Turtle Run at Sun 'n Lake Golf & Country Club
|Red (W)||72||5002 yards||69.1||117|
|Blue M: 71.91/127||504||200||358||352||372||164||366||340||534||3190||439||340||212||348||502||177||371||329||494||3212||6402|
|Blue/White M: 69.9/125||504||165||358||330||329||164||366||340||534||3090||417||340||182||348||502||177||362||321||494||3143||6233|
|White M: 68.8/123||489||165||348||330||329||159||358||319||511||3008||417||328||182||328||481||156||362||321||472||3047||6055|
|White/Gold M: 67.4/120||489||148||333||330||329||106||324||319||453||2831||344||328||161||328||481||149||345||301||472||2909||5740|
|Gold M: 66.3/117 W: 72.4/121||406||148||333||300||315||106||324||275||453||2660||344||305||161||296||395||149||345||301||458||2754||5414|
|Gold/Red M: 65.2/115 W: 70.2/118||406||112||333||300||239||106||324||275||453||2548||336||305||161||296||395||149||318||301||392||2653||5201|
|Red W: 69.1/117||399||112||292||291||239||100||317||265||443||2458||336||277||148||291||379||134||318||269||392||2544||5002|
A Pleasant Surprise
The Sun ‘N Lake Golf Club is home to two outstanding golf courses – Deer Run and Turtle Run – northwest of Sebring FL in the unincorporated community of Sun ‘N Lake. Either course will put your golf game to the test.
Of the two courses, Turtle Run is the shorter – 600 yards shorter – from the back tees. Turtle Run plays 6,402 yards from the back tees with a course rating of 70.7 and a slope of 127. The greens are Tiftdwarf Bermuda grass, and the fairways and roughs feature 419 Bermuda grass.
The par 72 Turtle Run course opened in 1999 and was designed by Charles Ankrom. Turtle Run boasts brains over brawn; knowing when to hit driver – which may not be that often – and when to play position.
One interesting fact about Turtle Run is that it is built in the middle of a Scrub Jay preservation area and provides a sanctuary for this protected species as well as a beautiful setting for the golf course. Be careful not to enter the preservation areas and help keep the Scrub Jays safe.
Most Memorable Hole: Number 14, Par 5, 481 yards (White Tees). As you can see from the length, it’s definitely not the longest par 5, but for a number of players it’s going to take driver out of your hand off the tee because of a stream that crosses the fairway about 250 yards out. If you play down the left side of the fairway, the creek runs away and you can get 260-280 yards before you get to the wet stuff. A good line off the tee is the bunker on the right. Keep right with your layup to keep the water on the left out of play and then hit your approach shot to a slightly elevated green but beware of the deep, large bunker in the front left. A better than average score is possible here.
Favorite Par 3: Number 6, 159 yards (White Tees). Choose your club carefully off the tee. This holes plays slightly uphill so you may need a little more club. It’s a good carry over water and there is a sand trap short right of the large green which slopes back to front
Favorite Par 4: Number 5, 329 yards (White Tees). This hole is all about trust. You can’t see the green from the fairway, so you just have to trust yourself off the tee and hit it straight. The lone palm tree off in the distance is a good line but requires a carry of nearly 200 yards. A good tee shot will leave an approach shot just short of 100 yards to a slightly elevated, multi-tiered green.
Favorite Par 5: Number 1, 489 yards (White Tees). Playing down the left side of the fairway is the best way to play this opening hole; just be sure to avoid the fairway bunker. Continue playing down the left side and you’ll keep the water out of play on your layup shot and have a fairly short pitch shot into a small green protected by sand and a lake on the right and another bunker on the left. Par is a good way to start off your round.
In addition to two top-notch golf courses, Sun ‘N Lake has a great practice facility located across the parking lot from the clubhouse. The driving range is big enough to hit every club in the bag. Inside the clubhouse you’ll find a pro shop stocked with all of the latest equipment and logoed apparel as well as the Island View Lakefront Restaurant and Pub, a great place to grab some good food and drink after your round. The restaurant is open from 11am – 8pm Monday – Saturday and 11am – 6pm on Sunday.
