El Santiago

Par 27

Level 1 from 817 – 1,207 yards

El Santiago is the ying to El Diablo's yang. Said more biblically, it’s the saint to Diablo’s devil. I’m golfing terms, it’s just easier, designed for beginners or for those who want a more friendly field of fire.  The primary purpose of playing is not about scoring - it’s for fun and getting out in this beautiful Florida weather.  While it shares a starter shack with the El Diablo course, it's a completely different experience to play.  Just like the three other Level 1 courses (Sarasota, Chula Vista & Turtle Mound), the designers built El Santiago for learners and leisurely golfers.  The setting is gorgeous and the pace relaxed.  Oh, and the cups are eight inches wide so even putting is stress-free on the Saint!  Hallelujah!

What’s Nearby?

Within 5 miles of the El Santiago course, I’ve counted 10 different wildlife preserves – areas that have been designated as protected for a specific type of endangered species like Eagles, Owls, Kestrel Falcons or Gopher Tortoises.  Land that’s been set aside where development is prohibited.  Each makes our hometown greener and more beautiful.  Some are tucked behind villages, so while not all are viewable, we know they're contributing to the ambiance of this place!  

My favorites:

  1. Hogeye - 2.5-mile walking trail near the Lowlands golf course 
  2. Sharon Rose Wiechens - on Meyer Loop described in the Okeechobee course story
  3. Fenney Wetland Springs near the Fenney Recreation Center and the Red Fox golf course
  4. Liberty Park Eagle Preserve (pictured) on the corner of Buena Vista and Bailey Trail
  5. Gopher Tortoise on Briarwood course

Perhaps your experience on El Santiago will be so relaxed you'll feel compelled to engage more of nature and you'll find a park bench to watch or a trail to walk and see what's out there.  Here are some sites that might help you learn more about our nature preserves>>

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.