Providence Golf Club is one of the newer courses in the Central Florida area. In fact, Golf Week Magazine named it one of the country’s top 50 new golf courses when it opened in 2008. This Mike Dasher design plays 6,929 yards from the back tees with a slope of 131 and course rating of 73.3. The Blue Tees, at 6,370 yards (119/70.1) will give most golfers enough of a challenge without being masochistic. Four sets of tees make this course playable for players of all skill levels and abilities.
Although Providence Golf Club is part of a master-planned community, you won’t find all of the holes lined with homes. There are several homes visible on the front nine that are dotted with homes but it’s not like you’re peaking in anyone’s back window. Once you make the turn, that’s it, no more homes. What you will see here is an abundance of wildlife – wild turkey, lots of alligators, deer, bobcats, blue herons, egrets, and the occasional otter.
As the course winds its way through Florida wetlands, fresh water creeks and ancient hardwoods, it is evident that Dasher’s goal was to make the course appear as natural as possible. His use of tall sea grasses and expansive native sand areas not only add beauty to the course but are strategically placed to make the course more challenging. Another noticeable feature of the course in the undulation of the greens. Being on the green in regulation here is one thing, two-putting for a par – or better – is another.
Providence Golf Club offers some upscale amenities as well including a full length driving range, short game area and practice putting green big enough to host any event. The clubhouse features a large pro shop with all of the latest gear and apparel and the Grille Room, a tastefully decorated restaurant with a very impressive wooden bar and a delicious menu.
Memorable Holes – (all yardage is from the Blue Tees, 6,370 yards; 70.1 course rating, 119 slope)
Number 1: Par 4, 392 yards. Right off the bat, Providence starts out with a hole that will test you and set you up for the rest of the round. It’s a slight dogleg left with a generous fairway and no bunkers around the green. If you were a late arrival and didn’t get to the range, be thankful the hole is very forgiving.
Number 5: Par 4, 281 yards. This is the first of several risk/reward holes. As you stand on the tee, you’re first inclination is to pull out the driver, grip-it-and-rip-it. But, if you look closely, you will see the water on the left that creeps in and infringes on the front of the green. A more conservative approach – such as laying up with a hybrid or iron – leaves a short wedge to the green. Definitely a birdie opportunity if you didn’t find the drink off the tee.
Number 8: Par 3, 135-yards. This hole seems innocent enough but once you reach the green, you’ll realize it’s anything but. The water between tee and green shouldn’t be an issue. The green is slightly elevated and is the focal point of the hole as it slopes violently from left to right. If the sloping of the green doesn’t cause a three putt, the undulation might. Believe me, there are plenty of three putts here. Word of advice – keep the ball below the hole!
Number 9: Par 5; 512 yards. Your tee shot must avoid the water on the left and bunkers on the right. A second shot down the right side of the fairway will set up an easy third shot to the green. Hit your second shot to the left and you risk finding the water and complicating your approach shot. Although it’s a fairly long hole, three good shots can earn you a birdie.
Number 16: Par 4, 395 yards. An elevated tee and a scenic lake combine to create a picturesque hole that is also fun to play. It’s more fun to play when you hit your tee shot down the right side of the fairway. A good drive will still leave a challenging approach shot as the water guards the left side of the green which features a good bit of undulation.
Number 18: Par 4, 333 yards. A tee shot down the left side of the fairway is the preferable position as the fairway slopes to the right towards the water. Long ball hitters will be inclines to cut off the corner of the dogleg but to me the risk far outweighs the reward. Pin position will determine club selection and there is a large swale on the front right of the green. Water comes into play on every shot.
Last Word: How well you play your tee shots will go a long way in determining your score – and enjoyment – at Providence. Some holes offer generous, inviting landing areas while others will have you thinking twice – and rightfully so – about leaving the big stick in the bag. There are four par four holes that are less than 350 yards and offer excellent risk/reward opportunities; especially if you are long off the tee to begin with.
Another striking feature at Providence Golf Club is the undulation of the greens; they range from moderate to severe and make the course a lot more interesting. Water is plentiful at Providence and comes into play on the majority of holes.
Last but not least, Providence offers a country club atmosphere at daily fee rates. Customer service is the key here and GM Tim Greco and his staff do everything in their power to ensure that a good time is had by one and all.
Providence isn’t as far out of the way as you may think; in fact, it’s not far from Reunion and Championsgate. In fact, it’s only 45 minutes from Tampa, 30 minutes from Orlando and 15 minutes from the theme parks,
For more information or to book a tee time, give Providence Golf Club a call at (863) 420-2652 or visit their website at www.providence-golf.com.