My parents live in The Villages, which is one of the most widely known retirement communities in the United States. There are 150,000 or so people that live there and golf courses everywhere you turn! I’ve visited my parents three or four times since they’ve moved but never played any of the dozens of courses in the community. I’ve always come down during the cooler months and the courses are just packed all day long! I’ve always figured I’d take a stab at playing some places here when I visit during the quieter, summer months!
This trip, dad and I talked about playing an executive nine and headed out to the Bogart course with one of his friends on Thanksgiving morning. Dad golfs a couple times a year so an executive course is perfect for that kind of experience! One thing The Villages has done well is create courses for seniors, ladies, and kids if they want to go golf. Most of the courses here are executive courses which offer a more laid back feel, compared to a regulation course. In fact, there are 36 nine hole courses! That’s on top of 12 championship courses. Pretty amazing to have so much golf in a such a small area.
For whatever reason, I don’t play a bunch of nine hole courses and don’t think I’ve ever reviewed a nine hole executive course on my blog before! I don’t even have a list of nine hole courses that I’ve played anywhere so I’ll attempt to create that this winter. I’ve been scanning the map trying to recall where I’ve been when it comes to nine hole courses!
The Bogart course at The Villages plays to a par of 28 and we all played the middle tees which are 1234 yards. From where we played, I hit lots of short irons but there is a set of back tees which can leave an average hitter with some mid irons. If I was out here by myself I probably would have given those tees a try. I searched and searched but never found the rating and slope of either executive course that we played. Too bad, because I played pretty good! In case your math is as bad as mine, a par 28 has eight par 3’s and a lone par 4! I think the best holes are the 1st and the 8th, which are par 3’s highlighted by water hazards. The hazards shouldn’t come into play except on a terrible shot though.
Like many of the courses at The Villages, Bogart is routed through the community and homes line each hole. It isn’t the best scenery but, the course wasn’t designed to give you an experience like you’d find at Juliette Falls or Mission Inn. It was designed to be convenient, fun, and playable! And, it delivers on all those things! It was an easy walk and you can play a bad shot. There are places to bounce the ball onto the greens and water hazards are set back from play. The biggest challenge is going to be navigating the sloping greens. I was very surprised at how much slope the greens had. My tee shot on the 4th landed into a hill 10 feet behind the flag and rolled 20 feet backwards! My dad’s putt actually went past the cup and rolled back in! You can have a little fun with the slopes if you are on the proper side of the green.
The conditions were good. The greens were on the quick side and the fairways and tees had good grass coverage. The ground was firm, which made non full swing shots tough, so you might want to putt from wherever you can!
We had a great time at Bogart and these are the types of courses that can encourage the game! Plus, it only took us 1.5 hours to get around. If you stumble across this post and are on the fence about trying the game of golf, go out and find an executive course!
#1 (140 yard par 3):
#2 (102 yard par 3):
#3 (164 yard par 3):
#4 (106 yard par 3):
#5 (266 yard par 4):
#6 (109 yard par 3):
#7 (118 yard par 3):
#8 (126 yard par 3):
#9 (103 yard par 3):