One of Central Florida’s finest and most challenging golf courses continues to make the golf experience better for its discerning clientele. Southern Dunes in Haines City is that special hidden gem many golfers miss when planning a trip to the area.

The Steve Smyers original design is always in spectacular shape and is near the top of my playlist when it comes to just great golf, service and delightful grub. Smyers took a barren tract of land stretching through the citrus grove countryside and created a layout reminiscent of Alistair McKenzie’s classic design at Royal Melbourne in Australia. Boldly contoured fairways and greens were created by cutting into the land. Countless bunkers, swales, and hollows were formed adding a new aesthetic definition, drama, and strategy to the 7200-yard course with over 100 feet of elevation change.

Southern Dunes Range Renovation

Southern Dunes Range

Southern Dunes New Putting/Chipping Greens

This year the practice area is being enlarged to accommodate players who wanted more. Both the putting and short game areas have been enlarged and reworked. The all-new hitting bays will now include TopTracer technology to help players and instructors to see the numbers instantly, and provide gaming to take the monotony out of just hitting balls. Players can now play games on TopTracer while on the range against each other or just for fun, and great to introduce youth to the game. Director of Golf Kevin Woodward, PGA, and Nate Myszkowski, the teaching professionals, will now be able to analyze your stroke with the new technology and give more accurate instruction from beginners to single-handicappers. There will also be seating under the new pergola for those of us who need a break while practicing.

Tavern on the Green

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Tavern on the Green inside the tastefully decorated clubhouse. Not only is it great for some cold ones and a sandwich, but the full-service restaurant also has a complete menu and is open for dinner many nights of the week. Our golf group plans to do Thanksgiving there this year.