(October, 2010) Herons Glen is a gated golf and country club community with 1,300-homes in North Fort Myers. It is home to a Ron Garl-designed 18-hole championship golf course which plays 6,375 from the longest tees with a par of 72. Originally opened in 1991, Heron’s Glen underwent a redesign in 2006 by Gordon Lewis and now has a course rating of 70.7 with a slope rating of 131.
At Heron’s Glen, the residents own all of the recreational facilities including a great golf practice facility that seems to get a lot of use from the members; whether they are playing that day or not. The practice range includes 27 Turf-Hound hitting stations along with Bermuda grass stations, an 8,100 square foot putting green and a chipping area.
As for the course, five sets of tees offer yardages from 4,733 to 6,468 yards, making the course enjoyable for golfers of all levels and abilities. Members also have unlimited access to six tennis courts, a 3,000 sq. ft. fitness center, lake front heated swimming pool with spa, 2 bocce courts, card rooms, craft rooms, 12 shuffleboard courts, picnic area, libraries and a billiards room. The 45,000 sq. ft clubhouse features a ballroom with dance floor and stage, dining room and lounge.
Memorable Holes (All yardage is from the back tees)
Number 1: Par 5, 486 yards. The emphasis is on straight right off the bat; houses and out of bounds await shots hit to the right, water and marshes come into play on the left. There is a good deal of mounding on the hole which can lead to the dreaded uneven lie. It’s somewhat of a short par 5 so a good drive will leave you with a choice of laying up or going for it in two. The green is elevated and slopes slightly from back to front. Number 1 offers a good chance to start the round off with a birdie or better.
Number 2: Par 4, 328 yards. A short par 4, dogleg left with water on the left that is visible off the tee. What you can’t see is the water on the right should you decide to pull the driver out and go for the green off the tee. Should you decide to go for it, you’ll need to carry not only the water but the group of trees and native grass that lie just past the water. The safer shot is to play a 3-wood or hybrid out to the right and leave a short pitch shot to a large green with no trouble around it. You can feasibly be under par at this point in your round!
Number 4: Par 3, 175 yards. Number 4 is a trying par 3. The green is basically an island with a few token bunkers between the green and the water. It’s all carry over water so make sure you choose the right club.
Number 6: Par 4, 370 yards. This dogleg left is a good looking hole. Once again, houses form the out of bounds line down the left side of the fairway. Water can come into play off the tee as well if you hit it too far right. Also of note is the fairway bunker on the left side if you try to cut the corner and shorten the hole. Your approach shot is to a slightly elevated green guarded front right by a large, treacherous bunker.
Number 7: Par 3, 167 yards. You’ll swear you’ve already played this hole, only now there is a little more room to bail out left; but not much. The green is large and has features several undulations on the right side. Number 7 is another tough par 3.
Number 9: Par 4, 393 yards. The water on the right side of this dogleg left won’t come into play for most golfers, however the sand traps on the left side can should you try to hit over them off the tee. If you happen to be playing into the wind, the average golfer has little to no hope of carrying the bunkers off the tee. The fairway is wide open, so your best bet is to play it safe. Your approach shot is wide open as well; there is little trouble around the green which slopes gently from back to front. Two good shots on this hole can set up a good score.
Number 11: Par 5, 511 yards. You’ll need to play your tee shot down the left side of the fairway on this dogleg right or risk being blocked out by the trees. Water and marsh land make up the right side on number 11; a good line off the tee is the pine trees in the distance. If you keep left with your layup shot you’ll open up the green which is large and crowned in the middle. You’ll find strategically placed bunkers on this hole which come into play on every shot.
Number 12: Par 4, 359 yards. This dogleg left is more like a left turn then a dogleg. You’ll need to hit almost 200 yards off the tee to carry the water. From there, you’ll have anywhere form 120 – 165 yards to the green depending on how much of the dogleg your tee shot successfully cut off.
Number 15: Par 4, 419 yards. This slight dogleg right is the number 1 handicapped hole on the course. The waste bunker on the right can easily come into play off the tee if you push your driver right. A good drive will still leave a fairly long approach shot to an elevated green with a grass bunker front right and a fairly deep bunker on the left.
Number 18: Par 5, 521 yards. This par 5 dogleg left provides a nice finishing hole. The fairway bunkers on the left side can quite easily come into play off the tee. As you make the turn at the dogleg, you are greeted with water all down the right side of the fairway for the remainder of the hole. The layup shot is only difficult if you push it right towards the water. The somewhat large green slopes back to front; 18 is one of those finishing holes where you can post a good score.
Last Word: With the majority of golfers at Heron’s Glen being seniors, the back tees don’t seem to get much play; I mention this because they were in fantastic shape. Something else you’ll find from the back tees is that the forced carries are a little longer than you may like; one is around 220 yards. However on most of the “forced carry” holes you can usually find some sort of bailout area, but you will most likely be conceding par. Many of the greens are elevated, eliminating a senior’s favorite approach – the bump and run. A couple of holes will require you to carry your tee shot or approach onto the green.
The course is in top-notch shape, the fairways have greened up nicely; however the rough, although not super long can sometime be hard to find your ball in- even if you have a pretty good idea where it went! Even with this, the pace of play is relatively brisk; we were a twosome playing behind a threesome and a foursome. Although we had to wait several times to hit or tee off, we still got around the course in just over 4 hours. Not too shabby.
To book a round of golf at Heron’s Glen, you can reach them at (239) 731-4501 or visit them online at www.hggcc.com.