Location: Port St. Lucie, Florida
Architect: Jim Fazio
Yards/Rating/Slope: 6,901/73.4/142 from the tips; Tournament 6.470/71.0/139; Standard 5,946/69.8/126; Combo 5,778/69.1/124; Middle 5,608/68.2/120; Forward 5,012/65.4/115
Saturday morning green fee: $49 is top fee in December (Rates will increase for winter of 2019).
Caddie Service: No
Walker friendly: No, but GolfBoards are available.
For starters: This course, now in the throes of a massive reorganization, was the start of the PGA of America’s PGA Golf Club – the winter home of the PGA of America’s 29,000 members. Originally it was a private layout called PGA West Country Club, then was renamed PGA Country Club. It remained private as three resort courses were added to the PGA complex. In 2014 the PGA dropped the private designation and changed the name to St. Lucie Trail. The course was sold to CGI Investments, which also owns The Evergreen Club in Palm City (15 minutes away) in 2017.
Play because…: St. Lucie Trail is shorter, but tighter, than the three PGA Golf Club courses on the opposite side of Interstate 95. St. Lucie Trail was frequently used for tournaments while under PGA ownership and remains a challenging test since the ownership change.
Takeaway: The ownership change has affected this place, as different parties now operate the tennis courts, swimming pool and restaurant. The course, though, is one of the oldest and most challenging in the Port St. Lucie area. Whether it will regain its place as a frequent tournament venue is uncertain.
Best Par-5: (550 yards from tips/535/473/460/460/415). The longest hole on the course is a good one to finish on with the clubhouse in the background. While many finishers are risk/reward holes the one should be played conservatively with hazards right and left all the way to the putting surface.
Best Par-4 : No. 6, 418 yards from the tips/409/370/355/355/316. This one presents the most demanding tee shot on the course and it is the No. 1 handicap hole. Drives hit left will like wind up in a pond and the uphill T-boned-shaped green is tough to hit.
Best Par-3: (No. 17, 184 yards fom the tips/154/140//140/123/111): A very pretty hole, with water leading up to the green. Any tee shot left of the green will likely wind up in a hazard and the right side of the green is protected by some severe slopes. A most memorable hole given demanding look from the tee.
THE RATINGS (1 to 10 scale, 10 being the highest)
Pro shop: 7.
Pace of play: 7.
Facebook: @ St Lucie Trail Golf Club
Rated by: Len Ziehm