Experience Golf On Top of the World - Candler Hills Golf Club

Candler Hills Golf ClubWhen Herbert Warren Wind coined the phrase “Amen Corner” in reference to holes 11, 12 and 13 at Augusta National Golf Club in 1958, he supplied what eventually would become the world’s most prestigious golf tournament with a distinctly unique three-hole enclave as synonymous with The Masters as the great Bobby Jones; a standalone experience within the overall body of work.

Closer to home, PGA National Golf Club has the “Bear Trap” and TPC Sawgrass has the infamous island green. Albeit without the national acclaim or PGA Tour status to provide it, Candler Hills Golf Club has a collection of golf holes so unique and challenging they deserve their own distinction 18 times over.

Overall, the Gordon Lewis-designed Candler Hills, located smack dab in the middle of Florida’s horse country in Ocala, is a stern test for the most accomplished golfers as evidenced by its status as host to some of the state’s top events such as the North Florida Senior Open, the Ocala Open and a Florida State Women’s Golf Association Tournament.

Golfers will immediately notice the immaculate conditioning and stunning scenery upon arriving at Candler Hills, but what separates the course from the competition is the individuality encapsulated in each and every hole, a trait that allows golfers to clearly recall their great shots by naming the venue, but press the reset button at each tee box.

Entitled “The Monster,” the par-5 4th hole, which can stretch to 669 yards from the tips and encourages golfers to grip it and rip it in hopes of reaching in three, is the headliner at Candler Hills. It’s also the longest par 5 in Florida.

Candler Hills Golf Club

Golfers will also want to get acquainted with “The Big Banana,” a 595-yard par 5 that takes a severe last-second right turn, or “Look Before You Leap,” a par-3 that rewards shot makers and risk takers.

The personality created by naming each hole is just one example of the painstaking attention to detail that has been taken at Candler Hills. One of the newer golf courses in the Sunshine State, Candler Hills provides a truly memorable experience for everyone who enters the gates.

Located less than seven miles west of Interstate 75 on a small portion of Circle Square Ranch, Candler Hills lies in the heart of Ocala’s On Top of the World Communities, an active adult neighborhood established by one of Florida’s most experienced construction and development companies.

Candler Hills

The 7,333-yard 18-hole championship course has a western feel to it, more reminiscent of a design you’d expect to find in Palm Springs rather than Central Florida. The wide-open nature of the course combined with an abundant amount of native grasses that can be found throughout, give Candler Hills a windswept, links-style feel, especially when you consider the course’s main defense mechanism.

At Candler Hills each hole may have its own unique identity, but the prevalence of sand is the tie that binds. While you wouldn’t expect the course with the longest par 5 in the golf hot bed of Florida to place an emphasis on accuracy and creativity, that’s exactly what golfers will need to do to navigate Candler Hills and its 148 bunkers.

Beginning on the first hole, where you’ll encounter 10 bunkers alone, deepfaced sand traps will embrace like a grandmother placing a bear hug on her favorite grandchild. Once your ball has been snared by one of these unfriendly hazards, it can be difficult to escape.

Candler HillsAnother element of uniformity present throughout this highly-acclaimed layout is the expansive green complexes that will serve as a barometer for your short game. While greens on your average PGA Tour course average around 6,660 square feet, Candler’s greens measure between 7,000 and 11,000 square feet. That type of real estate makes three- and four-putts commonplace, so don’t feel down if you’re spending a good bit of time bending down to mark your golf ball.

While plentiful bunkering and great big greens have emerged as the hallmarks of Candler Hills, the course is obviously in line with the philosophy of its designer. Lewis, who resides in Naples, is well-known for creating layouts with a great deal of variety and endless shot making opportunities. At Candler he followed that same formula, building different angles and placements into his five tee markers that, depending on the prevailing wind, will force golfers to adjust the way they attack the course. The constantly shifting winds that sweep across Candler Hills, which is especially prone to a strong breeze because of its open nature, accentuates the variety Lewis created by changing the dynamic on any given hole at a moment’s notice.

Depending on the direction and consistency of the wind, Candler Hills is capable of playing just as tough as any layout in Florida. But on the other hand, the course can be relatively benign and prone to low scores if the wind doesn’t blow. No matter the conditions, the Candler Hills promises to provide a memorable experience.

Candler Hills Golf ClubIf you’re in the market for a way to improve your swing, Candler Hills’ golf professionals can help. After all, what would a world-class golf course be without a world-class practice facility and instructional program? Led by LPGA golf professional Sally Collins, Candler Hills provides both single and multilesson packages. Group clinics and playing lessons are also available by appointment.

The facility’s double-sided practice range features an outstanding section dedicated to playing from the sand, a putting-only practice green and an undulating green to practice chip and pitch shots. Candler Hills is also equipped with both the Ping and Cobra clubfitting systems that utilize a speed monitor to measure ball and club speed and launch angle. The goal of the golf staff is to provide the golfer with equipment that will produce an efficient and effective golf swing. Too many people are using equipment that causes the body to make in-swing adjustments, thus creating problems in the golf swing; a problem the Candler Hills staff is dedicated to remedying one player at a time.

Candler Hills Golf ClubBefore and after a round or practice session, the Candler Hills clubhouse restaurant is a popular spot where golfers congregate to discuss the news of the day, grab coffee, lunch or dinner or recount their on-course exploits. In addition to the restaurant, Candler Hills features a Western-themed banquet facility that can handle groups of all sizes.

Candler Hills Golf Club also features a wellappointed pro shop stocked with the latest and greatest in golf apparel, equipment and accessories. Whether you’re looking for the newest golf club technology or a shirt that makes you look like a tour pro, the Candler Hills pro shop staff can assist with your selection.

For more information on Candler Hills Golf Club, visit www.CandlerHillsGolfClub.com, or call 352-861-9712 to book a tee time.


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