Destination Golf - November 2016 * - Page 43

esano The third instalment in this series covers the greatest tract of land to date. From two courses on Florida’s west coast, to the sandy hills of Pinehurst, across to the edge of the great river in Mississippi, it arcs westward to the Ojai valley of California, to the great linksland of Oregon, before returning eastward to the low country of South Carolina. In between lies so much golfing land yet to be explored. At the end of the road, I realized that one man, one generation could not explore it all, but its effort would leave a lasting impression, bordering on a legacy. The west coast of Florida hasn’t been the sequence of sleepy hamlets for over two generations. Discovered by Tom Brokaw’s greatest generation in the 1960s and 70s, retirement communities have been matched and surpassed by business centers from Fort Myers to Tampa. Golf courses negotiate the watery lands off the coast, forced to depend on carries over (or journeys around) the lagoons and ponds that perpetuate throughout the region. My time in the area was brief, coming near the end of the sixmonths journey around America, and I wanted to see both a world-recognized layout and an under-the-radar track that would tie both ends of a golfing spectrum together. I found each, at Innisbrook and Buffalo Creek. The PGA Tour counts the Copperhead course at Innisbrook as one of its most challenging layouts. I’m not here to disagree, but I will say that it is quite playable when the rough is not up. The Copperhead dates back to 1974, making it just over forty years old. Its architect, Larry Packard, was contracted to build a great many golf courses, back in a day when economic production was an important watchword. At Innisbrook, Packard benefitted from some of the most undulating land in Florida, allowing him to run holes down slopes and up to bluffs. Both the first and tenth holes beckon the golfer to fire away from on high, down to sunken fairways where roll-out is embellished. Q‘”©½δ½˜Ρ‘½Ν”)™₯ΙΝΠ°Ν½…Ι₯ΉœΡ•”‰…±±ΜΝ½½Έ‘₯ΝΝ₯Α…Ρ•Μ°…́ё”ΡΙ•”΅±₯Ή•™…₯Ιέ…εΜ)…Ι•»ŠeЁё”•…Ν₯•ΝЁѼ‘½±Έ=Έ•… ‘…±˜°Ρ‘”΅…©½Ι₯Ρ䁽˜Ρ‘”‘½±•Μ)ΡΙ…Ω•ΙΝ”„±½ά°™±…Ё…Ι•…”ΈΙ½΄Ρ•”ΡΌΙ••Έ°‘½±•Μ•‘”Α…ΝΠ)Α½Ή‘́…ΉΑ±•ΉΡ₯™Υ°‰ΥΉ­•Ι₯ΉœΈΙ½΄Ρ₯΅”ΡΌΡ₯΅”°„Ν•½Ή‘…Ιδ)…͍•ΉΠ…Ή‘•Ν•ΉΠ…Ι”•Ή½ΥΉΡ•Ι•°‰ΥЁё”ΡΙΥ”Ι•ΡΥΙΈΡΌΡ‘”)±Υ‰‘½ΥΝ”‘•₯‘Ρ́₯́Ή½ΠΙ•Ω•…±•ΥΉΡ₯°Ρ‘”™₯Ή…°‘½±”½Έ•… Ν₯‘”Έ)%Ё₯́„Ι•‘₯ЁѼA…­…ɐΡ‘…ЁΉΌ½±™•Θέ₯±°•Ω•Θ‘•Α…ΙЁ ½ΑΑ•Ι‘•…)Ν…ε₯ΉœƒŠqQ‘”Α…ȁёɕ”½™½ΥΘ½™₯Ω”‘½±•Μ…Ι”Ρ‘”‰•ΝΠ»ŠtA…­…ɐ)™½ΥΉ•α•±±•ΉΠ…Ή΅•΅½Ι…‰±”‘½±•Μ½˜•… ‘₯ΝΡ₯ΉΡ₯½Έ…Ι½ΝΜ)Y½±Υ΅”€ΜƒŠˆ%ΝΝΥ”€ΜΨ((ΠΜ((