Experts rate the Copperhead golf course at Innisbrook Resort near Tampa, Florida

There's no place quite like the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Florida. That's according to our expert raters on GolfAdvisor. Host of the Valspar Championship on the PGA Tour, the Copperhead, has earned a place among the tour's most well received venues by players.

This year marks the first time that Larry Packard, architect of the four Innisbrook golf courses and a resident of the resort and community, won't be there. He passed away Jan. 29, 2014 at the age of 101.

Of the estimated 600 courses he worked on, it's safe to say the Copperhead will go down among his most significant. His design style included a signature "double dogleg" and it's prevalent on Copperhead's par-5 14th hole.

But Packard didn't need to do to much to make Copperhead a standout in the state. The terrain has more than 80 feet of elevation change, and it doesn't have an over-abundance of water like your more ordinary Florida courses. Because of this, pros have often suggested it feels more like a Midwestern or Carolina Sandhills-type play.

"The only style of play it favors is good play," wrote Charlie Rymer . "Distance helps, but you gotta have control."

Rymer likens it to the style of course you might find in North Carolina, part of the reason he calls it one of Florida's most coveted.

"If you have a bucket list of the top courses to play in Florida then the Copperhead should be on it."

Video: Matt Ginella discusses Larry Packard's legacy

Jason Scott Deegan , senior writer for GolfAdvisor and an 8-handicap, doesn't have pro game like Rymer. And he found the course to be a challenge as well.

"I played the course a week after the [PGA Tour] tournament," Deegan wrote. "I still remember how difficult the ankle-high rough and super slick greens were to manage. It was a big-boy course, and I brought a beginner's game."

Innisbrook's four courses are available to members and guests of the resort, which features villas scattered throughout 900 acres of winding roads enveloped by large, mossy oaks.

You can view some of the Tampa area's other top-rated courses by golfers, like Timber Greens and the Club Renaissance , at GolfAdvisor's Tampa destination page .

Have you played the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort? Rate it here on GolfAdvisor .

Brandon Tucker is the Managing Editor for Golf Advisor. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at BrandonTuckerGC.
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Experts rate the Copperhead golf course at Innisbrook Resort near Tampa, Florida
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