PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Wanamaker Course at PGA Golf Club offers players of various skill levels a chance to stage a battle of their own.
Named after Rodman Wanamaker, whose name also graces the PGA Championship trophy, the course has rolling fairways and undulating greens amid a landscape of wetlands often seen in south Florida golf .
Designed by Tom Fazio, the course boasts five sets of tees for all levels of play and can be trimmed below 5,000 yards or stretched to more than 7,100 yards. Recent renovations placed an emphasis on embracing the natural landscape of the area as well as shaping newly contoured fairways and greens. The result is a playable track with plenty of challenge -- especially if the wind blows.
One unique feature of the course is the par-4 eighth, which measures 370 yards from the tips. That yardage, though, is based on the green on the right-hand side. The hole actually features a split green, with a second, smaller putting surface to the left and fronted by water. The yardage difference is about 10-12 yards, depending on where the approach is played from, which means it's important to make sure yardage is measured to the proper target.
But just as Ryder Cup matches are decided down the stretch, the Wanamaker Course offers a stern test as you make your way back to the clubhouse.
The par-5 16th is carved around a water hazard that hugs the entire left side, offering one final birdie opportunity to those who can find a green that is built at an angle and guarded by a gaping bunker.
From there, players face the difficult 17th, which can play up to 223 yards, followed by the par-4 18th, where a stiff crosswind and sizeable lake must both be navigated before returning safely to the clubhouse.
With generous landing areas afforded off the tee, the fairway bunkers that line the course are especially penal, as many feature steep faces that require simply playing back into the fairway. Once on the green, the key to scoring will be decoding the surfaces that are often bisected by steep ridges.
Finding the green in regulation is great, but finding the proper portion of the green is the only path to low numbers on the Wanamaker Course.
While PGA Golf Club offers 54 holes on property, the crowned jewel is certainly the Wanamaker Course. After 18 holes across its scenic but challenging layout, it's easy to see why.