Southern Star

Par 28

Level 3 playing from 1,085 - 1,682 yards

The Southern Star course is a throwback to a time when executive courses had serious distance built in them. And it’s paired up with its sister, Yankee Clipper, to form a natural 18-hole combo.  In fact, back in the day, centrally located Villagers played these two courses together as a full round.  Given how long both play, that makes sense.  The actual Southern Star, seen above the south pole nearly 300 light years away, is called Sigma Octantis.  Fittingly, our Southern Star golf course has three holes that feel equally far away!  The 3rd, 5th and 8th will force you to get a telescope out.  Speaking of skyward viewing, here’s a great drone flyover of both courses by Don Wiley, the Gold Wingnut:  Southern Star and Yankee Clipper golf courses - YouTube.  Ok, time to do some stargazing:


Your first shot skyward is to an elevated green flanked by walled water on the right and a bunker on the left.  You've got to be a precise astronomer on your first look.  But #2 is a breather to gear up for what comes next.  The 3rd hole is the first of three "celestial shots" at Southern Star.  Pictured above, this 180-yard hole has a pond running the full length on the right with a fairly small bailout zone left.   The 4th hole allows you to breathe again and get out your driver for the only time in the round.  It’s the only par four and your best chance at a birdie. Swing easy down the left side.  From that vantage point the approach and the green are simple. 


You've reached the equinox at #5.  It's the second of three hard par threes - like everything in outer space, it's long and uphill!  The 6th is much shorter, but a far harder green to navigate.  For your 7th drive you'll turn south and face the most interesting shot of the day.  It's like our favorite extra-terrestrial, E.T - it's short, looks a bit odd and sometimes is funny.  The green slopes hard left so your best flight to shoot over the trap and let it funnel downhill to the cup.  Or maybe it's smarter to just aim for the low left side directly?  Fun or smart?  Maybe phone home?  The 8th hole is your last moonshot playing 172 yards to a huge green alongside an oversized bunker.  Elon Musk and his SpaceX crews would love this launch!  Reluctantly, step up to the 9th tee knowing your journey to the stars is concluding, bringing you back to earth with a nice downhill landing hole.  It's really that easy.  


Playing Southern Star is like looking into the night sky – You'll find great complexity within but will be impressed with its subtle simplicity and beauty.  Nothing looks gimmicky or feels forced.  The designers positioned minimal hazards to challenge you, not overwhelm you.  It has pure distance to deal with.  Southern Star is a full constellation of shots and views!    

Toughest to Easiest:

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

From the blacks!  

The three moon shots average over 200 yards from the black tee box - all par threes! No approach is remarkably different, just longer.  Better keep your head down when looking into these stars! 

Go Green!

You won’t need any water balls!  1, 3, 4 & 9 will be splash-free from the green tees! The 5th and 6th holes will still require your biggest drives so take a deep breath, keep your head down and swing for the stars!

What’s nearby?

Anytime something is light years away, the term "nearby" becomes quite relative.  It may be more germane that the act of stargazing is nearby.  The Villages Astronomy Club sometimes meets nearby outside the Sawgrass Rec Center.  They're the real celestial experts - click here for their website.  Or check out the new Astronomy Pads at the Homestead Rec Center located near the Sawgrass Grove area south of the Turnpike.  You could also just walk out your door and look up tonight - the Florida sky night is full of stars! 



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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