses, as well as a short game complex at the end of the range near #1 tee on the Pine. Heritage Bay has one of the most complete practice facilities in the area. The practice facility at Heritage Bay opens at 7 AM, 7 days a week.
Five sets of tees make Heritage Bay a challenge for golfers of all abilities. The fairways are tight enough for low handicappers but at the same time offer ample bailout areas for high handicappers. Water comes into play on all 27 holes so aquaphobes beware! The course is well manicured; the fairways trimmed beyond belief. The greens are everything that has been written about them; very putt able yet challenging. For more information or to book a round at Heritage Bay, visit them online at www.golfheritagebay.com or give them a call at (239) 353-2561.