For this visit to the Saddlebrook Resort, we played the resort’s namesake, the Saddlebrook Course. One of two Arnold Palmer designed courses at the resort, the other being the Palmer Course. In comparison to the Palmer, the fairways on this course are tighter and lined with a lot of Cypress and Oak trees. There is also water and sand that can come in to play on several tee shots - as well as on second and third shots. The Saddlebrook features 4 sets of tees ranging from just over 6600 yards to 5000 making it shorter than the Palmer. Don’t let the shorter yardage fool you, this course might not be as long as The Palmer, but it is set up to be more difficult than it’s neighbor.
As can be expected, the conditions of the course were great with freshly cut tee boxes and fairways. The greens were well cut and true. The sand was also clean and easily playable from the fairways and around the greens. The only condition issue was found off the fairways in the first cut of rough providing another reason not to miss the fairways or you can expect your ball to settle down deep. The Saddlebrook Course is a challenge and can be great fun, but it’s best to choose your clubs off the tee wisely to avoid being frustrated by narrow fairways and deep rough.
We had a tee time of 8:oo Monday morning and the price was $45 plus tax. This is a good price for this type of resort course and expected great conditions. There are deals to be had depending on what day and time of the week you can get away. Check their website for more details. We played in under 3 1/2 hours and were able to keep moving at a good pace. This course does get busy though and will take longer to play on some weekends.
For more information on staff and facilities, check out my recent review Saddlebrook Resort Offers More Than Just Tennis when we played Saddlebrook’s second golf course, The Palmer.
The Saddlebrook Resort is located just 30 minutes from downtown Tampa at I-75 and SR 54, 1 mile east of the interstate. As a resort, they offer a full range of amenities including stay and play packages. For more information visit www.saddlebrookresort.com.