New Smyrna Golf Club: A Refreshing Retreat ‘FORE’ Golfers
“Magnificent Golf, Superb Amenities, and Outstanding Service.” That’s the message that you’ll see when you visit the Internet home page for the New Smyrna Golf Club (1000 Wayne Avenue, New Smyrna Beach, Florida; 386-410-2693). If a golf club is bold enough to make such a proclamation, then golfers should be bold enough to go play this golf club, which is one of the 53 golf courses on the Florida Historic Golf Trail.
The roots of this 18-hole, par-72 layout (newsmyrnagolfclub.com) can be traced to 1948 when W. Tydings gave the City of New Smyrna Beach 150 acres of land for the construction of a golf course. As an incentive for city leaders to act quickly, there was a stipulation in the agreement which stated that the land would be returned to Tydings if a golf course was not built within ten years.
Soon after the acquisition of the land, James B. McGovern, a longtime design associate of legendary golf course architect Donald Ross, visited New Smyrna Beach on behalf of Ross and then signed a deal that Donald Ross and Associates would oversee the design and construction of this golf course. Groundbreaking and construction began later that year. Nine holes were opened in early 1949, but, because of a dispute over the title to a part of the property, work on the back nine came to a stop. Four more holes were then opened in 1953. The remaining five holes weren’t completed until 1956 and then opened for play in the spring of 1957.
Did You Know?
Like many municipal golf courses in Florida, there’s often a twist or quirk to these golf courses that help them stand apart. The New Smyrna Golf Club is no exception, as the early developers of this golf course included a horse stable and a bridle path that encircled the entire golf course.
Today’s golfers who visit the New Smyrna Golf Club are playing a golf course that measures from 4,700 yards to 6,500 yards. It was completely renovated in 2006 by Bobby Weed. In 2016, the greens were replaced with platinum paspalum grass and all the bunkers were softened, according to New Smyrna Golf Club Head Pro, Gary Wintz. The greens were also enlarged to give more pin positions.
There is a certain amount of symmetry to the New Smyrna Golf Club as the first three holes on both the front and back nine open up with two consecutive par fours and a par three. And, both the front nine and back nine conclude with a par five. Of the 18 different putting surfaces, only the 13th green is bunker-free. While the 13th green has no bunkers, the mounds that surround the putting surface create unique pitching and chipping angles. At this golf course, all four par fives are legitimate birdie opportunities as two of these par fives are under 500 yards long. And, water comes into play on eight holes at this course.
New Smyrna Golf Club Signature Hole
The signature hole is the 2nd hole – a medium length par four which features a lake to the left and out-of-bounds to the right. On your approach to the green, you must negotiate a pine tree that protects the entrance to the green.
“I don’t know what we’re going to do if that tree ever dies and goes away,” admitted Wintz. “The tree is part of our logo.”
Personally, Wintz’s favorite hole is the long par-three 15th hole.
“From the back tees, it’s more than 230 yards to the pin,” added Wintz. “The green is protected by bunkers short right and short left. Par is a great score. Not many people birdie the 15th hole.”
Whether you play this course in the spring, summer, fall, or winter, you can always expect to find a golf course in great shape.
“Our greens are absolutely perfect and when we overseed with rye grass in late October, the course is lush,” noted Wintz. “We are constantly working to make this course in better shape.”
Another point worth noting about New Smyrna Golf Club is that the distance from greens to tees is minimal. Which makes the course attractive to walkers.
Right now, this golf course has been labeled as a haven for local and visiting golfers alike. If you are a local or visiting golfer, make plans to visit this haven where you can expect magnificent golf, superb facilities, and outstanding service.