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Golf Pro's Favorite Holes

Shadow Wood Golf Pro's Favorite Holes!

With 54 holes of golf, Shadow Wood Country Club is truly a golfer's paradise! But having 54 holes presents one challenge... how do we pick a favorite?

I am often asked which is the "best" course, or what is our signature hole? Well, to be honest, it’s just too hard to choose! Each of the three Shadow Wood courses have different features and challenges which makes them each unique.

So, I decided to take the question to the pros! What surprised me the most after asking 7 of our golf professionals is that I heard 7 different answers! This is truly a testament that the game of golf is unique for all those who play it.

  • Brian Bartolec, PGA, General Manager/COO, South Course, Hole # 18, Par 5
  • Andy Scrivner, PGA, Director of Golf, North Course, Hole # 12, Par 5
  • Bryan McComb, PGA, Head Golf Professional, North Course, Hole #2, Par 4
  • Phil Pellerito, PGA, PGA Professional, South Course, Hole #1, Par 5
  • Nick Prunty, PGA, First Assistant Golf Professional, North Course, Hole #7, Par 4
  • Mark Moffatt, PGA, Director of Golf Instruction, South Course, Hole #14, Par 4
  • Jessica Dickson, PGA, Director of Golf Instruction, Preserve Course, Hole #3, Par 4
  • Tom Kern, PGA, Preserve Club Manager, Preserve Course, Hole # 18, Par 5
  • Eric Ruha, Director of Agronomy, Preserve Course, Hole #10, Par 4

If you want to know why our team of PGA professionals love these holes and learn some of their best pro tips for each, then read on below!

