Although it’s located nowhere near the beachfront resort, The Rees Jones Course at Breakers West is part of The Breakers and, if you are any type of a golfer, it’s a must play if you’re staying there. As far as the courses at The Breakers go, this would be the contemporary championship layout whereas the Ocean Course would be the historic, resort course.
The Rees Jones Course at the Breakers West was originally designed by William Byrd and Joe Lee and first opened around 1969. It was redone by Jones in 2004, who was rewarded with the “Renovation of the Year” award by Golf, Inc. for his efforts. Jones lengthened the course to 7,104 yards from the back tees with a slope rating of 74.8 and a slope of 146. The White Tees will give most male golfers all they can handle at 6,289 (71.2/138). Women typically play from 5,164 yards (70.5/132). Par is 72 for everybody.
The facility features a huge driving range with multiple targets as well as a large practice putting green. The pro shop is stocked with all the latest gear as well as top-name golf apparel.
Memorable Holes: (All Yardage is From the Blue Tees)
Number 2: Par 4, 412 yards. This challenging par 4 is the first of 8 peninsular greens. Hug the right side of the fairway and ht it as far as you can! If a draw with a long iron is in your repertoire, your approach shot would be a good time to use it. Not only does the green sit on a peninsula, it’s surrounded by sand as well. Par is good.
Number 7: Par 4, 403 yards. A trying par 4 that doesn’t involve water. If it does, you need to speak with someone in the pro shop about a lesson! Hit a good drive down the middle to avoid the fairway bunkers on either side and you’re halfway home. From here, you’ll have a long to mid-iron into a small green surrounded by bunkers.
Number 6: Par 5, 527 yards. This long, dogleg right has a small landing area for your tee shot created by the trees and brush on each side of the fairway. Avoid the water on the right side just past the tree line and you’ll be left with a harrowing shot to a three-tiered, peninsular green. Being on the same putting level as the hole is critical if you want to make par or better.
Number 9: Par, 424 yards. This is the #1 handicap hole and with good reason. Accuracy off the tee is a necessity. You’re playing over water with a relatively small landing area. To make matters worse, should you hit it through the fairway, you’re likely to find sand. From there, you’ll have a long iron over water into a small green surrounded by sand. Good luck on this one!
Number 11: Par 3, 151 yards. Short, you’re wet; right, you’re wet; long you’re in sand. That’s the long and short of it. Other than that, it’s a very pretty hole!
Number 18: Par 4, 406 yards. A great finishing hole. This long dogleg left features bunkers at the corner; longball hitters may want to have a go at carrying them. Your approach shot is to a small, elevated green surrounded by sand. Walk away with a par and head for the 19th hole.
Last Word: The Rees Jones Course at Breakers West has 5 sets of tees and can be enjoyed by players of all levels and ability – as long as you play from the right set of tees. If you try and bite off more than you can chew, this course will eat you up.
The course has a lot to offer: challenging carries over water, greens surrounded by water and strategically placed bunkers, all brought into play by wide open landing areas. There are slight elevation changes which add to the challenge and the greens have some gentle contours which keeps putts interesting.
The Rees Jones Course winds its way through an upscale neighborhood, although the houses are set on the periphery and don’t come into play. And they are exactly what you would expect to find – large and luxurious.
The Breakers Rees Jones Course is located at 1550 Flagler Parkway, West Palm Beach, Florida 33411. For more information or to book a tee time, you can reach them at (561) 653-6320 or visit them online at http://www.thebreakers.com/golf/reesjones/.