On our last full day in Florida we had a chance to play another beautiful golf course, this one located about half an hour north of downtown Orlando in the community of Lake Mary. Timacuan Golf and Country Club was built in 1987 and was originally designed by a Ron Garl. In 1996 the course was renovated by architect Bobby Weed and today it is ranked in the top 14 in the state of Florida. Timacuan’s other accolades include having been chosen as one of the most golf-friendly courses for women by Golf for Women Magazine.
Bobby Weed’s redesign encompassed many elements of the course and ensured that all players will have an enjoyable round of golf. Timacuan also features a large driving range and putting green. Par is 71 and the course plays close to 7,000 yards from the back tees. Timacuan’s unique features include a links-style front nine and a Carolina feel complete with gorgeous pines and lakes on the back nine.
Timacuan Golf and Country Club also has a lighted practice facility and is home to the Mike Bender Golf Academy. Mike Bender is a two time North Florida PGA Teacher of the Year, and is ranked by Golf Magazine as one of the Top 100 Instructors and Golf Digest as one of the top 50 Instructors in America. While we were there, a young golf aficionado was receiving a very thorough one-on-one video-taped lesson and we admired her elegant drives into the driving range.
We drove in on a winding road through a residential area and were greeted by Timacuan’s spacious two-story club house. I had a chance to talk with Kim Shield who handles marketing for Timacuan, who explained that the club house features a full service grill room downstairs, and can host up to 250 people in the upstairs dining room which has panorama windows that offer a beautiful view of the golf course, making it a popular destination for corporate and private functions. The club house also hosts a Sunday brunch from 11 am to 2 pm as well as a Wednesday night buffet.
Kim filled me in on some other unique details on this course. Considering its location in Seminole County north of Orlando, it mostly serves local residents. The area around the course offers a lot of things do to, including a variety of waterfront restaurants, the Sanford Zoo, the Sanford Historical Museum, and Colonial Town Park, a local development that features restaurants, theatres, hotels, cinemas, shopping, all in all a nice area to walk around in.
We thoroughly enjoyed our round, despite the grey, drizzly weather as Timacuan features a very scenic layout. The course had a wonderfully friendly feel to it, and we enjoyed our chats with course staff while waiting for our cart and were warmly welcomed by the starter. Upon hearing that we were from Canada, one of the local members generously gave us his chip for practice balls and this friendly ambience got us off to a good start.
Hole number 2 is one of the most difficult holes on the course, and I promptly made two separate ball donations into the pond. The front nine is surrounded by an attractive residential development that never intruded into our golf game and a couple of holes actually feature drive-through bunkers. The Carolina-style back nine had its own set of challenges, particularly since water comes into play on seven holes.
Timacuan’s rates are quite reasonable: for June to October 2005 the rates ranged between $55 and $65, from November 1 to January 11, 2006 the rates vary from $69 to $79, and in high season from January 12 to April 23, 2006 the rates range between $85 and $95.
Lake Mary is located about 10 miles northeast of Orlando and is easily accessible via the interstate system. Off of the I-4 take exit 101a to Rhinehart Rd (go right). First light Timacuan Blvd (go left). Go one mile to the Timacuan entrance on right. Follow Timacuan Blvd to the clubhouse.
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