Par 29

Level 3 playing from 1,247 – 1,892 yards

One of the original Hollywood power couples, Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart, probably never imagined they would be the inspiration for a couple of golf courses in The Villages!  Like their movies in the 40’s, neither the Bacall or Bogart courses are to be missed.  The Bacall course is the tougher of the two (sorry Humphrey) and one of longest executive course in The Villages with two consecutive holes that are on my Hardest Holes list.  Both are part of a grouping of holes from 5 through 8 that are one of the best stretches in town!  It's listed as a Level 3 but plays as hard as Level 4 courses like Pelican, Gray Fox or Roosevelt.  So, get loosened up, tee up your favorite ball and swing hard with Bacall.


It’s rare to start an executive course with a par four.  Even rarer to also finish with one.  In fact, Bacal is the only course here with that setup.  And tucked in the middle are two of the hardest consecutive par threes in The Villages.  So, when it comes to my shooting par, playing the Bacall course is like the title of her famous movie “To Have and Have Not”!  Let’s start out with the “Have” holes – as in “I Have a chance to par them” - #1 is a long and uphill par four.  But it’s straight with no hazards in the fairway and just a single bunker on the front left of a gently sloping green.  So, start your day with an easy drive aimed at the right side of the fairway to approach the green cleanly and you should “Have” a shot at par!  #2 begins a streak of four holes of similar length, but none of them are short.  Here's a fun fact:  Bacall is one of only two executive courses with NO hole shorter than 125 from the gold tees.  Can you name the other one? (Quiz Question 8) #3 plays the longest uphill and has fun green with a gentle valley down the center.  #4 takes the same shot. 


#5 begins the “Have Not” section of Bacall – as in I have not a chance at par!  The 5th through 8th are not for the faint-of-heart.  Each gets progressively longer and harder. #5 is like Lauren herself - a real beauty.  But it's got a bite too.  It has a nasty bunker protecting a narrow green that's a real challenge to land. If the pin placement on the 6th green is on the left, good luck!  It's all water and no out.  Next you cross over Canal – be careful of the cars coming around the curve from the left.  If that wasn't enough stress, welcome to the hardest stretch in town.  Both #7 and 8 are on my Hardest Holes list.  #7 is a long uphill par 3 that plays way longer than it looks, so club up.  Two traps guard the right side and if the pin is also on the green's right, you may have to shoot over water.  The left side slopes distinctly downhill so a short hit to what appears to the safer left side will drain away.  The green is really challenging with each corner angled up.  It's a fabulously difficult shot that plays differently each time!  The challenge continues on the 8th - it's longer and the green is snugged in between water and sand on the front right and a road on the back left.  It’s safe to hit left but doing so is pretty much an admission of bogey.  Finally, the 9th has some welcome some relief and even a fun onlooker.  Before you tee off look to your left across the street to see the life size Humphrey Bogart mannequin in a lanai!  He's looking at you kid!  So, get your driver out and smack it to Casablanca!  But be left to avoid the drop off to water on the right.  It's a par four so you just need to drop your second shot on the green and you can close out Bacall with a par!  


Much like her movies, Bacall includes plenty of drama and is hard to forget!  I find myself wanting to return to play this gem over and over, even if my score looks mostly like a “Have Not”!

Toughest to Easiest:

8, 7, 6, 5, 1, 9, 4, 3, 2 – toughest green 7

The "beauties" of Bacall

The 5th is a Hardest Hit wannabe and starts the magnificent stretch through the 8th.  

The 7th plays longer than it looks!

There's a flag out there somewhere on Bacall 8.  

Bogie in a lanai across the street from the 9th green.

He's Looking At You Kid! 

From the blacks!   

No. Nope. No way!  Not if I want to sleep that night.  Bacall’s length from the black tees is 1,892 yards with 4 par threes over 170 yards each.  #6-8 become monsters with extra distance plus more water to broach.  And add the uphill #3 to the list of incredible challenging holes at 176 yards.  Even #5 at a paltry 160 becomes far more difficult from the blacks because a high drop shot over the front sand is harder with a longer iron.  You’ve been warned! 

Go Green!

Playing Bacall from the Green tees will still present plenty of drama.  It’s one of the longest green tee courses at 1,247 yards.  But the par threes are on average 65 yards closer to the cup!  You’ll especially see the advantage on the 7th and 8th holes which are two of the hardest holes in town!  

What’s nearby?

You might think the funniest thing in The Villages is your golf swing, but not so fast – just 2 miles north of the Bogart and Bacall courses is the Old Mill Theatre at Sumter Landing where you can see a comedy movie.  Or maybe you need some more drama - they have those types too.  And how perfect would it be to see a Bogie and Bacal movie after golfing on their namesake courses!  Plus, all the dining options you can imagine are just feet away around the square! Make a full day of it.  Here's their website.

My impressions are based on playing from the Gold tee boxes.  The Black and the Green tee boxes pose different challenges or benefits described as well.  The rankings of the toughest to easiest holes are just my opinions - yours will be far different, as will your favorite courses and most difficult and attractive holes.  I welcome your opinions or thoughts on any of this - click to leave a comment.  

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