Since I got done so quickly with my first round, I had time to waste and opted for an early lunch. Publix has a super yummy cranberry sandwich this time of year, so I made sure to stop and get another one while I had the chance! If you like cranberry and turkey then that sandwich is certainly worth checking out.
After I booked my round at RedTail the night before, I had some options for afternoon courses. There are a couple other courses nearby that I wouldn’t mind checking out some day, but I read their conditioning might be so-so right now. I saw someone say that The Country Club of Mount Dora was in the best shape they have seen it in a while, so I booked a time at Mount Dora.
I got there about a half hour before my tee time and the proshop said that I could head out to the first tee. I stretched to let a foursome on the green get further ahead and teed off a little after noon. That foursome disappeared into thin air after the 2nd hole and then another foursome let me through on the 8th. Then, a twosome let me go on the 15th. There wasn’t much rhythm to my round, but I’ve been playing so poorly that it didn’t matter! My plan to avoid the crowds at the Orlando courses continued to work, as I made it around Mount Dora in 3.5 hours. It was almost too quick of a golfing day, as I just wanted to soak in the sun!
If you’ve read my other posts from this trip you’ll see me mention the design firm Clifton, Ezell & Clifton (CEC) design. Mount Dora is another one of their courses, and I had a good idea of what I was getting into design wise when I booked my round here. All the holes run through a community and the piece of land here is very flat, so it isn’t a course that will stand out. The design is fairly basic with average sized fairways, sloping greens, and larger bunkers. No surprises here from CEC design.
I played the black tees which are 71.5/127/6484 and by today’s standards the course is quite short. Compared to the other CEC designs I played on the trip, I found Mount Dora more difficult. I was +1 through 7 holes and then made two quadruple bogeys and a triple bogey coming in as I couldn’t find a fairway. The funny thing is, I wasn’t hitting it much differently this round than the others. I put it into three different yards and lost a couple balls in the water. Somehow I found the course to be sneaky tough off the tee, so you are going to pay if you are crooked.
The thing that I’ll remember most about Mount Dora is all the water! In some way or another, water comes into play on just about every hole. I saw a diagram poking fun at Florida golf on social media and it had homes on one side and water on the other! That’s a pretty accurate description of the course.
My Northern California comparison is San Ramon Golf Club when it comes to the routing through the neighborhood. The homes certainly got the best land as the course pinched in odd spots and the 13th and 16th are quirky doglegs right. The best hole is going to be the 4th, a 148 yard par 3. It has a great look to it as you carry a hazard and ideally want to draw a mid or short iron into the green. One thing the course has going for it is that there are five par 3’s, five par 5’s, and ten par 4’s. I enjoy that type of setup!
Regarding the conditions, not that I expected much for ~$30, but I read someone’s comment that the course was in good shape compared to recent years. There were more spots of crabgrass and sandy sections than I was expecting and I’d say the overall maintenance was scruffy. The conditions didn’t cost me any strokes, as I was able to cleanly contact the ball from the fairways and the greens rolled fine, just on the slower side. I’m sure the course does what they can with the maintenance budget and they’ve done a good job to make the course playable. Playable conditions for $30 is fair in my opinion, but I don’t think I’d expect much more.
Mount Dora is what I would call a “locals” course. I don’t regret my decision to play here, but this isn’t a course that you will want to travel very far to play. If you are staying nearby, then go ahead and give this one a try. I’m in Central Florida enough that I likely would have played here one day or another, so I just made that happen sooner rather than later!
#1 (423 yard par 4):
#2 (558 yard par 5):
#3 (392 yard par 4):
#4 (148 yard par 3):
#5 (324 yard par 4):
#6 (148 yard par 3):
#7 (515 yard par 5):
#8 (170 yard par 3):
#9 (502 yard par 5):
#10 (388 yard par 4):
#11 (342 yard par 4):
#12 (155 yard par 3):
#13 (450 yard par 5):
#14 (390 yard par 4):
#15 (539 yard par 5):
#16 (419 yard par 4):
#17 (205 yard par 3):
#18 (416 yard par 4):