On a recent golfing trip to West Palm Beach, I had the opportunity to play numerous courses in the area. It is my hope to provide a good over view to other players of the various options. Living in the northeast, it is a pleasure to get a “winter break” and dust off my 4.3 index. At the end of the review, I have listed all the courses that I played (12 in total) with some suggested rankings.
The city of Atlantis is a community within Palm Beach County established numerous years ago. In the typical real estate development style, there is a mixture of condos, apartments and home. There are two Atlantis golf clubs- one private and one public. The public one, Atlantis County Club, is located at 190 Atlantis Blvd.
You will be coming off S Congress Avenue towards JFK Medical center and will be entering the community through a guard gate. I just mentioned my tee time and they let me through.
The first impression is that, in its heyday, the club must have been quite a facility. The building has a large conference facility, restaurant, proshop and driving and pitching ranges.
Times have changed and a realty office occupies a fair amount of the building, the restaurant seems shuttered but there is a snack shop (serving a great breakfast sandwich) and a proshop.
Some highlights are listed below:
- Super greens- fast, true roll and tough
- Elevated greens and big breaks provided the needed and upgraded difficulty
- Tasty sandwiches form breakfast and at the turn
- Layout is not particularly challenging
- The course is short- 5100 from the forward tees to 6500 from the back tees
- Houses line the course
Below are the additional details based on some categories that I have found beneficial to identify-
Course design and layout- 3- stars
The course layout is not particularly challenging nor is it long. You have your ubiquitous houses lining the course, the O.B., lakes and creeks that form the traditional hazards of a course. The forward tees provide a course length of 5,120 with a par 69.8 and the back (black) tees are 6,542 with a par 71.9 and slopes of 123 and 133, respectively.
I chose the back tees and did not find much difficulty in reaching the targets in regulation. Yet, the hidden treasure of this course are the greens which are well protected with strategically placed bunkers (that have plenty of sand), often elevated from the typically flat surrounding terrain and are constructed with impressive breaks.
All of this is accompanied with an impressive green speed of (not measured, more a gut feel) at a 14 or + reading on the stimpmeter.
Conditions- 3 stars and 1+ for the greens
Mostly the course was in good shape. The lighter than normal rain, has kept the course dryer than usual and the green are hard. Yet, the Greens Keeper and his/her team have worked very hard to maintain them in excellent condition.
On the “picky-side” of things, they should seek to rotate the flag stick position more throughout the green. Often times, you can see the concentration of previous holes and there is space to allow for more position rotation.
Price- 3- stars
The price is high with respect to the course offering. Yet, this is high season.
Pace of Play- 4+
This course had both a ranger and the round was quick in under the posted required time of 4 hours. This is the way golf courses should operate.
It would have been nice to walk.
Staff- 3 stars
Generally, friendly and I found the check-in at the Proshop to be good with nice staff notwithstanding the many people checking.
All in all, a course that tests your putting skills.
Summary of rounds-
Having played 12 different courses during several visits this winter and all reviewed on TA, I wanted to provide my personal selection. Naturally, it has my bias towards those that allow walking and have no/limited homes. So, I have grouped them for different handicap levels. The higher than 18 handicaps will have fun at most of them.
EVERYONE should play the renovated, Raymond Floyd, Palm Beach par 3 course. It is absolutely adorable.
For Low handicaps (<10 index)
1. Osprey Point
2. North Palm Beach
5. Madison Green
Mid-handicap (10 to 18) any of the above 5 plus …
2. Winston Trails
High handicap (above 18) any of the above plus …
1. Palm Beach National
2. Village Green Golf Club
3. Atlantis Golf Club
4. West Palm Beach Golf
5. Winston Trails
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