Last Word: Playing Turtle Run for the first time was a pleasant surprise. The course is not going to overpower the majority of golfers, regardless of the tees you choose. From the White Tees, plan on leaving your driver in the bag the majority of the day. Of the par 4 holes, 2 are in excess of 360 yards; only one is over 400 yards. The par 5 holes are pretty modest too, only one over 500 yards.
For the most part, the tee shot landing areas are generous, the greens are incredible and the emphasis is on the short game. Some greens are open in front and receptive to the senior-friendly bump-and-run shot, but the majority are elevated with bunkers in front and require you to carry your approach on to the green. Distance is also key as many greens have multiple tiers and being on the same tier as the hole can shave several strokes.
Turtle Run is a lot of fun to play regardless of your ability. It will challenge not only your physical ability but also make you think your way around the course.
Sebring's Most Challenging Golf Course
Sun ‘N Lake in Sebring FL has it all, especially if golf’s your game.
The Sun ‘N Lake of Sebring Improvement District was created by Highlands County in 1974. It occupies about 12 square miles in an area just north of Sebring on Route 27 and has grown from what was wilderness 30 years ago to around 5,000 residents. Although the development was once considered a retirement community, it has evolved into a melting pot of both older adults and younger families. And according to the master plan, there is still plenty of room for growth.
Sun ‘n Lake is home to two championship golf courses: Deer Run and Turtle Run. Deer Run is considered the tougher of the two. The par 72 Deer Run Golf Course at Sun 'N Lake Golf Club was designed by Don Dyer and opened for play in 1976; in 2003 architect Ron Garl redesigned the course, including the conversion of Number 18 to a par three with an island green.
The Deer Run Course has 6 sets of tees with yardages to fit every level of golfer. From the Black Tees, the course plays 6,919 yards with slope 134 and a course rating of 73.7. Ladies can play a manageable 4,446 yards or challenge themselves at 4,992 yards. Most members play from the White Tees which measure 6,170 yards with a slope of 128 and a course rating of 70. A seventh set of tees adorns the scorecard and combines the White and Gold Tees for a distance of 5,847 yards (68.5/118). Out here, there’s something for every golfer.
At 364 yards, Number 1 is a fairly easy driving hole; hit a decent shot off the tee and none of the trees on either side should come into play. The green is elevated and holds well hit approach shots nicely. Finding the bunker that sits on the front left could prove to be a costly start. Number 2 is a medium length par 3 with another elevated green. Miss the green on either side and you’ll be facing a tough up and down. Number 3 is another straight forward par 4 that plays 385 yards from the White Tees. The water on the right shouldn’t come into play off the tee, however the bunker that guards the left side of the green seems to attract errant approach shots.
Number 4 is a dogleg left par 5 that is reachable in two if you can hit your tee shot past the large oak tree that juts out into the fairway on the left side. If you need to lay up, try and set up so your approach shot is from the right side of the fairway. This takes most of the large bunker on the front left out of play. The 5th is all about accuracy and distance control off the tee. Many will choose to hit less than driver as a large lake comes into play at about 240 yards off the tee. Water and a bunker guard another elevated green. Favor the right side off the tee. Keeping right seems to be the theme thus far as water guards the left side of the fairway on Number 6 as well. The fairway is fairly narrow, so accuracy is a must if you want to hit an approach shot from the short grass. The green is elevated and smaller than usual and guarded on both sides by bunkers.
The 7th hole is a short par 4 that plays 333 from the White Tees. Keep right to avoid the large waste bunker. The green is long and narrow and guarded on the right by sand. Number 8 is a straightforward par 3 that plays 183 from the Whites with no trouble to speak of. Number 9 is a long par 5 dogleg right, 554 from the White Tees, over 600 yards from the back. Large oak trees protect the right side with one in particular that keeps you honest right at the bend of the dogleg. Favoring the left side off the tee and on your layup shot will go a long way in scoring well on this hole. The green is one of the smallest on the course and guarded by a small pot bunker on the left.
The back nine starts off with an innocent looking short par 4 that plays 316 yards from the White Tees. You may need to hit something less than driver to stay short of the pond straight away. Approach shots can be tricky into this small, elevated green. Miss your tee shot wild left and you may be surprised that you still have a shot into the green. Number 11 is a par 5 dogleg left with a large oak tree sitting on the left side of the landing area and sand to the right, so you’ll need to decide to hit short or go over. Getting past the tree and sand gives you a chance to go for the green in two. The green is well protected on either side and for most, risk outweighs reward. Number 12 is a 377-yard par 4 dogleg left that is best played down the right side and takes many of the hazards out of play.
