Anyone who knows me is well aware of how I feel about golf courses that wind their way through developments, with houses guarding the edges of the fairways. I realize the course is usually an amenity designed to complement the development, but I simply hate playing a course that runs between houses and streets.
A short time ago, I was invited to play at The Deltona Club, a course that sits a short drive north of Orlando or south of Daytona, conveniently located just a hop and a skip off Interstate-4. The course is part of a development, but you wouldn't know it. Deltona sits right in the middle of the development, using the rolling hills and valleys to create a wonderful golf experience.
The course is not exactly new. It's been around since the 1960s, but was put through an extensive renovation and updating just a few years ago by architect Bobby Weed.
Under the management of Cahoon Golf Management the course has flourished since re-opening and is a well-kept secret by the local golfing community.
The Deltona Club features five sets of tees, playing as short as 4,770 yards or as long as 7,016 yards. The course has a wonderful variety of holes. Thanks to the rolling terrain, you will find yourself playing uphill and downhill, along with the occasional side-hill lie.
Thanks to the beautiful mature oaks, pines and other trees, each hole is well defined and framed.
The course is also well balanced, with the most difficult holes split between the front and back nines. With so many hills and doglegs, the course requires you to think your way around.
The par-4 second hole makes a 90-degree dogleg right from the fairway. From the tee, you have to hug the right side and be careful not to drive through the fairway to give yourself a good approach to a green sitting atop a hill.
The toughest hole on the course is the long par-4 fourth. From the tee you face a shot to a fairway that looks much narrower than it is. The fifth hole is a perfectly straight par-5 that plays shorter than the card says, because your drive will run forever down the hill.
One of the most uphill shots I have ever hit occurred at the par-5 seventh. The hole is quite short, playing less than 500 yards from the tips. I managed to reach the green in two and picked up an easy birdie.
I love a course that gives us regular golfers a chance to drive the green on a par-4. Deltona features two such holes, the first of which is eighth. Playing downhill and downwind, I hit a normal drive just off the left side of the green.
At the turn, I enjoyed a cold beverage and a tasty hot dog to fuel me for the next nine holes, but you may also pick from sandwiches, chips and more.
The back nine is as delightful as the front, with holes weaving left and right, and up and down the rolling hills. There are several waste bunker areas on the course, and I managed to find a few on the second nine.
For me, my favorite hole at Deltona is the par-3 14th. This hole has an elevation change of about 50 feet, from the tee to the green down below. Your tee shot requires a long iron or hybrid to even a fairway wood to reach the putting surface. When selecting your club, one must also figure in the wind and the elevation's effect on the distance.
The finishing holes are a lot of fun, as well. The par-5 16th is a tempting hole that allows you to be as brave or careful as you need. Seventeen is the longest par-4 on the property, but plays downwind, leaving you with a shorter approach than you think.
Eighteen is a great final hole. It is not only the second drivable par-4, but the shortest on the card. Do not let those facts fool you. The hole is fraught with danger, even for those laying up and playing safe. There are trees, waste areas, and the deepest green-side bunker I've ever had the misfortune of being in, protecting it.
If you're looking for a fun round of golf, with all the fun of rolling hills, waste bunkers and no homes crowding the fairways, you must play The Deltona Club.
For tee times and rates, call the club at (386) 789-4911 or visit the website at www.thedeltonaclub.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.