SUMMERFIELD, Florida – Stonecrest Golf Club is located in Summerfield, Florida approximately two miles from The Villages. It is one of a number of golf courses located in this area. I visited this Country Club community about two years ago, as someone looking to relocate from Cape Cod to Florida, but was not impressed with the condition of the course and crossed it off my list of possible places to live.
After moving here to the Villages two years ago and getting involved with writing for NewEngland.golf, I decided it might be a good idea to take another look at this golf course. I guess I just wanted to see if there were any improvements made to what I remembered being a unique layout. I remember it had great potential for offering an enjoyable and challenging round of golf.
Upon arrival at the course, I met Ford H Olinger, (The Director of Golf and Head Golf Professional) who welcomed me to Stonecrest and sent me off to the first tee to join three club members for a round of golf. Golfing with members, who have been living at Stonecrest for many years, was both a rewarding, fun experience, with a lot of the course history discussed. It quickly became obvious to me that the course has gone through considerable changes since the last time I played here.
Playing from the white tees the total distance measured 5,551 yards. Although this seems like a relatively short course, it played much longer due to the many hills and undulating fairways. The front nine was less hilly than the back but hazards and traps were strategically placed which made driving accuracy and important ingredient to success on most holes.
The back nine was an almost totally different golf course. The 10th hole could be the most unforgiving par 5 in Florida. The long discontinued fairway leads to a shot over the water to a relatively small green. Two good shots will leave you a carry of 175 – 200 yards over the water. Leaving you with a risk/reward shot to get to the green in three. Only one player in my foursome attempted to reach in regulation and he was unsuccessful.
The entire back nine is built on hills that challenge even the best players to bring their A game. It is a fair test of a golfer’s ability to drive the ball straight and avoid sand traps and moguls along the way. I found that local knowledge goes a long way in helping a golfer better understand the secrets behind a successful day on a golf course. Special thanks to my hosts for sharing those secrets and I promise I will keep the code of silence you requested.
The course was in relatively good shape when I played in late September. The fairways and greens were well trimmed and playable. There are some issues with “goose grass” in the fairways, but it is cut short and doesn’t seem to interfere with play. Some greens need attention due to a hot and rainy summer. There are some spots that are showing excessive wear but for the most part the greens were putting with consistency and speed. I enjoyed playing Stonecrest Golf Club and congratulate the Course Superintendent for the noticeable improvement over the past 12 months.
I recommend a visit to Stonecrest Golf Club if you happen to be traveling on Rt 27/441 in the Summerfield area. It’s an enjoyable experience and they’ll have the welcome mat out awaiting your arrival.