Chula Vista

Par 29

Level 1 from 1,243 – 1,645 yards

Chula Vista is no walk in the park.  It may look like one.  It’s promoted as a level one course which makes you think it's easy.  But it has length and trouble on the fringes if you hit any shot astray. There are no black tees, just gold and green, so maybe that and the level designation are what keep big hitters away.  As with the other three courses near Spanish Springs (can you name them?), the greens are flat, far different from the rolling tiered trips elsewhere.  Even from the green tees, Chula covers nearly 1,300 yards, the third longest in The Villages – does that sound like a walk in the park to you? 


You’ll start with three holes that play virtually the same, differing in distance by only 4 yards in total.  At #4 you get Chula’s most interesting shot (see picture above).  It’s just 125 yards but your approach is over water and an intimidating wall into an amphitheater-like setting.  The trap on the back will penalize anything too long, so you need your best drop shot of the day to stay out of trouble.  At least the setting is attractive!  And that gorgeous vibe continues the rest of the course.  The 5th hole’s green is nestled into a pond’s bend and the 6th has the Chula’s best frame of trees and traps on both side of the green.  #7 is shorter but with a slanting green and the 8th is the only par four where you need your drive to be far enough left to allow an unobstructed second shot to the green.  You close out with the toughest shot of the day – 160 yards uphill likely into the prevailing wind.  It’s as if this park-like place is reminding you that it’s a golf course, not a just stroll around the oaks. 


Despite it’s reputation for being a course for beginners, Chula Vista has plenty of challenges.  What it lacks in difficult greens, it makes up for in absolute length.  And the only thing that should be running around on the sides are the squirrels – you better be accurate or your "walk in the Chula Vista park" will make you nuts!

Toughest to Easiest:

9, 4, 8, 2, 3, 5, 1, 7, 6 

Go Green

Only three holes play under 125 yards.  But to put this into perspective, the Okeechobee course has eight holes under 125 yards – and it’s a level four course.  So don’t play Chula from the greens thinking it’s easy – play it for the beauty and it’s simplicity and for the lack of big hitters on the course bothering you!

What's Nearby? 

Chula Vista is just minutes from Spanish Springs, the original Villages Square.  The initial premise, still relevant today, is there should be a central focal point that brings all residents together, each night, 365 days a year.  The Square was the place.  And live music was the centerpiece reason to gather. Fast forward to today and that template has been replicated in two other Village Squares with another (Eastport) in development.  On the first day of our Lifestyle visit back in 2019, I opened the newspaper to see that month’s schedule of bands playing at the Squares.  There were 30 days and 3 Squares, so that equaled 90 bands listed.  I was stunned to see that no one band was repeated.  I never forgot that.  I feel the same when we go to any of the three Squares to listen – great musicians, great crowds, and a great environment.  Every night from 5-9!  Our favorites are the Hooligans, Spazmatics, Greg Warren Band, Blonde Ambition, Stella Beat and Sugar Vibe.  But we’ve never heard a group we didn’t like! Here's a link to the calendar.

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.