Par 28 

Level 4 playing from 994 – 1,631 yards

There are only 5 executive courses in The Villages named after a person. Truman is one - can you name the other four? (Quiz Question 1) After playing Truman it will be seared into your mind – it’s unforgettable!   47 different tee boxes and 10 greens on a nine-hole course. Yes, 10 greens.  The 2nd, 6th and 8th holes have six or more tee box options, so the shots and strategy will change each time you play.  And it’s hard – a true level four.  The best strategy is to be paired up with a Villager named Dewey.  That seems to be the only proven way to beat Truman, as evident in this historic photo above!


But first you gotta get past hole #1 – it’s so anticlimactic that the first time I played here, I drove right past it.  So, turn around, find the first tee box, hit a little wedge and be done with it.  Then cross the road to the real course and one of the most spectacular views in The Villages!  You’ll be looking north down a valley to a beautiful lake with multiple tiers and greens.  Truman 2 is on my Postcard List, obviously!  But it’s not just attractive, it’s a full 160 yards with plenty of sand that plays tougher than it looks – I tend to hit too softly when shooting downhill which often changes my trajectory and direction.  So, soak in the view but then lock in your shot - keep your head down and swing normal with an intent follow through – then you can take a picture!  #3 gets you closer the lake.  Don’t go long cuz the green rapidly gives away to the water below.  After sinking your putt, look back up the hill to see the moguls covering the downhill.  If Florida ever got snow, this would be the place to ski!  The 4th hole has two greens.  Yes, you read that right.  But only one has a flag in it, so I guess that’s where you shoot.  The higher of the two is trickier with little room for error on the approach. Plus, it's full of fun rolling undulations making it your toughest putt of the day.  Get your big wood out for #5, Truman’s only par 4.  It’s a huge dogleg right but even if you have a built-in slice, resist the temptation to let it rip – instead aim to the left to avoid the water and the gullies down the left side.  


After feeding that dog, you’ll turn back for home and the hardest hole on the course - Truman 6.  With a distance of 167 from the gold, uphill with sand on the right.  It's your best test of the day.  #7 is a similar look, but just shorter and the sand is more in the front.  So, while #6 requires accuracy and distance, #7 takes precision to sidestep trouble.  Keep the fun coming with #8.  This is Truman’s hallmark hole where you’ll need a “thread the needle” drive to a narrow green that funnels everything right into sand and water.  You’ll love this shot!  Hit two!  In fact, it would be better if you finished your round on 8 because Truman 9 is a really disappointing finishing hole.  Compared to the rest of the course it's just plain bleak.  The only good thing is that you'll finish back up the hill for a final look at the moguls and that view.  It’s one to remember and will keep you coming back to Truman, with or without Dewey!  It’s Tru Man!   

(By the way, if you are struggling to come up with the other 4 courses named after a person, one is particularly tricky – here’s a hint – it’s a nickname, not the “sluggers” actual name – hope that helps!)

Toughest to Easiest:  

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

Truman's View

Truman 2 is The View!  But it's a really difficult shot too. 

This is the 8th taken from the 4th green.  But from the 8th tee box it looks way different - so good you'll want to play it twice!  

Truman 7 is one of the most challenging shots - sand in front of a perched green with no forgiveness for going long.  

From the blacks!   

Truman has three par 3’s that play over 170 yards from the black tees.  #2 is especially fun from the highest tee box on the course!   And the stretch from 6-8 from black is as good a challenge as any three consecutive holes in The Villages – you should give it a try for no other reason than to check it off your list. Deweyit! 

Go Green!

Truman just has one par four and while it’s 225 from the green tee box, the other eight holes average under 100 yards each – not bad for a Level 4 course.  The two early downhill shots on #2 & 3 are really shortened up, and the angle you shoot to the 8th green is more direct to the cup. Go Green on Truman for a tru-test!

What's Nearby?

If you’re playing Truman in the summer, you'll need a cold drink afterward - fortunately the famous Bob Evans Lemonade is nearby at the Colony Plaza!  Or if you're looking for more than a refresher, the dining options are diverse – Japanese, Mexican, Italian and plenty of USA in McDonalds, PDQ and the Bob.  If you're playing Truman in December, your timing is perfect because The Villages Model Railroad Club hosts a Holiday Train Show at the Colony Cottage Rec Center.  All the rooms were jammed packed with live running exhibits - the detail and scale is extraordinary.  You can almost imagine President Truman on a cross-country whistle stop tour.  Here’s the club’s website for more information and locations of their other display dates.  No matter what time of the year you travel toward Colony, you have to watch for the one-of-kind golf cart stoplight that controls traffic on the golf cart path and Colony Blvd.  It’s worth taking a video for the grandkids! 

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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