Heron Creek Course Review

This review was provided by my new golf buddy Rich Hicks of Cincinnati. He’s lucky enough to travel and play golf and is kind enough to tell us all about it !

Heron Creek is an Arthur Hills designed golf course in North Port, Florida (about 25 miles south of Sarasota) that features 27 holes (Marsh, Creek & Oaks). All nines have four tee boxes with yardages that can play about 6900 yards, par 72 from the back tee.

The “Oaks” is a traditional Florida course that winds through a residential neighborhood. Except for a very unique starting hole, which includes a 30’ elevation change from tee to green, the layout is okay, but not spectacular. The nine features some sort of water on every hole. Perhaps the best finishing hole at Heron Creek is the 9th hole on the Oaks ( pictured below ). It’s a demanding tee shot, but the left side of the fairway is rewarded with a chance to reach this medium length par five in two. A bail-out to the right and mid-iron lay-up will leave a short wedge to the green; but you better hit it close, because it’s not an easy two putt anywhere on this green.

Heron Creek Oaks 9th Hole

The “Marsh” was another typical Florida layout bordered by a housing community that doesn’t affect the playability. The Marsh nine had quite a few blind tee-shots that looked tight off the tee, but the fairway looking back to the tee, there was ample landing area. The Marsh nine was tighter than the Oaks nine, but in a more modern sense. Although the nine was visually intimidating, it played a little easier than it appeared.

Heron Creek Marsh 8th Hole

 

Two of the better holes on the Marsh nine are #8, a short par 4 with a challenging tee shot, and a long par 3 that looks extremely tight off the tee, but there is a lot of space long and left of this large green

The “Creek” nine is why we went to Heron Creek. The lay-out was fantastic ! Every hole presented a unique challenge and was visually stunning. The holes represented a modern design with bunkering, water and chipping bowls around the greens. The signature hole is the 4th hole, a par 5 that plays 503 yards from the back tee. A good drive left-center will leave a shot at the green in two, what a beautiful hole. A unique feature of this nine is driving the carts in the waste areas in lieu of cart paths on a few holes.

Heron Creek Clubhouse

Our day at Heron Creek included 36 holes, but the wind and chilly temperatures (okay, chilly for Southern Florida) made it a tough day to score. The course conditioning was excellent, greens were moderately fast and receptive, fairways were firm and fast, and the tee boxes were spread out enough such that it can be played from a comfortable yardage for all handicaps. The clubhouse, pro shop and facilities are what you would expect for an upscale golf facility. The club appeared to have a healthy membership that patronized the restaurant/pub and golfing facilities. Everyone we encountered was helpful and courteous. If you’re there around lunch, they have a great buffet and cold beverages.

Be sure to check the website for coupons, which can reduce your green fees (http://www.heron-creek.com). If you’re in the area between Sarasota and Fort Meyers, Heron Creek is worth playing.