Thirteen is a medium length par 3 at 148 yards with sand guarding the front left of this elevated green. A well struck tee shot can help you quickly make up a shot or two on your partners. Number 14 is one of the prettiest golf holes out here. It’s a long sweeping dogleg to the right with trees dotting both sides of the wide fairway. At only 496 yards from the White Tees, it’s tempting to go for in two, however water and four bunkers guard the green. Best to layup and take your chance with a short pitch shot. Number 15 is a narrow par 4 with trees infringing on the fairway on either side. This hole is all about control. The green is small with a little bit of room on the left to bail out if need be.
That bring us to the make or break part of the course; the last three holes. Number 16 is a dogleg right that plays 348 yards from the white tees and requires you to at least make it to the corner. Favoring the left side takes many of the trees out of play and gives you a good look into the green. Be careful of the water and sand that guard the green. Number 17 is the toughest hole on the inward nine and with good reason. From the White tees it plays 389 yards with a pond in the middle of the fairway. Most golfers can hit driver off the tee and should favor the left side off the tee or risk being blocked out by trees. A good drive is still going to leave a long to medium iron into an elevated green protected on either side by sand.
Number 18 is truly a unique hole to end your round; after all, how many courses end with a par 3? From the white tees, the hole plays 145 yards to an island green. Choose your club wisely, hit a good shot and success can be yours. Or else, you’re just another statistic!
Last Word: The Deer Run Course at Sun ‘N Lake in Sebring FL will challenge golfers of all abilities. For the weekend, casual golfer, there is a lot of room off the tees on many holes. For the skilled golfer, it takes accuracy and precision to hit and hold the elevated greens. Many of them are small and have a good deal of undulation. Finishing the round with an island par 3 is truly a memorable event.
Sun n Lake Golf Club is a proud member of the Citrus Golf Trail, who have done a wonderful job of making the Sebring area a golf vacation destination. The Citrus Golf Trail offers stay and play golf packages that include rounds at a number of local courses and accommodations at The Inn on the Lakes.
Florida vacation golf
This was a beautiful course well laid out and pretty wide open . The last hole #18 is an island green that was just picture perfect hole . Had lots of fun playing this course !
I always enjoy playing Sun and Lake course. Both got different looks Turtle is narrow and Deer is long.
We have played this course multiple times over the years as my in laws live close by and have always told people to play it if in the area. I’m not sure I would recommend it right now. The smell in many areas of the course in many areas was almost unbearable. The smell of sewage or dying vegatation near all the water holes was distracting at best.
The biggest difference in what I saw was the speed of the green. Extreamly slow and left unusually long and hairy! In past rounds this was the highlight of the course in that the quality of the greens was the best in the area.
Hoping both issues are temporary and corrected on my next round.
Course was in great condition. I thought the greens and fringes were artificial they looked and felt so green and plush. Fairways, tees, and sand were well kept too. Will play again if I'm in the area.
greens were excellent condition, fairways were in very good condition, golf ball sat up nice on fairways, rough was tough but fair,
Nice Layout, Friendly Staff
Not the first time playing here, however I was surprised that my tee time was a shot gun start.
Greens are true and the course is in good condition.
The course was in super condition and considering the effects of the recent hurricane was better than anticipated.
Got a good deal with golfnow and will keep looking for future deals.
We play it whenever we can get a deal,and are never disappointed
it was well worth 1 hour car ride its worth the trip
in genral the course very good the par 3 is tough long holes
First time playing this course and right from the time I entered the pro shop I knew it wasnt going to disappoint. Great bang for the buck and friendly staff. The little things really add to it like having towels in carts for you. Ipads to keep score. Ice makers and water every few holes for hydration. Absolutely a great experience.
Turtle Run is a bargain
Greens the best I have found in central Florida south of the Orlando region
will definitely play this again
First time playing courses in the Sebring area, and I thought this was one of the better courses. Fairways are plenty generous. Greens rolled nicely, and held a good shot. We played the Turtle course. Foursome of guys two groups ahead took a full 4 hours to play, so being in just a twosome it felt especially slow.
Great job, the staff.
Fantastic. The price is high. Because of the snow birds.