Par 28

Level 4 from 1,063 – 1,692 yards

Belmont is spectacular.  Look at that picture!  As a part of the “triple crown” of Villages executive courses that share a horse racing theme, it's one of the best tracks in town!  You'll find Belmont saddled up next to the Churchill Greens and Pimlico courses.  Each course has a different playing level – Belmont is rated the hardest at a Level 4, Churchill a 3 and Pimlico a 2.  So, you can even pick your pole position from hard to easy!  I bring this up to highlight the amazing attention to detail that The Villagers golf course designers apply to their craft – of the three triple crown horse races, Belmont is the longest race covering 1.5 miles, the Kentucky Derby at Churchill is a bit shorter, and race at the Preakness at Pimlico is the shortest.  These three Villages courses each follow the same descending level of difficulty. Now that’s a fun fact!  While the coolness of that settles in, let's get out of the paddock (putting green) and into the starting gate (Hole #1 tee box). And hopefully the starter from the shack yells “And they’re off!”


You'll have to adjust your blinkers for your first shot of the day - that way you won't see the water!  Aim left of the perfect tree behind the green and you'll be off to a great start.  #2 is the same layout but longer.  By the 3rd, you’ll be in full stride and looking good.  It’s the nicest looking hole on the course with a little water, a little sand and a line of trees in the back – perfect!  #4 is the only par four, so unleash the whip and stretch out your swing with a driver.  The sand on your left is obvious but be mindful to avoid the ravine on the right.  Now past the backstretch you make the far turn to the 5th at Belmont.  The long brown fence line running on your left has the look of a well-appointed horse farm.  And the 5th green is appointed too - upward.  It's flat up on top, but you better stick it because you don’t want to be long when the green tumbles down behind.  No one wants to tumble in the heat of the race.  The 6th hole is another good looker and your last short shot.  As often the case, the course designers built difficult greens on short holes and Belmont is no exception.  This is a two-tiered trip where putts will be measured in furlongs. 


And down the stretch they come!”  You’re coming to the hardest grouping of holes – one of the best in town.  #7 and 8 is your Daily Double - the best test of the day.  Just like the horse in the home stretch, you need to keep your head down, breathe easy and stride smoothly.  The 7th hole is 170 yards with water and sand on your right and a green with four distinct corner mounds.  Don’t let up on #8.  It’s shorter but with a harder approach over water to a green with a sneaky knoll on the back right to avoid.  Now the finish line is within sight- don't spit the bit - finish like a stud!  The 9th is just 121 yards with just some sand on the left.  Finishing well will Justify all your hard work on this wonderful Level 4 racetrack! 


The course was re-opened in April and it's a thoroughbred - absolutely beautiful!  Amazingly, not one of its 9 is on my hardest or postcard lists, yet the course is as flawless as you'll fine!  You don't play it for that one cool shot - its a full track of fun.  So get up on your saddle and take the trip! 

Toughest to Easiest

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

From the Blacks! 

It’s the Secretariat of Level 4 courses from the black tees.  Four par threes over 168 yards – and #7 is 215.  The 4th hole plays 371 from the blacks - that's the sixth longest tee shot in town.  Can you name the five longer (from black)? (Quiz Question 17) Only one of the par threes is under 150. And the opening holes and final stretch run will have tee box angles forcing you to burst out of the pack over water more often.  Give it a try – you’ll be a stud!

Go Green!

There’s water on 8 of the 9 nine holes.  But from the green tees you’ll be completely out of the splash zone.  The designers placed all the forward tee boxes as to avoid hitting over water.  This is most noticeable on the first two and last three holes.  You should be biting at the bit to play Belmont forward!   

What's Nearby?   

It’s appropriate that a course named for horse racing is near actual horses!  The Villages Polo Grounds is nearby – yes The Villages has a Polo Team!  Matches are played on Sundays in October and November and then again in a Spring season from March to May, in an unbelievable stadium.  Check it out: The Villages Polo Club

Belmont Bloodlines:

Out of the gate on 1

At the far turn on 5

Nearing the finish at 8

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.