Elevation changes and hard-to-read greens highlight Highlands Reserve Golf Club near Lakeland
DAVENPORT, Fla. -- Highlands Reserve Golf Club sits high atop what is essentially a big sand hill, more than 100 feet from top to bottom. From many of the elevated tees, you have good views of the Orlando-area tract housing that has replaced the orange groves and, beyond that, what locals call the Green Swamp.
The Green Swamp is the dominant feature of this Lakeland-area golf course, even though it never actually comes into play. Highlands Reserve is tilted toward the swamp, and it draws putts like magnets. With greens full of subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) undulation and contours, what looks like a slight miss will slide 10 feet past the hole. As one course regular put it, "There's three famous words here: 'stop' and 'please stop.'"
Golf course designer Mike Dasher made good use of the existing elevation and the waste areas that fan out across the course, which provide some nice visual elements as well as strategic obstacles.
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