Par 27

Level 4 from 805 – 1,439 yards

Down and back under a power line.  That’s simply Okeechobee.  A wonderfully rhythmic name.  A fairly simple course.  All par threes.  All shots south or north.  The essence of straightforward.  So time to simply shoot:


Your opening drive is downhill over a trap - but it shouldn’t affect your shot because it’s not that close to the green.  Don’t be long though because the downhill descent continues after the green.  #2 is a harder shot because the green is perched between a large trap on the left and a drastic downslope on the right.  The 3rd hole looks like Frankenstein - long and unattractive with a few bolts showing.  It’s 182 yards long, a bit downhill, with nothing much else going on.  It qualifies for my Hardest Holes list simply on length.  After trying to bring that monster hole to life, move on to #4.  Avoid the sand magnet on the right side for your best chance at a par. Now flip it around and head back north.  Interestingly, the 4th and 5th hole are exactly the same yardage from the gold tees.  But because they play in precisely opposite directions, your club selection and aim are completely dependent on the wind. The ride between 4 and 5 also bring you under the power lines for the second time today.  The prominence of the power lines can be a distractor for some, but it's a better use of land than just scrub brush.  In fact, six Villages Exec courses are built under power lines.  Can you name the other five? (Quiz Question 14)


#6 continues the northward trek.  This green is really fun.  It reminds me of one of those giant slides at a state fair where you ride a burlap bag down the bumps!  This can easily turn into an OkeeChoakeePutt!  Just be short of wherever the pin is placed – you don’t want to chip or putt down this slippery slide!  The 7th hole is shorter than 6 with a green that’s a mini version of the same ride.  Things are looking up on #8.  Literally.  It’s the first uphill shot of the day – probably one club up with sand on both sides.  


Up until the 9th hole, Okeechobee has been Ok.  Just Ok.  It doesn’t compare well to other Level Four courses, many of which are in my Top Five.  Fortunately, the 9th hole is really good, one of the best closers we have.  It's pictured above.  Too bad you had to wait this long for it.  A full water shot awaits every tee box but the closest.  There’s sand on the left in front of a long sloping green that’s harder to putt than it looks.  A simply perfect finishing hole.  Finally, a reason for simplicity to be a positive thing! Okeechobee Simple!

Toughest to easiest

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

From the Blacks! 

#3 is 205 from the black tees.  The good news is there’s no hazards around the green, so just hit a wood and hope it's straight!  Many other shots have more challenging angles from the black tees.  #2 and 5 require hitting over sand or water.  And #9 has a simply stunning expanse of both to cross.  It’s by far the shortest Level 4 course from the blacks, playing at just 1,439 yards. Can you name the next two shortest? (Quiz Question 11) 

Go Green!

Yes – can it get any simpler than that?  At just 805 yards from the forward green tees, it’s the shortest Level 4 course in town.  The longest hole is just 120 yards and you’ll completely rid yourself of water and sand, especially on the 9th hole!  There’s no reason to add complexity upon difficulty upon exertion when you can play with this much ease and enjoyment! Sold!

What's Nearby?

The Sharon Rose Wiechens Preserve is a bird-watcher and camera fanatic paradise.  It's the largest of 11 nature preserves in The Villages - over 600 acres.  It’s just short of 2 miles away from Okeechobee. To get there, turn right coming out of the Moyer Rec Center parking lot and follow Moyer Loop until you see the signs on the left.  So, pack your binoculars in your golf bag.  (assuming you're not such a bad hitter that you routinely bring binoculars in your golf bag!)  Here’s a nice little blurb about it.

And while not geographically nearby, the Okahumpka Rec Center is certainly nearby phonetically.  It's one of the newest recreation sites sitting on a spectacular piece of shoreline.  Bring a book because the chairs on the deck overlooking the lake are the perfect place to relax with a good read! Plus, it's just fun to say these places fast in a sentence:  Okeechobee-Okahumpka-Okeechobee-Okahumpka-Okeechobee-Okahumpka-Okey Dokey?

While you're working on that rhythmic phrasing, look across Meggison Road for the new Richmond Pitch and Putt course.  Playing a shorter course with your shorter irons is a good way to work on your swing rhythm.  


The Wiechens Preserve (above) and the Okahumpka Rec Center (right) are both visual upgrades over Okeechobee, so in the case of this course, the "what's nearby" are simply better on the eyes!

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.  

The green on 6 has the rolls and ripples like a State Fair Giant Slide!

Hear that buzzing sound?  Look up!  In fact, the sink at the restroom near the 5th tee box vibrates!