Guest (cart included), played on Wednesday, August 2017 at 8:23 AM
Ask anyone that has taken up residence here and they will tell you that the Ocala area has it all. The nearby Rainbow Springs connects to the sparkling Rainbow River and produces more than 460 million gallons of crystal clear water daily. The Gulf of Mexico and all its wonderful beaches is about half an hour away. And as Florida goes, the climate is perfect; just look at the live oak trees, many of which are hundreds of years old; you’ll see them throughout the property. The area also offers endless recreational opportunities directed towards seniors. In short, it’s a great place to live.
One community that exemplifies a laid-back style of living and offers fantastic recreation is Juliette Falls in Dunnellon, about 40 minutes southwest of Ocala on US-40, and about 35 minutes from the Gulf of Mexico. Juliette Falls boasts 540 golf home sites on 546 acres; 136 acres of which are part of a nature preserve. The nature preserve features 5 miles of trails, perfect for walkers, bikers and hikers, and offers a sometimes much needed “get-away-from-it-all” ambiance. The homes in Juliette Falls are concrete block with stucco with floor plans and range from 3 to 6 bedrooms and 1,500 to over 7,000 square feet. Home prices range from $200,000 on the low end to over $1 million. Garbage collection, satellite TV, internet and lawn maintenance are all included in monthly HOA. >p>The centerpiece of the Juliette Falls community is the par 72, John Sanford-designed championship golf course. Sanford Design has been a part of over 60 course projects worldwide, in such locations as Japan, Egypt and Canada. Golf Aficionados may recognize the Sanford name from his days with Nicklaus Design.
Juliette Falls is consistently ranked as one of the best golf communities and courses you can play in the entire state of Florida. Shortly after opening in 2008, Golf Digest ranked Juliette Falls in the top five “Top Ten New Courses You Can Play” in the country. The next year, the magazine ranked it #5 "Top Ten Best New Courses". Another accolade bestowed upon the course comes from WorldGolf.com, who in 2016, ranked it #4 on their "Best Under-Publicized Golf Courses in Florida" list; which is great for golfers looking to get on a great course relatively easy.
From the back tees, Juliette Falls plays 7,236 yards with a course rating of 75.4 and a slope of 143. The White Tees will give most golfers all they can handle from 6,269 yards (70.4/130) and still allow them to leave with some dignity. Ladies will have an enjoyable time playing the Red Tees (5,071/69.3/123). Five sets of tee boxes make Juliette Falls fun and challenging for all golfers who choose to play from the set of tees that best suits their game.
The rolling hills of Ocala’s horse country have paved the way for this beautiful, thought-provoking golf course. Juliette Falls winds its way through mature pines, live oaks, flowering magnolias and seasonal annual flowers which adorn the property. For most, the four man-made waterfalls are the aesthetic highlights of the course, especially on the par 3, 13th, aptly dubbed “The Falls”. Wide open fairways give way to well-manicured sand bunkers and waste bunkers lying in wait for errant shots. Water comes into play on 6 holes and creates a dramatic approach shot to the 18th green.
In addition to one of the best golf courses in the area, Juliette Falls also has some of the best practice facilities. This 10-acre practice facility makes working on your golf game fun and you can practice from dawn until dusk. The practice facility includes a state-of-the-art turf range with multiple target greens and bunkers that create a sense of actually playing the course. There’s also a short game area directly behind the driving range complete with a practice bunker and a huge, undulating putting green to get you ready for what you’re about to face.
The clubhouse features a pro shop with all of your favorite logoed apparel and golf accessories as well as separate bar and dining areas. Prime rib is featured on the last Friday of every month and at $20 a plate, attracts a large area following. The rest of the time, Kitchen Manager Scott Bartman serves up some great sandwiches and burgers. No fries though; Juliette Falls has gone the healthier route and rid their kitchen of deep fryers. Sides include potato salad, coleslaw and Miss Vickie’s Chips.