“My favorite hole is #18 South. This is a great finishing hole. There is a real risk reward factor to going for the green in two. It is always nice to have a gallery watching from the Sunset Terrace as you finish your round.”
“Hole # 12 on the North Course is a par-five and plays 603 yards from the Black Teeing Grounds. This is a terrific par-five in that each shot requires careful thought and offers some risk-reward consideration. With the natural preserve area fronting the entire left side of the hole and backdrop behind the green, this hole nicely marries SW Florida nature with the golfing experience. For the longer hitting players, starting your tee shot over the lake and towards the left half of the fairway provides the best opportunity to play aggressive into the green. After finding the left half of the fairway, focus your alignment on the front-right greenside bunker, and be aggressive with your swing to promote right-to-left spin on the shot. Successfully pulling off this second shot may result in your ball reaching the green and utilizing the contours to get close! If your second shot finishes safely in the fairway short of the green, remain focused on your next shot, as the slopes around this green make it uniquely difficult to recover from a wayward approach!”
“Standing on the tee on the North Course Hole #2 is nature at its best in Southwest Florida. The dogleg to the right shape of the hole, bordered by the full trees on the left, a lake on the right, with a nature preserve area behind the green, makes this one of the most visual appealing holes on the course. Once the beauty sets in, do not let the short Par 4 deceive you. For being a short Par 4, this hole has some teeth and can be very difficult if not played according to the design of the hole. To play this hole the best, it is recommended to play out to the left of the bunker and lake, trying to position your ball on the left side of the fairway, if possible. From the left side of the fairway you will have the best approach angle into the green. With bunkers guarding the front right and left side of the green, and a preserve area over the green, it is best to try to play to the middle of the green, regardless of the pin placement. If you were fortunate to hit a couple of well struck shots, this hole can setup a great birdie opportunity. However, the unfortunate missed shots can make this short hole very difficult. Between the beautiful aesthetics and fairness of the hole, this is one of the best holes on the North Course.”
"Hole #1 on the South Course is a great starting Par 5 that allows you to set the tone for your round. An open tee shot lets you be aggressive from the start providing you the opportunity for a risk-reward scenario. For the longer hitters, getting a kickoff the downslope of the fairway gives you a great opportunity to reach the green in two. If a layup is needed, be sure to play to the left side of the fairway as this provides the best angle to the pin regardless of the position. Keep your aggressive mindset with your approach and play just left of the pin as this will give you an uphill putt and a great chance for a solid opening score. One thing to remember is to not go over the green unless you want to test your short game early with a difficult chip or pitch."
"My favorite hole is North #7. This beautiful dog leg left favors a slight draw and offers a good risk-reward strategy from the tee. Given the right conditions, players can cut the corner and carry over the water for a shorter approach in. The safest play from the tee is to hit a fairway wood or hybrid and aim straight down the middle at the fairway bunker. The more dangerous option is to play a slight draw and aim at the small bunker on the left side of the fairway, which will give you a much shorter approach in. Once safely on the fairway, players still have a tough approach shot ahead of them. The miss on the approach shot is short and right, as anything long of this green makes for a difficult up and down. Any shot safely to the middle of this green is a good approach and a good chance at birdie!"
“We have many great golf holes throughout our 54 holes at Shadow Wood Country Club, but one of my favorites is No. 14 South. This is a wonderful risk reward hole that is challenging yet fair to all levels of golfers. From the teeing ground water guards the landing area along the right side of the fairway. There is plenty of room left if you choose not to take on the water. The green has a false front with a collection area to the right and a bunker left. The green looks smaller than it is from the fairway due to the green contours that create an illusion to the golfer. One of my favorite features of the hole is the preserve left of the landing area off the tee which is dominated by willow and other native trees and natural wildlife. It gives the player the feel of playing out in nature. If the player is bold enough the preferred play off the tee is down the right side of the fairway because it gives the player, the best angle and view of the green on their approach. From this angle the player has the additional option of landing the ball short and possibly running it up the false front. If the player chooses to fly the ball onto the green be sure to play to the middle of the green, because a ball not hit solid will roll back off the false front making for a challenging chip or putt up a steep incline.”
"An inviting, short and simple par four, the third hole at the Preserve can build positive momentum for your round. Standing on the tee you are looking at a probable birdie chance, yet an opportunity for a high score. Play it safe off the tee by laying up short of the bunker and you will be left with a longer approach to an undulated green. Challenge the bunker in the landing area and you could easily find the water guarding the entire left side of the hole. However, if you successfully carry the bunker and find the fairway, you will be rewarded with a short wedge and a scoring opportunity. A recent enhancement to this green allows for more rollout towards the back and a bail out area to the right. Play aggressively at a pin on the left side of the green and you better be precise."
“I feel with the new re-design of the Preserve golf course, #18 will be the new signature hole. It is a relatively short part 5 in today’s standards but feature a lot of risk or reward. Depending on the tees you choose, with a good drive you will be anywhere from 175 to 225 yards away from the green. Facing a second shot to a green that is tucked close to the newly added bulkhead. With a bold second shot executed precisely you can reach the green and have a putt for eagle, but you also risk going into the water on the right side of the green and having to scramble for par or bogey. The safe way to play the hole is to lay up and have a relatively easy 3rd shot and try getting a birdie with a long putt or an easy 2 putt for par. With the match on the line, you will have to decide which play gives you the best advantage for the final hole of your round.”
“This hole speaks the name Preserve in every aspect. From the early construction phase of having to re-locate gopher tortoises into the natural area to the right, to the wood line running completely around the perimeter, #10 is one of only a few holes that has no homes along the border. And for my golf game, that is safer for everyone. The original oaks that flank the landing area may not look that big from the tee, but when you challenge them if “threading the needle” you need to be very accurate as they soon tower over you. Setting up before the oaks is safe and will have you 160/140 into the green, but the more you gamble, the shorter wedges come into play. As you look upon the green complex, the backdrop is a very picturesque natural area that frames the area perfectly. As the sun sets in the West, the shadows cast along this fairway are spectacular.”

Which of Shadow Wood’s Courses and hole is your favorite?
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