The 4th round of Deej's Florida Swing stops at the Copperhead course of Innisbrook Golf Resort. A golf course named after a deadly poisonous snake....Sounds about right.
Forrest Gump was a genius.
While pontificating on that park bench in Savannah, he summed up the endless frustration of every golfer, without ever picking up a club. The fact is, golf really is a box of chocolates. One can go from Tour pro to Sunday afternoon duffer all in the course of a single hole. Those flashes of brilliance, however, are what inspire us all to keep playing, in hopes of finding that favorite piece.
After three rounds of Deej's Florida Swing, I was pretty frustrated. My dreams of posting good scores during this adventure remained just that...dreams. Standing on the first tee of Innisbrook's Copperhead course, the blindly optimistic golfer inside me still believed that today would be different. This would be the day...
Looking down on the fairway below, I had a hard time believing this was still Florida. Sure, it was only a 30 foot elevation change, but in the Sunshine State, that's like hitting one off of Mount Rainier.
|If there were snow we could ski here...|
Copperhead may be part of a legendary Florida golf resort, but it has little in common with the wide open, treeless tracks of similar destinations around the state. If you miss the fairway at Copperhead, you better know how to hit it off pine straw, while negotiating a forest between you and the green. Thankfully, my trusty 3 wood kept me out of trouble most of the day.
The elevation change that I marveled on the first hole reappeared several times throughout the front nine. The insanely long 5th hole was a virtual roller coaster, with a first and second shot scaling back up Mount Rainier, followed by a third into a green set in a valley. This was all very strange for Florida golf, but I was enjoying every minute of it.
|Florida's version of a mountain...|
Turning to the back 9, things got a little flatter, but they certainly didn't get any easier. As with many great golf courses, Copperhead's bite was still to come...
|Boy does this look like fun...|
The second nine at Copperhead is a little unique, featuring a trio of par 3's. Water also makes an appearance on many holes, adding an additional layer to the course's already difficult test.
The final 3 holes at Copperhead are called the "Snake Pit," and in case you weren't already aware of the course's difficulty, a giant statute of a rattlesnake is there to drive the point home.
|Scariest thing I've ever seen on the golf course...|
After 18 holes of trees, hills, water, and rattlesnake statutes, my optimism on the first tee wasn't wasted. Today was my day... I put up a 77, my first round under 80 in recent memory, and on a Tour course no less. Needless to say, there was a slight pep in my step walking off the last green.
|Do avoid the flowers on 18...|
The shot of the day was actually many shots....my putting. I made 3 birdies during the day, all of which had me holing 15-20 foot putts. Since it's difficult to take pictures while putting, honorable mention goes to my tee shot on the 4th hole, which for a fleeting moment I thought may have gone in.
|It looked a lot closer from the tee...They always do...|
Copperhead is unlike any other resort course in the state of Florida. Tight, tree lined fairways, combined with elevation changes and water, make for one awesome test of golf. It is easy to see why the best in the world visit here every spring, but that doesn't mean us amateurs can't taste a little success on Copperhead. The first step is to open the box...
You never know what you're gonna get.
Enjoy Your Stay