WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. -- Saddlebrook Resort, set on a scenic 480 acres just north of Tampa in Wesley Chapel, is home to two 18-hole golf courses.
The original Saddlebrook Course, once 27 holes until nine were used to help build the newer 18-hole Palmer Course, opened in 1976. The Dean Refram design is a par 70 that plays 6,664 yards from the back set of four tee boxes.
While playing almost identical in yardage, the two designs are quite different. The Saddlebrook Course features gentler, flatter land compared to the more sculpted Palmer Course, and the result is a more traditional, old-Florida feel with cypress and oak trees draped with Spanish moss. Wetlands come into play often and the course is also home to birds, alligators and turtles.
The 18th, which finishes beside the resort community's restaurants, villas and shops, is the most exciting and scenic of the holes. It's a narrow 425-yard par 4 that doglegs right off the tee. The approach shot must carry water and the green is large but well-protected by sand and water.
In addition to 36 holes, Saddlebrook recently introduced the BannLynch teaching academy and is unveiling a new practice center. Guests who stay in one of the resort's spacious, on-site villa accommodations can receive preferred package rates to the golf courses as well as enjoy the spa, tennis facilities and large pool area.