Last week we had the opportunity to play Emerald Greens Golf Resort and Country Club. Tucked away in Carrollwood off busy Dale Mabry Highway, if you didn’t know it was there you might just miss it. It was once called Carrollwood Country Club but changed names a few years back when new ownership took over and renovated the golf course and club house. This is a private course and only playable with a member or a stay-and-play package. We played as Paradise Club members.
Emerald Greens has three nines; the Pine, the Meadow, and the Cypress. The Pine was closed so we played the Meadow and Cypress. Both courses take you through Carrollwood neighborhoods and you would think that houses might come into play on a lot of holes, however the holes are carefully positioned so that they rarely do. Depending on which tees you choose, both courses are very playable. The Cypress has 6 sets of tees that go from 3555 yards from the back, to just over 2100 yards from the yellow tees. The Meadow also has 6 sets of tees from just under 3400 yards, to just under 2100. With sand, water and trees well placed to create hazards for golfers, the right tees could help you eliminate some of the trouble.
Course conditions the day we played were a little disappointing on the Meadow. The tees had not been cut, and all the greens had some problem areas. But the fairways and sand were in good shape. The Cypress was in a little better condition. The tees, fairways, sand and greens were all OK.
The staff was friendly, especially the Starter who gave us some tips on the course. While we were playing he came by see how we were doing, which was good because both our carts were dying and we had to get them changed out. I took the opportunity to ask about the condition of the greens and tees and he informed me that they are under new management again and will be re-doing the Meadow with new greens and tees when the Pine opens up - and they are also planning to purchase new carts.
The facilities at Emerald Greens were great. The Pro Shop may be small, but the locker room is huge and fully decked-out with all the bells and whistles. There is a nice sized putting green with several hole locations, and a big driving range off the rear of the clubhouse. There is a nice snack bar between the nines to grab a quick bite or refill your refreshments. Also, a beverage cart made several trips around the courses.
The pace of play for our threesome was just under three and a half hours, which is good. The price for our round was a $55 flat rate for Paradise Club holders. To me and my friends, this felt a little steep considering the condition of the Meadow, and there are other great courses in the area for less.
Overall I was a little disappointed at the course’s current condition and would not play again until the refurbishments are complete. Emerald Greens is very conveniently located 15-20 minutes from Tampa Airport and downtown Tampa. For more information www.emeraldgreensgcc.com