In Palm Beach County, public courses are tough to come by. Good public courses are even more rare. That's why Abacoa Golf Club in Jupiter is a novelty. In addition to an energetic layout, the putting surfaces are as smooth and lush as you'll find in this state. But don't misinterpret "smooth" as flat. No way. These greens, particularly the Joe Lee signature fingers, feature some slopes worthy of a black diamond rating in Aspen. If the superintendent had a bad night, you may encounter pin placements that cause vertigo. As a whole, the greens were superb; receptive to all types of shots, true rolling, and masking some subtle breaks. Our group found them eminently entertaining.
The drives don't require having previously played here to hit the right spot, but the greens certainly do. Mistakenly place yourself above the hole on a few of these greens and you might as well add three strokes to your score. But whether you one-putt or threeputt, you'll have a blast doing it.
The 555-yard sixth hole challenges several clubs. You need driver distance off the tee, but veer right and a pair of pines will stymie your second. Pull it left and you'll be introducing yourself to a few turtles and gators. After a solid second shot, you'll face a 125- to 175-yard approach over a ravine to an elevated green that leans harder right than Rush Limbaugh.
Now it's on to the mid-length par-4 seventh hole. The scorecard will tell you this is the #7 handicap. Don't buy it. This one is as dangerous as any on the course, especially when your approach is into the prevailing wind. With your tee shot, you can cut off as much of the lake as you dare, leaving an approach of anywhere from 100 to 200 yards - again over water, with OB left. Breathe.
Abacoa offers a nice array of tees: 7200-yard Gold tees (74.6 rating / 137 slope); 6653-yard Blues (72.1 / 132); 6131-yard Whites; and 5391- yard Reds.
Our group found the track lively and adequately maintained; yet, the layout is squished into minimal acreage. From the 17th tee, six different holes are visible. The 184-yard 13th hole volunteers no bail out, compelling full carry over water to the wide, short green. Few comfortable pin placements materialize here; nearly every conceivable location is sidehill. A good tee shot stays below the hole, hopefully taking three-putt out of the equation. But carrying a ball exactly 170-180 yards isn't high percentage for most of us hackers.
Abacoa opened in 1999, and it receives roughly 50,000 rounds annually.
The par-5 17th is straightforward, but no hole with water skirting the right side for 517 yards can be too easy ... let one shot slide and suddenly you're fighting for bogey.
"I like #18 the best," says Rob Young, director of golf at Abacoa since 2000. "It's a good challenging par 4, demanding off the tee, and you must hit a good drive to set up a reasonable approach shot. I also like the view of the clubhouse in the background view to the green."
Abacoa Golf Club is open for public play. Rates vary depending on season and day.
This review/description of Abacoa Golf Club was provided courtesy of www.FloridaGolfJournal.com
(cart included), played on Monday, September 2009 at 8am
$101 (cart included), played on Wednesday, March 2009 at 8am
I live near by and I wonder why they charge so much. The cars in the parking lot and the groups on the course seem to say the course is underused. Terrific course for all levels, 5 sets of tees. Maybe it is in the shape it is in because of the less frequent play. There are some low spots that get and stay wet for awhile so some rough might be high but overall it is a finely manacured facility with large landing areas.
$76 (cart included), played on Tuesday, January 2009 at 8am
The rough is so high you cant find your ball 2 yards off fairway.
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