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Len Ziehm On Golf

Fort Myers Country Club

Location: Fort Myers, Florida.

Architect: Donald Ross, with renovation by Steve Smyers in 2014.

Opened: 1917

Par: 70 for men, 71 for women.

Yards/Rating/Slope: Black tees, 6,675 yards, 72.9, 131; Blue, 6,245, 70.5, 126; White 5,815, 68.9, 124; Golf, 5,460, 67.0, 117; Red, 4,905, 69.0, 114; Green, 4,360, 62.9, 101.

Saturday morning green fee: $50 (does not include cart, which rents for $25 per person).

Caddie Service: None.

Walker friendly: Not really, but walking is allowed and pull carts are available.

Fairways: Bermuda.

Greens: Bermuda.

THE REVIEW

For starters: One of only five courses in Florida that has celebrated a centennial, The Fort (as its known locally) is a heavily-played layout owned by the city of Fort Myers. It has a rich history with its past players including such long-ago stars as Walter Hagen, Jock Hutchison, Gene Sarazen, Horton Smith, Charlie Sifford, Babe Zaharias and Arnold Palmer.

Play because…: The course underwent its only major renovation in 2014 when Steve Smyers strived to re-capture the style of original designer Donald Ross. While Smyers was successful in that regard, the course underwent some notable changes. Par was changed from71 to 70 for men and 72 to 71 for women. Smyers put in six new water hazards and the course now has 52 bunkers.

Takeaway: Smyers’ renovation greatly improved the condition, as the drainage was extensively modernized and the turf quality upgraded. One notable problem: it has no practice range.

THE COURSE:

Best Par-5: No. 18 (Yards from tips 535/520/490/475/400/385). This sharp dogleg left is as very good but challenging finishing hole. Water run across and to the right of the fairway, which necessitates a decision to lay up or go for the green on your second shot.

Best Par-4: No. 2 (45 yards from tips/420/400/385/320/300). Being so early in the round this is an unusual place for the No. 1 handicap hole in any course rotation. A slight dogleg right, it gets your attention because of that.

Best Par-3: No. 10 (Yards from tips 220/190/180/140/130/100). The most difficult of the short holes, this one is uphill from tee to the elevated green and plays much longer than the listed yardage. Also factoring in is the tee box’s location. It’s below the outdoor lounge and is in full view for spectators.

THE RATINGS (1 to 10 scale, 10 being the highest)

Overall: 7.75.

Food/beverage: 8.

Pro shop: 7

Clubhouse: 9

Difficulty: 7

Pace of play: 7.

INFORMATION

Phone: (239) 321—7488.

Website: www.cityftmyers.com/golf.

Facebook: @Fort Myers Country Club

Twitter: @cityftmyers

Instagram: #fortmyerscountryclub.

Category: Morning Read