WESTIN INNISBROOK GOLF RESORT - PALM HARBOR, FLORIDA
 

Once you get to The Westin Innisbrook Golf Resort in Tampa Bay, you'll never want to leave. That's because everything is here at this 900-acre resort: superlative golf on four top-ranked courses; fine dining in a host of restaurants; tennis on 11 beautifully maintained courts; six swimming pools including the multi-million-dollar Loch Ness Monster Pool; and 60 acres of lakes, jogging and cycling trails. This is the perfect golf vacation getaway.

Of course, one of the main reasons why visitors come here is to play golf. It's because as a guest at the resort, you can play a different course everyday and never run out of new challenges. You can wake up each morning and face new fairways to conquer.

You're in your own luxurious world here, and you're unlikely to want to go somewhere else. Conveniently located to Tampa International Airport, served by a host of airlines. And you will be close to many of the most exciting recreation areas and amusement parks in Florida.

Courses:
Holes
Par
Yardage
Slope
Architect
Copperhead
18
71
7295
134
Larry Packard
Island
18
72
7063
132
Larry Packard
Highlands North
18
70
6515
125
Larry Packard
Highlands South
18
71
6768
127
Larry Packard




The Copperhead Course undoubtedly is The golf course that most lovers of golf are familiar with. After all, they've seen America's greatest golf stars taking on its pine tree-lined fairways and rolling terrain during the Chrysler Championship each fall. So you, like many other visitors to Innisbrook, will want to make the Copperhead one of your must-places to play.

With its unusual elevation changes, the natural setting of the Copperhead course will probably remind you of a Carolina layout rather than Florida's West Coast. The Copperhead, of course, is ranked in "America's Top Resort Courses" by Golf Digest and No. 4 in the state by Travel & Leisure Golf's Florida's 50 Finest.

From the tournament tees Copperhead presents a stern test of golf. At 7,300+ yards, this par-71 layout is designed to challenge the players of all ability levels. The Copperhead Practice Facility is located adjacent to the first hole and is complimentary to those with a tee time on the course.

"The course is a daunting layout," says Chris Card, Director of Golf. "Larry Packard put together a stunning design...he combines narrow, tree-lined fairways with elevation change and very firm, fast greens. It's absolutely breath-taking from tee to green."

The course opens with a par-5 (560 yards from the back tees and 450 from the forward) that is a sweeping dogleg right with a tee box perched some 50 feet above the fairway. The placement of the second shot must be accurate to set up a birdie chance here.


The Island Course has ample water, tight fairways, intimidating hazards, and abundant bunkers -- all designed to test the skills of the most accomplished golfer have won much acclaim for the Island Course at Westin Innisbrook. The Island, often considered to be just as challenging as the Copperhead, is ranked among the country's top 50 resort courses by Golf Digest and No. 14 in Travel & Leisure Golf's "Fifty Finest in Florida."

The varying terrain, coupled with a variety of tee placements, can challenge both the professional player as well as the weekend golfer. The course has been a regional qualifier for the U.S. Open and is remembered as well for the NCAA championship that Phil Mickelson won here in 1990.

One of Innisbrook's four championship courses, the Island Course, was the first to open for play in December of 1970. There are 18 truly unique holes here. "This is a long par-72 course with water in play on at least half the holes," says Brock Nicholas.

The Island offers enchanting, picture-postcard scenery. "You'll find tall pines draped with Spanish moss," Nicholas says, "and lots of serene views. I love the Island Course. It's tighter off the tees and just as tough as the Copperhead. You need to be straight here."

The Island's first six holes are dominated by lateral water hazards and fairly level terrain which require pinpoint accuracy on both tee shots and approaches. The middle six holes feature rolling hills dominated by cypress and pine trees. The final third of this course boasts a mixture of holes designed to reward the bold yet penalize the errant golf shot. The golf course winds down to a finishing hole that will test the nerves of even the most steady player.




This beautiful 18-hole layout features tight fairways and well-bunkered greens, placing a costly premium on accuracy from tee to green. Recent course improvements include longer, more challenging par-4s and -5s with added bunkers and waste areas to create greater penalties throughout for those errant approach shots. This course is known for its daunting par-3s. "This is known as a shotmaker's course," says Tony Arielly. "There's definitely a premium on accuracy and not so much on distance."

Also designed by Lawrence Packard, the Highlands North at Westin Innisbrook is similar in terrain to the Copperhead Course, but not in length. Rolling fairways and water throughout make club selection your most important strategy on this course. About 6,600 yards from the back tees, this course is known for its long par-3s and small greens. Ball placement becomes critical.

Although it's our shortest course, it's one of our most challenging. In fact, 11 of the 18 holes here have water on them. The other seven have narrow fairways with lots of trees and bunkers.

The signature hole here, says Brock Nicholas, is No. 3, a 470-yard par-4 that is a tight driving hole (345 yards from the front). "It's straightaway, but there's water on the right and left and rough farther down on the right. Then you have a long carry to a partial island green." You will need a long and accurate drive to get started on this hole.




The Highlands South Course stretches almost 6,800 from the back tees, this course features the longest Par 5 in the state. Highlands South promises undulating terrain and elevation that brings the wind into factor when making club selection. Ample waste bunkers and 10 water hazards offer a great challenge.

This course is almost a links style, says Tony Arielly, both in its set-up and the way it plays with its fairway bunkers and rolling terrain. You'll get off to a moderately easy start with a straightaway par-4 that plays at 335 yards from the back tees and 250 from the forward. You do have to avoid a large bunker on the left and trees on the right.

 

 







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