Churchill Greens  

Par 29

Level 3 playing from 1,040 – 1,764 yards

It really is like going to church.  The newly refurbished Churchill Greens is a spectacular setting.  The greens and traps are equal to any Villages Championship course.  And the surrounding environment and terrain are awesome.  If not for the mundane layout of the first three holes, Churchill would be in my top five for sure.  But the last six holes are as good as it gets!  


Similar to its sister course, Pimlico, the first three holes at Chruchill are fairly redundant.  You’ll probably use the same club from each tee box.  1 is more uphill, 2 has a more level green and 3 has a trap that comes into play.  But that’s it for diversity.  Here's a suggestion - play the first three holes from black, then go gold the rest of the way.  You'll get to use different clubs off the box and have a better attitude right from the start. 


The real fun begins at the 4th!  It's short par four – are there any four better words??  Plus, it’s a beautiful tee box with large evergreens making me feel like I’m back in Minnesota.  It’s only 278 from gold, with grassland and sand to the left and a fairway bunker way up on the right.  If you stay out of trouble on your drive, you can easily get to the green in two and have a makeable birdie putt on the fairly flat green.  But the real fun of #4 is the sounds.  If you’re playing during on a weekday during school season, you just might be entertained with the sounds of school children on the playground.  The Villages Early Education Center and Charter Elementary School is just north of the 4th green.  If you’re new to The Villages, you may be surprised to learn that a retirement community has a school system.  Parents who work for The Villages or for a business that operates within The Villages are eligible to enroll their students in The Villages Charter School.  Over 2,000 student attended grades K-12!  A brand new Middle and High School have just opened south of the Turnpike in the newly developing Middelton area.  It's worth a drive to see the facility or take in an activity.  But for now, take a moment to soak in the sounds of kids playing!  Then, reluctantly, move on to #5. 


At first look, 5 seems pretty non-descript.  It’s anything but.  143 yards to a green that subtlety slopes away in EVERY direction, making it nearly impossible to “stick the landing” – get ready to be chipping up on your second shot. On the way to #6, you travel directly east on an interesting and long cart ride with great views – but it's the sounds again that will catch your attention – maybe a cow or donkey or if you’re lucky a train whistle.  Notice the barbed wire fence and the tree-lined barriers between ranches.  Take your foot off the pedal and take your time seeing and hearing what’s around this course! I once claim to have heard a cowbell clanging.  But going to "church" helps me to not Fear the Reaper!  Who knew Blue Oyster Cult could be a Villager thing!  Ok - with your foot now back on the pedal, let's get to the best-looking shot of the day.... The 6th is on my Postcard List as one of the most beautiful holes in The Villages.  But before you go into sensory overload with all the sights and sounds in last 20 mins, put your golf game face back on, pull out that driver, aim to the right side of the fairway and let it rip! #7-9 are fantastic looking holes that each have some interesting elevations challenges requiring precision shots.  #7 is the shortest and the green is the easiest, so you better play this one well!  #8 is 146 yards over wetlands to a green that slopes to the left.  The 9th closes with another ravine shot.  It’s flanked by two large traps so hit the center to end with par!


You’ll always remember the sights and sounds and maybe even a song around Churchill Greens.  You'll be moved as though in Church - Amen!  

Toughest to Easiest:

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

From the blacks!  

#5, 7, 8 & 9 become much more challenging if you play from the black tees.  #5 runs 185 yards to a hard-to-stick-green.  And the elevation changes on #7-9 also make the landing spots harder to find from black.  You’ll still only play 5 clubs off the box, but it will make the first three holes play a bit more interesting, so maybe that’s reason enough to try it!  And the sounds and sights are the same from gold or black, so I say go for the black!

Go Green! 

The biggest advantage from playing from the green tees will be evident on the last three holes.  The 8th specifically is 58 yards closer than the gold tees.  And that will be very helpful after playing two par fours earlier in the round. 

What’s nearby? 

The sounds of nearby youngsters should inspire you to attend a High School sporting, music or theatre event.  The new football stadium in Middleton is incredible!  Show your Buffalo Pride by joining the Herd!  Get the latest news about upcoming events here and get geared up here.   

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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