Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Fort Myers Country Club - April 4th 2015

The WGAT ( World Golf Amateur Tour) USA held an event at Ft Myers Country Club and this time I was able to be there. Drove by this golf course dozens of timesc but never stopped to even look.
My tee time was 2 pm. I liked that. Usually with a late tee time you have time to warm up and check out the clubhouse and all other facilities.
I arrived there with plenty of time. Signed in and right there found out that there is no driving range to warm up. Not a good thing. With Country Club in your name one might expect at least a short range (after the round I then found out that there must be an area where you can hit shots up to 150 yards, but I never saw it ?)
I headed to the putting green. I was impressed by that. The green was of good size and offers a variety of breaks. That gave me some hope because I read that the course is a Donald Ross Design and I was expecting tough greens.
So I spent  time putting and chipping.trying to prepare as good as possible. The putting green was in very good shape and of good speed. There is plenty of great chip locations for you to play from.

Just before my tee off I checked out the restrooms which were well taken care off , always a positive sign. Last I checked out the pro shop. Well stocked and in good order. Staff was friendly and welcoming.
On first tee box I turned on my GPS watch and immediately noticed that the distance looked odd. It did not seem to match with the score card I had.  But I did not give it much further thought. Sometimes the GPS just does not work too well for different reasons, like we weather, storms beside others.
Finished the first hole with a good two putt and noticed that the greens were pretty fast ( similar to the putting ) and very hard. Not a surprise because I read that they got new greens last November and it takes 12 to 24 month to soften.
Right after the 2nd hole I turned off my watch . The GPS seemed to be confused and the distances I got from my watch just looked wrong and at times were wrong. If you have a pin seeker, use that one instead.
I expected a lot from this golf course,  but the truth is that it  was not very interesting at all.
The tee boxes were OK , fairways were not in good shape at all (hard as rock, little grass ). The rough was well grown and groomed on some holes and not to find on others.
Best part of the course by far were the greens. They were at times very large and offered many tough breaking putts. But most difficult probably was to keep the ball on the green. Because they are new and so hard balls run off easily.
Best you can do is bounce the ball on and make sure you are short rather than long. When I started playing more this old fashioned way, I had many more opportunities for birdies and did not have to play tough lies behind the green.
Another challenge I found was the fact that there was little signage to guide you towards the next hole, which got us lost once and confused a couple times.
After a tough round I was looking  forward to a cold beer in the clubhouse. The outside seating area looked very nice and they had a nice patio bar on the first floor. Very inviting.
I went up there and ordered a beer. The girl was OK friendly. The beer price was very friendly. Guess it was happy hour.
The view from the bar area is great. You over see the tough number 10, 18th green, putting green and first hole. Even from the lower seating area the view is nice. A little bit like in a southern country club. I enjoyed that and it made up for some minuses from the golf course.
My partner ordered some stuffed mushrooms and offered me to try one. Although not hungry I took the opportunity to test at least some of the food. The stuffed mushrooms were excellent. Crunchy with a nicely done filling of crab ( at least I think that is what it was) . Also I was able to try  some pizza and I was positively surprised. The Menu looked very exotic but very interesting and prices looked OK as well. Not sure if the Edison Restaurant is run by the golf course, but it seems like a good place to go eat and even if I am not planning to play the golf course any time soon, I would stop at the restaurant for a drink and some food. If I do that, I will add a comment.
Overall I say that the staff was friendly, the course was not great and the restaurant inviting and offered a good menu and nice seating outside.
I would not play the course again other than in a tournament. But I would stop there for a beer and a bite.
Anybody has been at the Edison Restaurant in Ft Myers or played the Ft Myers Country Club? Comments are welcome.

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