This golf course is a quiet jewel in the middle of the east coast “strip” of Florida it stands out as one of the best tracks I have played in this region. They spared no expense in presenting first class practice facilities, superb design esthetics, wonderful conditioning, and great support features. It took guts and vision to put this much into a public course and my hat is off to the developer.
The practice facilities are top shelf-as good as you will find anywhere. The double sided driving range has over 8 acres of grass hitting surface in the same 419 Bermuda Grass found on the course. There are five target greens flanked with bunkers as well as a practice fairway bunker adjacent to the main teeing ground. Fazio developed a separate short game area adjacent to the clubhouse. It has a 9500 practice putting green as well as bunkered practice pitching greens with Ultradwarf Bermuda built to full USGA spec just like the course. There is even a 19th hole par three that can be played from 85 to 135 yards. This area alone is worth the price of admission.
As with most Florida courses Tom Fazio has generously appointed this one with water-it is in play on 15 out of 18 holes- and sand-there are over 100 bunkers- but it is not so punitive as to be unplayable. As Tom is apt to do he often buffers the water with long sand hazards to keep you in play-though not out of trouble-and keep up the pace of play. The strategy required on every hole is not evident at first blush. There is plenty of visual misdirection going on so you need to take in the information in the yardage book or the deluxe on board computer and think your way around this course.
An enormous amount of attention, and money, was spent on the presentation of the holes. Earth was moved to create visual and tactical interest and the plumes of sage grass, floral plantings, and stonework throughout enhance the beauty of the holes creating holes that will grab your attention. This is not your typical Florida experience it has a very natural dunes style felling about it.
The conditioning of the course is superb-lush fairways and some of the best rolling firm greens I have played in Florida. They even paint the top inside edge of the hole cut to match the cup itself-very professional. You will have to really pay attention to speed on these greens or you will end up with lots of eight and ten footers coming back.
This course is worth going out of your way to play if you can arrange it. A great test of golf and a wonderful visual experience as well. Fazio was at his best when he did the design work here.
(All photos from Emerald Dunes website http://www.edgclub.com)
West Palm Beach, Florida
Architect: Tom Fazio, 1989
Tees Par Rating Slope Yardage
Green 72 72 132 6507
White 72 70.1 125 6062
(Click here to review Emerald Dunes hole-by-hole descriptions)