Location: Fort Myers, Fla.
Architect: Donald Ross
Renovated: 2014 [Steve Smyers]
Par: 70 [men], 71 [women]
Tee — Yardage | Rating / Slope:
Black — 6,675 | 72.9 / 131
Blue — 6,245 | 70.5 / 126
White — 5,815 | 68.9 / 124
Gold — 5,460 | 67.0 / 117
Red — 4,905 | 69.0 / 114
Green — 4,360 | 62.9 / 101
Saturday morning green fee: $$ [$50-$99]
Caddie service: No
Walker friendly: No
Starter: One of only five courses in Florida that has celebrated a centennial, The Fort, as it's known locally, is a heavily-played layout owned by the City of Fort Myers. The course has a rich history and has been played by such long-ago stars as Walter Hagen, Jock Hutchison, Gene Sarazen, Horton Smith, Charlie Sifford, Babe Zaharias and Arnold Palmer.
Play because ...: The course underwent its only major renovation in 2014 when Steve Smyers strived to recapture the style of original designer Donald Ross. While Smyers was successful in that regard, the course underwent some notable changes. Par was changed from 71 to 70 for men; 72 to 71 for women. Also, Smyers put in six new water hazards and the course now has 52 bunkers.
Takeaway: Smyers’ renovation greatly improved the condition, as the drainage was extensively modernized and the turf quality upgraded. One notable issue — the course has no practice range.
THE RATINGS [1 to 10 scale; 10 being the highest]
Food | Beverage: 8.0.
Pro shop: 7.0
Pace of play: 7.0
Best par 3: No. 10 [220 |190 | 180 | 140 | 130 | 100 yards]
The most difficult of the short holes, this one is uphill to an elevated green and plays much longer than the listed yardage. Also, factor in the tee box’s location — below the outdoor lounge, in full view for all spectators.
Best par 4: No. 2 [450 | 420 | 400 | 385 | 320 | 300 yards]
Being so early in the round, this is an unusual place for the No. 1 handicap hole in any course rotation. A slight dogleg right hole, this is an attention grabber because of its location.
Best par 5: No. 18 [535 | 520 | 490 | 475 | 400 | 385 yards]
This sharp dogleg left hole is a very good and challenging finishing hole. Water runs across and to the right of the fairway, which necessitates a decision to lay up or go for the green on the second shot.
Rater: Len Ziehm