Par 28

Level 2 from 998 – 1,657 yards

It's like target practice.  This course has so many greens that are perched, elevated or simply slanted, you need to be a skilled dart thrower to not slide away. Of course, then there's the sand and the hills that the course's name is derived from.  Put it all together and this doesn't feel like your typical Level 2 course.  This will become evident on hole number 1 where your first look of the day is up to a sloped green and rolling terrain on the side - a slight miss hit and you're 30 yards off like a runaway train.  It's a tough way to start. 


The 2nd starts a run of 3 holes that is one of the best in town.  #2 is Sandhill’s longest par three playing 171 from the golds.  Sand adorns the left but doesn’t come into play unless you really yank it.  It plays downhill with a pond behind so if you blade a shot that runs long you could get wet!  The 3rd is considered the signature hole because of its water and elevated green and perfect palms behind. All that's true, plus 466A runs along behind so you may have an audience.  But I think #4 is the best combo of looks and difficulty.  A treelined fence calms you down.  But the full-length trap in front will raise your blood pressure in no time!  Your target through this stretch of three holes is to not be higher than bogey! 


The 5th is Sandhill's only par four.  It plays narrower than it looks.  Too far left and you've got a row of palms to deal with.  Too far right and you'll have to hit over a large bunker near the green.  So swing your driver easy to the center left.  Then you’ll need to use an extra club to climb the hill to the narrow green.  For #6, you’ll turn to the south again to go back down that same hill – but this time it’s far far shorter and a much much steeper grade.  It has five tee boxes ranging from 62 – 126 yards.  Like many Villages short holes, this one's tricky.  There’s a mound on the front right that can flare direct shots well over the green.  I’ve tried to loft a light wedge or a knock down 7.  You could arguably putt it from the top of the hill too!  Aim your dart to the green's back right and let it funnel down.  Have fun!


By this time you may have noticed a subtle nuance to Sandhill.  All of the holes go either north or south. None go east or west.  Only three other courses in The Villages are like that - can you name them? (Quiz Question 6)  


#7 looks like a breather and a likely par candidate!  You better hit the bullseye here cuz the last two closing holes get harder.  The 8th is up up and away - so club up and don't be short.  Honestly, odds are your drive will be off the green, but by this time you’ve likely mastered the art of chipping on hilly fringes! The 9th hole is one of my favorite closing shots in town.  The tee box is beautiful, especially if you turn around to look to the south at sunset.  Looking the other way, you’ll see another elevated landing zone with sand on the right in my slice zone.  The green is atypical - it has a subtle slant away from the fairway.  That’s appropriate because nothing about Sandhill is typical.  It's the hardest Level 2 in town.  You need to target this course for a real tester!  

Toughest to Easiest

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

Holes 2, 3 & 4 are the perfect triple threat at Sandhill:

The 2nd is long and slopes downhill with a slippery green.

The 3rd is up and over water to a slanted landing zone.

The 4th is deceptively attractive.  But that trap is hard to miss.  

Here's a 360-degree view from the 9th tee box.  You can see why this is one of my favorite closing shots! 

From the blacks

Four of Sandhill’s par fours play over 170 yards from the blacks, making this course the hardest Level 2’s from the back tees.  The difficult greens and terrain are even more challenging with a longer lower trajectory iron or driver.  Give it a try but just remember that darts are sharp.

Go Green!

This is odd – Sandhill is a Level 2 course, but at nearly 1,000 yards, it’s longer from the green tees than many of the Level 3 courses.  And the hole with the most water, #3, gets no real advantage from the green tees.  Where you will see a benefit is on the first two holes and the last. Play at your own risk! 

What's Nearby?

At a course where target practice is required, what better store could there be than the original Bullseye?  Just west of Sandhill near the Publix and Lowes, a future Target is being built.  That makes my wife very happy as our closest now is over 20 miles away.    It won’t be cart path accessible but that’s ok because she needs a full trunk to load all her Red Card buys!

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.