Here are some highlights from the golf course: Most Memorable Hole: Number 17, “Double Trouble”, Par 4, 362 yards. Waterfalls aside, I’ll always remember the large waste bunker on #17 that splits the fairway in two. Keep It left and you’re more likely to hit the fairway; there’s also a lot less carry over sand to get to it. The right side is the more direct route. Either way, a good drive will leave a mid-iron slightly downhill to a green well protected by sand.
Favorite Par 3: Number 13. “The Falls”. If I can only pick one, this has to be Juliette Falls signature hole; it is by far the easiest on the eyes. At only 147 yards, it’s the shortest – and easiest – hole on the course. Water makes up the left side of the green and left pin placements can be tricky as you’ll have to fly it on if you want to get it close. The green is long, narrow and well undulated. No matter how good – or bad – you do on the green, look at the waterfall behind it and you’ll forget all about your score.
Favorite Par 4: Number 18, 408 yards. Although it plays slightly downhill, it’s going to take two well struck shots to reach the green on “Viking Challenge.” If the 408 yards is a little more than you can handle in two shots, play down the left side of the fairway. That will take the water on the right side of the green out of play. Sand left and water right makes this the most challenging hole on the back side.
Favorite (and Toughest) Par 5: Number 6, 517 yards. “Reflection Lake”. This is your first glimpse of water on the course and it only requires a short carry to put it in the rear-view mirror. Playing down the right side of the fairway takes the long waste bunker on the left out of play. Hitting your layup shot across the fairway to the left side will take the largest of the greenside bunkers out of play. Your approach shot is uphill to an elevated green that can be hard to hold. With all the roll in the green, a two-putt is good.
Last Word: Juliette Falls is more than a place to live or a place to play golf; it's more about a lifestyle. While the community and clubhouse may have a laid-back feel, the course is anything but. Pick the tees that best suit your handicap and you’re guaranteed a fun – and challenging – round. The course is well manicured and the greens roll true. Most holes have plenty of room off the tee, setting up what Juliette Falls is all about – the second shot.
Approaches are challenging, although unlike many Florida courses, it’s not the water that will get you, it’s the sand! And it’s everywhere, in all shapes and sizes, Waste bunkers, pot bunkers, fairway bunkers, greenside bunkers; play your round without encountering one and you deserve some sort of prize. Juliette Falls is a great test of golf with great people; every staff member I encountered was outgoing and eager to answer any questions.
For more information on joining or living at Juliette Falls, visit their website at www.JulietteFalls.com.
Guest (cart included), played on Friday, March 2020 at 12:00 PM
From the Panhandle to Key West, the State of Florida is rife with golf courses; there are over 1,250 across the State. That makes for a lot of competition when it comes to vying for your greens fees and membership dollars. And through it all, Juliette Falls in Dunnellon, FL continually rises to the top; year after year they are voted one of the best courses you can play in Florida by highly respected national golf publications.
The terrain in this part of Florida is very different from the rest of the state; you’ll find natural rolling hills and something called elevation change – albeit not much. As you make your way around the course, you’ll be treated to wonderful vistas of lush tropical foliage and beautifully landscaped golf holes that include cascading waterfalls on two of the course's par threes.
Mature pines, flowering magnolias, century-old live oaks, and seasonal annuals adorn the property, creating a serene and inviting environment. The centerpiece of the community is the 7,300-yard John Sanford golf course which is sculpted from the rolling terrain and features manicured conditions from tee to green. Sand comes into play in a variety of forms, from expansive waste bunkers to conventional greenside and fairway traps. You’ll need to deal with water on 7 holes; more if you spray it off the tee. The greens are in great shape and are quick; putts tend to run out and have some extra roll.
Juliette Falls offers 5 sets of tees with a distance that is suitable for every level of golfer. From the back tees, the course plays 7,236 yards with a course rating of 75.4 and a slope of 143. Men can choose between 6,729 yards (139/72.6) and 6269 yards (130/70.4). Seniors will enjoy Juliette Falls from 5,747 yards (124/67.8) while ladies and juniors will be challenged at 5071 yards (123/69.3). Pick the tees that best suit your game and you’re guaranteed to have a great time.
