Central Florida facility shines as surrounding area booms
DAVENPORT, Florida (Oct. 21, 2020) – I recently had the opportunity to play a round of golf at Providence Golf Club here in central Florida, and, my, how things have changed. It had been about eight years since my previous visit, and the thing I remembered most was that, other than the golf course, there didn’t used to be a whole lot out here. But the community has grown up.
Providence is easily accessible to area golfers; it is centrally located just minutes from I-4 and from all of the Orlando area attractions as well as both the Tampa and Orlando airports.
Providence Golf Club underwent a major renovated in 2018, including 21 redesigned and re-grassed Champion G12 ultra dwarf putting surfaces. These greens are getting fantastic reviews. They’ve also updated the practice area and have installed a new tee as well as a short game area designed to help golfers of all skill levels improver their game.
Providence’s layout takes the elements of an Old Florida course, and fuses them with those of a heathland course and a parkland course. In other words, it’s a little bit of everything: wetlands, native grasses, manicured fairways and big trees. As you make your way around the layout, you’re bound to see an abundance of Florida wildlife including alligators, otters, cranes, egrets, great blue heron, wild turkey, hawks and snakes.
From the back tees, Providence will give even the most accomplished golfer a good test at 7,016 yards with a 73.3 course rating and a 131 slope. Most golfers will play either the Blue Tees (6,370/70.1/119) or White Tees (6,023/117/67.8). Ladies will enjoy Providence Golf Club from the Red Tees (5,029/69.1/114). Pick the set of tees that best match your game and you’re sure to enjoy this course.
Anyone who’s played golf in the area knows that there are about 30 courses within a 25-mile radius where they can tee it up at. A course in the area can achieve a competitive advantage by offering something a little different. That’s exactly what General Manager Tim Greco and the staff at Providence GC have done by creating a premier practice facility. In addition to the full-length driving range where you can hit every club in your bag, there’s a new comprehensive short game area, practice bunkers and a large practice green.
Providence has already done all of the over-seeding they plan on doing for the 2020-21 season. The tee boxes were over-seeded earlier in October and are already in pristine condition. Overall, the course is in immaculate shape thanks to the meticulous groundskeeping crew who can be seen working tirelessly all day long. The greens are incredible – quick and true: I’d put them up against any in the area. It’s no wonder that Providence is consistently recognized as one of the region’s premier golf courses.
Providence Golf Club is chock full of memorable holes, but there is a trio on each side that really stands out. The back-to-back-to-back par 4s that make up the stretch of holes from Nos. 5–7 features the hardest hole on the course sandwiched between two risk/reward holes. The fifth hole is the shortest par 4 on the course at only 281 yards (Blue Tees). Water comes into play about 230 yards off the tee, so you may want to hit something less than driver. Going for the green requires a carry of about 250 over the water or a long, soft draw around it. This hole is especially fun when you put your chip shot in tight and your playing partner chunks his/her shot into the water. Pars aren’t likely to win any skins on this hole.
The sixth hole is where Providence Golf Club starts to show its grit; things have been pretty placid and straightforward up to this point. No. 6 plays at 394 yards (Blue Tees) and, if you catch the right side of the fairway off the tee, you’re likely to get a favorable bounce back into the middle. A good drive will leave a mid-iron approach shot into an angular green protected on the left by wetlands and a large bunker right. All of the subtle undulations in the green can easily have you shaking your head as you’re walking off…there’s a good reason this hole is No. 1 handicap.
The thrill continues on No. 7, which plays 400 yards from the Blue Tees and is all about risk/reward. The risk is how much of the lake you decide to carry, the reward is a much shorter iron into the green. Something else to consider is the fact that the fairway isn’t all that wide; hit it through the fairway and you’ll find some gnarly rough that makes par that much tougher. Success off the tee will still leave a precarious approach shot with water guarding the right side of the green and sand front left. The green can be long and narrow depending on the angle you come in from. Take a par and run!
The back nine also has its own run of three fun and challenging holes. At a mere 483 yards, No. 13 is the shortest par 5 on the course. By cutting the corner of the dogleg and flying over the fairway bunker, longball hitters will be able to go for the green in two. The water that fronts the green on the left will factor in and catch anything short. Low numbers are possible on this hole, but so are big numbers!
If I were naming holes, the 14th would be called “Game Changer.” On any given day, this 433-yard par 4 can change the outcome of a match whether it’s a friendly skins games with your buddies or the club championship. Your tee shot here will be the most demanding shot of the day and how well you hit it will determine your chance of getting on the green in regulation. Finding the fairway is a necessity. Anytime you can write down a par on your scorecard for No. 14, it’s a good day.
The par 5, 15th hole is the longest on the course and easily the most beautiful. A good score here will be well-earned and starts with a tee shot to a very wide and inviting fairway that screams grip it and rip it. Your second shot requires more accuracy as the fairway gets very narrow in the landing area with water infringing on the left and some very large trees on the right. Two well-executed shots thus far will leave a mid to short-iron into one of the most treacherous greens on the course. Word of advice: Keep the ball below the hole!
If you’ve got a short game and some guts, you can score well out here; conversely, it can be a disaster. Several holes offer risk reward opportunities that allow you to significantly shorten the hole; that’s where a good short game comes in.
After your round – or even before – stop by The Grille Room for your favorite post-round libation or catching the big game on one of five TVs. The dining menu is impressive and the food is absolutely delicious.