The Palencia Club
- Holes: 18
- Par: 72
- Length: 7073 yards
- Slope: 142
- Rating: 74.5
Winding through ancient oak trees along the Tolomato River, the Palencia Club features a diverse landscape of wetlands, forested parkland, and turf areas. The challenging layout features tight fairways lined with trees and strategically placed bunkers. The green are on average around 5,000 square feet, giving golfers a “target golf” experience. Its location off of the Intracoastal Waterway also provides the course with blustery ocean breezes that demand proper club selection and shot accuracy. The signature hole of the course is the 16th, which is framed by towering oak forests and offers a panoramic view behind the low, open green.
Reviewed on 10/02/2017
Here is a synopsis of my day from beginning to end...
Upon arrival, there was no one around to greet me or assist me with my bag/direct me where to go. After entering the clubhouse, I entered the temporary pro-shop. The young man behind the desk was less than helpful. I told him this was my first time playing here, and he failed to direct me... He didn't tell me that there was a driving range, or practice area. As a result, I thought that this wasn't available, and it was not grossly evident to me after exiting the clubhouse. As a result, I found the first tee by myself. I proceeded to start my round without warming up (not desirable). The first hole is self evident and really a good hole. The fourth hole (par5) was basically ground under repair for the length of the hole... Most of the front was in pretty decent condition in the fairway, and greens. The periphery of the course was a whole different story. There were men working on taking care of the damage from Irma. I can't remember which hole exactly but its the hole that you have to drive back down the fairway after playing the hole in order to get to the next tee box through the woods? the houses are on your right as you make your way to the next tee box. The hole is a dogleg right with a tall tree guarding the right corner. This hole was hit the hardest and should be skipped for awhile during the drying/repair of the hole. The 15th hole played like a pseudo-island or moated Par 3, with unnatural water both right and left of the front of the green.Im pretty sure that the water present is not supposed to be there and that these are sand traps that are under water?
Personally, as I played solo, I had a lot of difficulty with sight lines or finding the proper direction from the tee box, based on the overgrowth visually. There were so many trees down/ broken etc... The back nine was very similar to the front. The overall condition of the tee boxes were "B", for overall flat but specifically uneven stances. The fairways were generally in "A-/B+" for damage/repair reasons, I would expect the next time for both to be in "A" status. I only hit in the sand once? and found it to be very playable. The greens were in "A-" condition & I know they could have been faster...
Another observation is the non-uniformity of the cart paths. In my opinion, without knowing the cost of membership acquisition or monthly fees, I would think that a Private exclusive club in the Northern PGA Section would be either fully concreted/paved, or natural. The natural sections were not well maintained and even taking into account the post-Irma cleanup, the pathways are not an asset but rather a liability.
Overall, I found this course to be somewhat difficult for the average golfer and especially for the first timer playing it. I am not sure that repetition alone would be beneficial to lowering ones score significantly. I would classify this layout as a "grinders" golf course. The course is penal from Tee (lack of ample bailout area) to Green (elevated greens with guarded bunkers and deep rough surrounding). I would like to say that for those that have the focus, this is a tough test of ones skills both mental and physical. I played it from the tips and shot 73, but it is only because of stellar recovery shots...
I don't recommend this course