De La Vista

Par 29

Level 2 from 1,243 – 1,645 yards

De La Vista is a simple course that plays down and back so you can’t possibly get lost.  It’s unpretentious with little distracting scenery beyond the abundant oaks.  There’s no water to traverse or terrain to climb. But what it lacks in staging it makes up with large fair greens that are easy to putt, and for one really cool feature – the 1st and 9th holes share one very large, elongated green. That’s a perfect metaphor for De La Vista because it reinforces the point that golfing is a game best played with others – sharing laughs, tactics and sometimes even clubs!  My first time there, a fellow golfer had left home without his putter!  But we made it through the round sharing mine, with even a birdie for both of us!  


Step up to the first tee box and pay no attention to the golfers putting on the 9th green next door – and for goodness sake don’t hit right!  It’s a simple starting shot, just over 100 yards to the center of “your” green.  The 2nd,  3rd and 4th holes continue the southerly pattern of par threes with #3 being the longest at 143 from the gold tees.  You should have the wind direction figured out by this time!  That’s good because the 5th is a 326-yard par four with multiple traps along the fairway’s right.  Avoid that trouble and you should able to reach the green just fine in two.  And when you do, to get your bearings, you’ll be the closest you can be to The “Share” On theatre at Spanish Springs!  Ok, that’s really a reach to stick to the sharing theme here – sorry for that!  The real reach is that you’ve now played the longest hole on the course and it’s time to turn around for home. 


The 6th hole heads back north on your down and back trek.  It’s the longest par three but plays slightly downhill.  There are no real obviously difficult shots on De La Vista so I had to designate #6 as the toughest simply because of the length.  But hey the last time out, one of our foursome landed it 6 inches from the cup!  Now that’s the way to share some positive mojo on the Vista!  You'll need all that mojo and precision shooting for the 7th.  It’s a very short par four but the trees on either side create a pinch point at the 150 marker, so you’ll need your most accurate long drive of the day.   Like on many courses, often the shortest shots are designed with the most trouble – that’s the case for the 8th hole.  I’s just 86 yards with sand covering the front half and an overhanging tree draped along the left, making this a tight window to drop a shot. 


Last time there I played with a 90+ year gentleman with a sweet swing and serious focus.  A three-time member of the hole-in-one club, he shared with us a positive attitude even though he couldn’t hit it as far anymore.  It was remindful of Will, my 80+ year old pickle ball friend, and how this place seems to be a fountain of youth for so many!   That's what we all aspire for.  There's no fountain on the 9th but you do finish with that shared green - a perfect way to finish out and appreciate the communal importance of this game.  But as with your first shot, be sure to know which green you’re hitting to!


** I've been asked to clarify my attempted humor about the 5th green.  It's close to the Sharon (not Share On) - the huge theater in Spanish Springs, named after Sharon Morse.  It is a great place to share the love of stage shows, although I’m sure my type of corny humor wouldn’t pass as entertainment! 

Toughest to Easiest:  

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

From the blacks!

For a level two course, De La Vista is one of the longest.  Just Bacal and Sandhill are longer, so this little simple down and back course can be plenty challenging if you step back to the black tees.  Your first shot of the day will have a more difficult angle to the green.  So will the 8th.  But it’s the shear distance on the par three 3rd and 6th, and the par four 5th that will have you sharing some sympathy with your fellow black tee golfers!

Go Green

At 1,243 yards, De La Vista is one of the longest level two courses in The Villages.  But most of that distance is due to having two par fours.  If hitting long is not your thing, you can still enjoy this course – try using a tee in the fairway on the par fours to help loft your ball higher.  Otherwise, the lack of water and hilly topography makes this a good course to play from the green tees.   

What's Nearby?

The Studio at Tierra del Sol is right across the street from the De la Vista starter shack – you can’t get much more “nearby” than that!  It’s a small theatre associated with The Sharon Morse Theatre in Spanish Springs that you were so close to on the 5th green.  I would describe The Studio as a Community Playhouse that presents extended-run productions.  It runs from September through April in an intimate 130 seat theatre and is adjacent to the Tierra del Sol Country Club, so a pre-show dinner would be a great combo, of course after you've shared a great golf game with friends across the street!  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.