A few days ago I was able to play the Copperhead course at Innisbrook, a Salamander Golf & Spa Resort. Of the Innisbrook Resort’s four courses on property, Copperhead is the most famous. In their September issue, Golf magazine ranked Copperhead 76 in the top 100 courses you can play. Copperhead is also home to the PGA Tour Transitions Championship. Considering its reputation, I was expecting a great golfing experience and I was not disappointed.
With Innisbrook being just a few miles from the Gulf of Mexico, I was surprised at all the elevation changes and rolling terrain. It seemed like every shot was either downhill or uphill with many second or third shots to elevated greens. The course has many sand traps that can come into play on the fairways and protecting the greens. There is also water on several holes that can cause trouble off the tee, especially on the 16th hole, the start of a run of three holes called the “Snake Pit.” The Snake Pit is advertised as the most difficult finishing holes on the PGA Tour – you can judge for yourself. Add several tight, tree-lined fairways, and this course is a challenge from any set of tees. Yardage ranges from just over 7300 yards from the black tees to 5600 from the red set.
The condition of the Copperhead course that day was excellent. As I had hoped the tees and fairways were all cut and the sand traps nicely raked. Despite the aerifying of the greens a couple of weeks earlier, they were still in fantastic condition. My golfing partner and I kept saying to each other, “What a great course.”
The staff was friendly at check in and met us at the car to get our bags. There is a nice driving range with a bunker area to practice your sand play, and a good sized putting green. The carts had coolers on them with ice and water. The pace of play for that day was just over 3 hours which was nice.
Playing Innisbrook is a little pricey as costs can range from $140-$245. As a Paradise Golf member, one of the perks I recieved was a free round of golf at Copperhead, however, Innisbrook Resort has many stay and play packages, as well as just good deals especially during the summer months. Rest assured it will be a great experience.
The Innisbrook Resort also has three other courses to play, the Island, North, and South courses and I’m looking forward playing them all. The Island course is gaining in stature as the new home of the LPGA Legends Tour Open Championship. Innisbrook is approximately a half hour drive from Tampa Airport. For more information go to www.innisbrookgolfresort.com