The Dunes Golf Club - Bigger, Badder, Better!

The Dunes Golf Club Hidden away among the sand hills of north Hernando County is a gem of a golf course that just became much better. Located on U.S. Highway 19, ten miles north of SR 50, The Dunes Golf Club offers an extraordinary golfing experience well worth the trip from anywhere in the Tampa Bay area.

Renowned golf course architect Arthur Hills designed the course – which originally opened in 1988. Other area courses designed by Hills include Tampa Palms (Tampa), Stoneybrook (Sarasota) and River Strand (Bradenton). The Dunes remains his favorite design to this day. Last year, Hills was given free reign to transform the award-winning Dunes layout into a new and improved spectacular golf setting.

The terrain is dominated by sand dunes, giving the golf course a very natural look. In fact, other than greenside bunkers, sand is considered a “waste area” where players are permitted to ground their clubs. The golf course is a blend of modern day and old Scottish design with the addition of trees. All vegetation is indigenous to the area. You’ll find no palm trees at the Dunes.

The Dunes has many other features that contribute to its uniqueness including dramatic elevation changes. Golfers will encounter a variety of uphill, downhill and side hill lies as they work their way around a course with no parallel fairways. Tall pines line virtually every fairway creating a wonderful feeling of serenity and isolation from the rest of the world.

The Dunes Golf Club

At 7,195 yards from the black tees with a 74.9 rating and 148 slope, the Dunes will challenge the best of players. From the blue tees, the Dunes is still a formidable challenge at 6,839 yards. The white tees are a more reasonable 6,297 yards. All told, there are five sets of tees. To maximize your enjoyment, it is imperative that you play the tees that best fit your game.

Recent renovations include all-new Pike Creek Tifdwarf Bermudagrass greens, new cart paths and an updated irrigation system. “The redesign incorporates and expands the natural sand dunes on site to create a Pine Valley-like feel throughout the course,” said Director of Golf Jim Cocchi. “The unique greens designs contain a wide variety of features such as false fronts, dramatic slopes and design designated pin locations.”

Although the course was not substantially lengthened, it nevertheless plays signifi cantly longer now. Expansive waste areas now protect doglegs. Cutting corners is no longer an option except for the longest of hitters. However, wide fairways give golfers plenty of room to maneuver their golf balls.

The Dunes Golf Club

The par 3’s offer incredible variety. Number 6, at 149 yards from the blue tees, is the shortest of the four. The narrow green is protected by a waste area on the left and bunkers on the right. Number 8 is dramatically uphill with a waste area to the left and behind the green. Number 13 plays 182 yards downhill to a kidneyshaped green with bunkers right and a steep drop-off on the left. Number 16 measures 195 yards to a large, elevated green with pot bunkers front right and back left. From front to back this green measures over 40 yards.

Your round starts with an uphill par 5 with fairway bunkers left and right. The small green is virtually surrounded by sand. Your round ends with consecutive par 5s. Seventeen is uphill off the tee. The second shot is partially blind to a green that’s guarded in front by deep sand bunkers. A swale bisects the green creating several diabolical pin locations. Number 18 plays much longer than its 509 yards. The approach shot after a good tee shot and lay up is a short iron with an elevation change of 40+ feet.

The strong par 4s are the backbone of the Dunes. Number 4 is the longest at 463 yards from the blue tees. Thankfully, it plays downhill and doglegs gently left. A massive waste area runs the entire length of the hole on the left. One of the unique features of this hole is that there are no greenside bunkers.

The Dunes Golf Club Number 12 at 389 yards is one of the shortest par 4s at the Dunes. However, it plays uphill to a deep, narrow green that slopes dramatically from back to front. Another waste area is tight against the green on the right. There is bail out room on the left.

The golf course will continue to be tweaked over the summer under the direction of Arthur Hills. A top priority will be to soften the steep edges of select “coffin bunkers” (If you’re in one of these bunkers, you’re dead).

The Dunes features first-class practice facilities including a natural turf driving range with target greens, two short game practice greens and putting green. Director of Golf Jim Cocchi has assembled a fine teaching staff including PGA Professionals Harry Andrews and Walter Newell and PGTAA Master Professional Steve LaFalce to assure your continued enjoyment of the game.

The remodeled clubhouse at The Dunes Golf Club features a fully stocked pro shop and 19th Hole snack bar. Corporate and charitable outings are welcome. The Dunes operates as a daily fee golf course with annual prepaid memberships available on a limited basis.

For tee times up to seven days in advance, call (352) 596-7888 or toll free (800) 232-1363. For membership information contact Director of Golf Jim Cocchi at (352) 596-7888 or visit www.dunesgolfclub.com.

 

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