Par 29 

Level 2 playing from 1,075 – 1,600 yards

Lowlands is my home course.  In fact, if Bryson DeChambeau smoked a driver off #4 and the ball threaded through two homes and found the street at the corner of Orton and Declerk it could roll past my house!  An unlikely shot.  Even more unlikely we could get him here for that type of challenge.   More likely is to plan for an extra hour at the end of your game to re-live your best shots of the day next door at Edna’s on the Green!  


Lowlands was completed in 2019 making it one of the newest courses in The Villages.  Along with the Hill Top course, it's one of just two courses here that are topographically descriptive - if you look closely, it really does come out of a low land.  The slight elevation rise on the first hole is followed by a slow and steady climb, peaking at the 6th green then descending back down to the low point on #8 in front of the Hogeye Preserve.  It also has two par fours so you can get your driver out twice! 10 other Villages Exec courses have two par fours.  How many of those can you name? (Quiz Question 4) Nothing like starting with a test!  And the 1st hole is all that.  It looks easy, but the narrow green protected by a bunker on the left has a subtle ridge that runs from front to back in the center, so it's a tester of an approach shot followed by a tester of a putt.  Plus, the water on the right is just enough to mess with your mind on your first shot of the day.  But on #2 you can relax with an easy straight par four and friendly green.  #3 is the other par 4 and looks really easy at just 230 playing downhill from the gold.  Most first timers swing really hard trying to drive the green and end up pulling it left under a large oak or slicing right leaving a tough wedge over two bunkers.  Just take an easy swing aiming down the left side – who knows, you might just roll it up onto the green!  If not, you’ve got an easy approach and Lowland’s best birdie chance!  The aforementioned #4 has a great view of the Waterlily Rec Center over the fairway length pond.  But don't focus too much on that pond - it's a magnet for mis-hits!  The picture above looking back on the 4th green from the 5th tee box is a beauty!  


#5 is a breather followed by a long cart ride to my “boogeyman” 6th hole.  It doesn’t look remarkable at all – and maybe that’s the issue.  But there's something about Lowlands 6 that makes it one of the toughest in town!  At around 160 yards, you’ll be pulling out a new club for the first time.  The wind is often in your face, and anything yanked left may roll down to the street below the elevated green – oh and the green has a severe slope!  Maybe you’ll fare better than me, but a par on Lowlands 6 is worth a cold beer at Ednas!  After crossing Marsh Bend Trail, you play #7 and #8.  Neither hole is that unusual - but what’s around them is. Down the right side near the 7th green, there's a home with a great patio that’s always decked out in holiday gear – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines or St Patrick’s Day – you can always count on their decorations to set the holiday mood!  But the wetlands that jog out along the 7th green's edge may just ruin that upbeat mood.  Your disposition will brighten on #8.  It's one of my top 18 most attractive shots in town - check out the Postcard List for the full 18.   You get an incredible view of the Hogeye Preserve encircled by a 2.5-mile walking path.  The path is close enough that you’ll likely get some onlookers as you drive the green.  It was in the rocks along the front left where I had my first snake experience, so there are those types of onlookers too!  The closing 9th plays longer than it looks mostly because the wind is in your face.  Stay focused because there’s a line of homes along the right whose lanai's can come into play if you slice.  Aim at the right side of the green to avoid a large ridge in the center that drains everything left.  And that marks a great challenge to wrap up this fun round!  Welcome to my home course!

Toughest to Easiest: 

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

From the blacks!

How does Lowland change if you play from the black tees?  Like most Villages Executive courses, you get to play more of the clubs in your bag if you play from the blacks.  The most notable change is to #4, 6 & 9:  The tee box on #4 is often set to the far left making it a completely different approach.  A large bunker on the left side now requires a perfect drop shot.  #6 just becomes longer and even more of a boogeyman for me – a bogey is my goal from this boogeyman from the back tees!  And at 182 yards, the extra distance on #9 means your target practice to hit the right side of the green becomes far more difficult.  But I love playing Lowlands from the blacks as I use 7 different clubs off the tees!

Go Green!

Good news - if you play from the green tees, the 6th tee box is about 80 yards forward from the blacks – and its location on the far left side of the fairway virtually eliminating your ball rolling across Marsh Bend Trail!  Also, the second par four plays at just 200 yards downhill so you'll get to the green in no time!  Have fun!

What’s nearby? 

Have I mentioned Edna’s a few times?  This great venue is just 9 iron away from the 9th green.  But the hundreds of Villagers listening to music under the Live Oaks will not appreciate a ball landing in their drink!  A bigger challenge is to find a parking place when good musicians are playing. You’ll find three food trucks and a great selection of beer and wine.  If you played Lowlands better than bogey (38), then you owe yourself a more expensive craft beer.  And there’s live music from 3-6 on weekdays and 12-3 & 4-7 on weekends.  There is no place like it in The Villages – check it out:  Edna's on the Green

Photo Pass

Palms galore on Lowlands!

The 6th is the toughest shot on the course - it's incredibly non-descript, but you won't forget it.  And an "Honorable Mention" for the Hardest Holes List

Where it all began for me in 2020 on my first game in The Villages.  Welcome Home! 

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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