There was a time when I remember "executive" courses being popular. These courses were comprised of mostly par-3 holes with a few par-4s thrown in. Par for 18 holes was usually in the low 60s and one could play a full round in about two hours or a little more.
In today's world of rushing around and wanting instant gratification, many golfers find themselves without the time to devote five hours to play a round of golf. If that is the case for you, perhaps you should look for an executive course to satisfy you golf hunger in a fast food kind of way.
One such course is the Savanna Club Golf Course just off U.S. Highway 1 in Port St. Lucie. This Charles Ankrom designed track plays to a par of 61 and measures just over 3,800-yards from the longest of three sets of tees.
The course opened in 1988 as an amenity to the retirement community in which is sits. The course is fairly compact, making walking the course very easy. In fact, a good stroll is encouraged here.
Savanna Club has many of the features that Ankrom designed into his larger, championship-length courses. The greens are pretty well guarded and nicely framed with mounding, bunkers, trees or water. While the holes may not be long, the par-4s feature fairways that have some rolling undulations to them in addition to well-placed fairway bunkers.
There are a dozen par-3s, the shortest of which is just 113 yards long, and the longest comes in at a stout 197 yards. Best of all, they are not all nearly the same length. Looking back on my round, I realized that I hit eight different clubs from the tees on those 12 par-3s.
You will find five par-4s and a single par-5 at Savanna Club. At just 460-yards from the tips, playing the par-5 13th could make you feel like a touring professional with a chance to make eagle after a well-placed drive and a daring second.
While there is water around, it doesn't really come into play except on a few holes. There are also few forced carries over water or wetlands here. My favorite hole, the 348-yard, par-4, sixth has two forced carries, one off the tee and another to the green. The best angle to attack the green is from the right side of the fairway. This however, brings the most water into play on your second shot. It's an Ankrom design trademark.
The 10th is a beautiful hole as you face a 142-yard shot over wetland, between bunkers, and onto a raised green that drops off quickly should your shot go long.
Accuracy is well rewarded at Savanna Club. There is no need to pull the driver out of the bag. You can use fairway woods or hybrids to set up easier approaches into the par-4s. The greens complexes will eat you up if you don't hit the putting surface. Miss the green and you will find yourself with some tricky chips and bunker shots. Add in the gently rolling greens and your putter may get a good workout trying to make pars.
Savanna Club is open to the public and the summer rates are very competitive. For additional information or to make your own tee time, call (772) 879-1316.
Time for summer school (the fun kind)
The PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance in Port St. Lucie is offering advanced junior summer camps for ages 13 and up.
The five-day program is designed for juniors looking to elevate their game to the next level. It features full-swing and short-game instruction as well as daily on-course lessons with a PGA staff member. Juniors receive a club-fitting and game-improvement plan, using the latest in swing technology. Program dates are June 23-27; July 7-11 and 21-25; and Aug. 11-15. Price starts at $1,495 per golfer and includes daily lunches and tee gifts.
"Throughout the year, junior national teams around the world travel to Port St. Lucie to train at our facility due to the spacious and comfortable setting for youth players," said Holly Taylor, Director of the PGA CLP. "The popularity of our advanced junior camps has grown tremendously and we look forward to another record-breaking summer so reserve your spot today."
Also available are PGA of America Golf Schools, starting at $835. Create a custom two, three or four-day program with a PGA Professional. PGA CLP instructors have a combined 150 years of teaching experience and offer a low student-to-teacher ratio for personalized attention to your game.
To book any of the summer camps, please contact Ryan Angarola at (772) 468-7686 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
James Stammer has been an avid golfer and golf enthusiast for nearly 40 years. He hosts the Thursday Night Golf Show on WSTU 1450-AM. Contact him at email@example.com.