I always like it when a golf course thinks enough of each hole to give it a name. The names the designer comes up with usually deviate greatly from what I would choose, and for a variety of reasons. For example, Number 5 is a 378-yard par 4 called “Dealer’s Choice” because of the tree that splits the fairway in half and makes you choose which way you want to go. Land your drive behind the tree and you’ll need to find a creative way to make par. I’d name it “Tree in the Middle” or “Get Me an Axe!”
Waterfalls come into view on two of the par 3s, Number 7 and Number 13. Number 7, “Oasis” is a very pretty hole water with a couple of well-placed bunkers left of the green and water right of the green, which also wraps in behind it. The waterfall behind the green adds a nice touch. “Oasis” is nice, but I like Shangri-La!
If I had to pick a favorite hole, it would be Number 13, Juliette Falls’ signature hole, aptly dubbed. "The Falls." At only 147 yards, it's the shortest hole on the course. Water guards the left side of the green making left pin placements tricky because you'll have to fly your tee shot over the edge of the water and on to the green if you want to get it close. The green is long, narrow and well undulated. No matter how good - or bad - you do on this hole, one look at the waterfall behind it and you'll forget all about your score. We’ll leave this name alone!
I spoke with several members during my round and asked them which hole they consider their favorite. The majority of them agreed on Number 11, “Green View.” It’s the shortest par 5 on the course and features large waste bunkers down the left side, a couple of strategically placed bunkers on the right and a well-protected green complex. There’s a plaque in the middle of the fairway about 235 yards out where Ian Baker-Finch made a double-eagle on November 10th, 2007! If you’ve got time, drop a ball and have a go at it; you never know! I’d call this hole “A Day at the Beach.”
Number 15 is a short par 4 – 322 yards - that plays uphill all the way. It’s a pretty golf hole with a large waste bunker all the way down the left side. Another bunker comes into play on the right side from about 100 yards in. This creates a narrow corridor of fairway heading into the green. There are more bunkers behind the green as well as a deep one front left. The green slopes back to front and can be extremely challenging, especially if you’re above the hole. Let’s call her “Sandy!”
In addition to being a great place to play, Juliette Falls is also a great place to practice. The state-of-the-art turf range has several target greens and bunkers and creates the feeling of actually playing on the course. The chipping area, practice bunker, and huge putting green let you work on shots on and around the green. Practice makes perfect and at Juliette Falls you can work on your game from dawn to dusk.
Big Dog's Bar inside the clubhouse is a great place to unwind after your round and grab one of Juliette Falls’ signature drinks, the Orange Crush, made with fresh-squeezed Florida oranges. They also have a great selection of beer and liquor and their "all day" menu boasts fresh salads, homemade soups, freshly sliced meats and cheese on freshly baked rolls and bread. Sports aficionados will love the ambiance at Big Dog’s; with large screen TV's all around, you'll be able to watch your favorite teams and the friendly and amiable staff will see to it that you never go hungry or thirsty.
For those of you thinking of relocating to the Sunshine State, Juliette Falls is a great place to call home. The community occupies 546 acres of prime Florida real estate in western Marion County. A nature preserve takes up almost a third of it and adds a lot to the natural beauty and allure of the property. Juliette Falls is an Audubon International Signature Program Member and the nature preserve features 3 miles of trails, perfect for walkers, bikers and hikers. Florida’s fourth-largest natural spring, Rainbow Springs, is nearby and produces more than 460 million gallons of crystal clear water daily. There are only 540 homesites available within the guarded gates of the community and homes are concrete block and stucco with floor plans that range from 3 to 6 bedrooms and 1,500 to over 7,000 square feet. Home prices range from $200,000 on the low end to well over $1 million.
Looking to get away for a few rounds of golf with friends and family? Juliette Falls offers stay and play packages. Where you'll play is obvious, where you'll stay is in a custom-designed Arthur Rutenberg single-family home. Four bedrooms each with its own TV, three bathrooms, a great room which opens out onto the lanai which features a pool, hot tub, and a full outdoor kitchen. This Arthur Rutenberg is located just a short walk from the clubhouse. The package also includes an opportunity to play a second-round for just a cart fee. Rates are very reasonable and it's a great way to experience Juliette Falls community.