Timacuan Golf Club in Lake Mary Florida has seen both the good times and the bad. This semi-private, championship layout was once recognized as one of the purest and most enjoyable tests of golf in Central Florida. Both The USGA and The PGA TOUR used Timacuan for their U S Open and Tour School qualifiers. Well-known Florida golf course architect Ron Garl designed the original course which opened in 1987; it was renovated by Bobby Weed in 1996, primarily to deal with some drainage issues. Even after all these years, Timacuan remains true to Garl’s original goal: “To design and build a memorable course that challenge players to excel and that everyone can enjoy.”
Over the years Timacuan has garnered its fair share of awards including One of the Top Fairways for Women (Women Magazine 1997), # 14 Best Course in the State (Golfweek), Seminole County’s Most Popular Course to Play (Orlando Sentinel Readers Poll), and a 4-star rating by Golf Digest Places to Play.
For several years, the course was maintained at a less than satisfactory level; fairways became thin and divot-infested. Tee boxes were uneven and well-worn and the greens were diseased and unhealthy. Unfortunately. this once formidable course had fallen way down the local desirability list.
New owners stepped in a few years ago and good things began to happen. Key elements of the course were redesigned, lights were added to the driving range, and the clubhouse was redesigned. As a result, Timacuan not only renewed its popularity as a popular golf course, it’s now recognized as a viable venue for weddings.
The golf course represents everything that is Florida Golf: abundant wetlands, sand, palm trees and wildlife. The nines couldn’t be any different, yet when combined, create a course that is both enjoyable and memorable. The front nine is reminiscent of a links design with rolling terrain, deep swales, waste areas and pot bunkers. There’s a little bit of elevation change, as can be seen on the first hole. The elevated green will probably require one extra club. Other than the second hole, there’s not much water to contend with on the front nine; not so on the back, where it comes into play on just about every hole. Timacuan’s MiniVerde greens roll true and fast and feature subtle undulations that can leave you scratching your head.
Timacuan features 6 sets of tee boxes, with the yardages ranging from 4,693 for ladies and juniors to 7,047 yards from the back tees. The two back sets of tees will challenge better golfers while both sets of forward tees take many of the hazards out of play, making Timacuan playable for junior and beginning golfers.
Number 2 (par 4, 389 yards) is by far the course’s most challenging hole and understandably the #1 handicap. Your tee shot plays over water to an island fairway. The tee shot is everything on this hole; finding the fairway – or at least your golf ball – is a win on this hole. You’ll need to contend with the water on your approach shot as well and an extra club is recommended as the shot plays longer than you think.
It seems that just about every Ron Garl course I have played has an island green. Most of them are true island holes, featuring a green surrounded by water. Number 7 is a little different, it’s a 216-yard par 4 that features a green surrounded by sand. Think of it as an island green where your ball is retrievable if your tee shot comes up short!
Number 18 is a challenging finishing hole, especially from the back two sets of tees at 450 and 418 yards respectively. It’s a dogleg left with trees all down the right side and challenging bunkers on the left. Keeping your tee shot right of the fairway bunker on the left is a necessity of you want to score well here. Your approach shot plays into a small green with a deep, angled bunker on the left side. Par is a great way to end your round.
With a recently remodeled clubhouse, a recently hired chef who isn’t afraid to try new things and a menu and wait staff that are second to none, Timacuan has everything you need to put together a successful – and memorable – golf event. Timacuan’s professional staff will do everything possible to help you produce an event that exceeds your expectations – and those of your guests.
In addition to hosting golf tournaments and events, the Timacuan venue is becoming very popular for weddings, in fact they have been ranked in the top 5% of event venues by the Wedding Wire Couple’s Choice awards for the past five years in the greater Orlando area. Whether it’s an intimate gathering for 50 or a gala celebration for 250, the club’s elegant blend of rustic and modern is the perfect backdrop for your reception. Their professional staff is there to help you with each small detail, exquisite menu options and a commitment to exceeding all of your expectations.
As with most clubs, membership does indeed have its privileges and Timacuan is no different. With unlimited greens fees you can play as much as you want and, if you want to get in some practice there’s a “members-only” area over at the practice facility. You’ll also have access to preferred tee-times during premium time slots, a 20% discount in the pro shop and a 15% discount when dining in the Grille on all food and beverage purchases. You’ll also receive a complimentary birthday dinner during your birthday month. Several memberships are available including full-benefit golf member, young executive member, family member, seasonal member or social member. Visit their website for more details.
Timacuan is home to the Sean Foley Performance Center a full-time residential junior golf academy program that offers training to all levels of young golfers. Their goal is to provide students with the best golf development program in the world. Their coaches train players that play at the highest levels of competition across the globe. Students learn from Sean Foley and his consultants about every facet of the game and continue their own personal improvement each and every day. The Foley Performance Center is located across the street from the pro shop adjacent to the lit driving range and practice area.
Timacuan is a golf experience that combines several unique golf holes and golf shots that will challenge every level of player. It’s one of those rare golf courses that is fair and challenging for all golfers regardless of skill level. Playing the course with the same ball you started with is an accomplishment.
If you’re looking to book a round of golf in the Orlando area, Timacuan is once again worthy of your consideration. For more information or to book your round online, visit their website at www.golftimacuan.com.