New Smyrna Golf Club

by | Apr 22, 2024 | Where to Play

New Smyrna Golf Club, located in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, was built in 1948 and is part of the Florida Historic Golf Trail. The golf course was designed by the famous architect Donald Ross and was one of his final projects before his demise in 1948. Due to a land dispute, the course opened in stages, and the full 18 holes became playable in 1956.

It’s friendly for those who spray the ball off the tee but creates challenges around the greens, as expected with any Ross design. It is a classic municipal course with excellent conditions and greens that will make you feel like you’re putting at a private club, thanks to a 2016 renovation. The course is known for its signature “turtle-back” greens. These greens offer a captivating challenge – open at the front; they allow players to run the ball up strategically. However, the cleverly designed tight mowing of the paspalum grass around them can also send unsuspecting balls rolling into bunkers.

For a unique golfing experience steeped in history, New Smyrna Golf Club offers a great option.

Memorable Holes at New Smyrna Golf Club

Favorite hole: #2 (par-4, 379 from the back tees)

The tee shot is more demanding than it appears, with water down the left side that pinches into the fairway the further you go. Out of bounds also runs down the right side of the hole. Once in position to attack the green, there’s a tree that guards the right portion of the green, creating a substantial visual challenge if the hole is cut on that side of the putting surface. A bunker short and right is a popular finishing position. The tree won’t be confused with the “Ghost Tree” at Bandon Dunes but it’s a cool feature — a feeling you’ll share as long as it doesn’t affect an errant shot.

Easiest hole: #9 (par-5, 504 yards from the back tees)

If you’ve struggled at any point during the front nine, you should feel a sense of relief stepping up to the 9th tee. It’s an easy decision to pull driver with a wide fairway and little trouble — through there are a series of three flat bunkers down the left side. This is a downwind hole in the prevailing wind, so there’s a good chance to reach the green in two. There is a water hazard down the right side that could affect layups but there’s still plenty of room. It’s a great birdie chance before making the turn.

Toughest hole: #15 (par-3, 230 yards from the back tees)

It’s unusual to choose a par-3 as the most difficult hole but the 15th certainly presents a challenge. Normally playing into the prevailing wind, it will require either a long iron or fairway wood to have a chance to reach the putting surface. There are bunkers right and left for approaches that come up short and the green tilts from back to front, creating a challenge for those having to play a pitch after an errant approach.

Risk/Reward: #16 (par-4, 303 yards from the back tees)

If you’ve been beat up by 15, here’s a chance to get it back. A short 4 that normally plays downwind offers players a chance to knock it close to or on a thin, challenging green. Three eyelash shaped bunkers protect the left side of the fairway and a direct line to the flag. For those that take driver, there’s a collection area just short and right of the green that will be a popular area. That leaves a difficult pitch to a green that’s raised on the right side and creates a challenge to get it close — even from just off the putting surface.

Food Options

Grab a bite at: Tiano’s or Baci

Tiano’s is the restaurant inside the clubhouse at New Smyrna Golf Club, but don’t confuse it with an ordinary golf course snack bar. It’s a full-fledged Italian restaurant with a menu that includes all of the classic dishes, pizzas, and some specialty items (Long Island Duck and Lobster Ravioli).

Baci is less than 5 minutes from the course and offers Italian fare. The wood-fired pizzas are excellent and the owners also operate a beer and wine cellar on the same property with a great selection.

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