Scenic Tampa golf with a friendly atmosphere awaits at Pebble Creek Golf Club

By Travel ArticlesFebruary 8, 2012, 10:04 pm

TAMPA, Fla. -- Some of the most pleasant golf course experiences in the Tampa area come thanks to mature, mossy oaks shading the fairways. Tampa's Pebble Creek Golf Club offers not only a preserve-like setting for golf but also a low-key, friendly environment that makes any golfer feel like they're at their home club.

Pebble Creek was founded in 1967, located just north of the heart of Tampa and about a 15-minute drive north from Busch Gardens. The course was designed by Bill Amick and is the centerpiece of an established residential community.

?Despite its location in the thick of this Tampa neighborhood, the course upholds a scenic, quiet ambiance, due largely in part to the property's many grandfather mossy oak trees that sit beside greens and fairways. In addition, 16 holes are guarded with ponds and streams, some of which don't come into play as much as serve as beautification.

One of the more notable holes on the back side is the water-heavy 14th. This is a narrow, sharp dogleg left with water on both sides of the fairway. On top of that, the approach shot must find an angle around tall cypress trees that guard it to a raised green. Suddenly, this par 4, barely longer than 300 yards, has every golfer's full attention.

In spite of the more target-style 14th, big-swingers will find plenty of opportunities to let it rip at Pebble Creek. The course, at 6,436 yards from the championship tees, features three long par 5s and a handful of long par 4s. Each nine finishes with a bang: the ninth hole, a gentle dogleg left lined with oaks is the longest par 4 on the course at 434 yards. The 18th, while just less than 400 yards, is undoubtedly the toughest approach shot on the course, requiring a carry over Pebble Creek to an elevated green.

Traditional golf with modern enhancements at Pebble Creek Golf Club

While the course is unmistakably a traditional Floridian-style golf design, Pebble Creek has undergone about $2 million in recent upgrades. The biggest development for golfers is the addition of new Champions Bermuda greens.

Implemented four years ago, the new surface rolls faster than the prior surface. Additionally, full-color GPS systems were installed in golf carts to assist golfers. Off the golf course, the club's banquet and dining facilities were expanded.

Improvements aren't done, however. The course is continually trimming trees back in some spots where they can to open up playing corridors -- especially near some tee boxes -- and also build a new practice green. Outside the clubhouse, a new lanai and expansion of the banquet room is under way. And with the recent laws banning smoking indoors, the club is working on installing an outdoor cigar bar.

Pebble Creek Golf Club: The verdict

?Pebble Creek's layout presents a challenge, though one that isn't brutally tough for any skill level, along with a consistently pleasant natural environment that makes for an enjoyable round amongst nature. The course can be especially favorable to senior or women's groups, as there aren't too many forced carries.

Stick around for a pint or two in Mulligan's after the round where the wait staff is cheerful and should be able to twist your arm into sticking around for one or two more rounds of drinks than you had planned.

?Those who live near Pebble Creek and enjoy the course and friendly vibe should inquire about memberships to the club that start as low as $185/month.

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Watch: Tiger birdies 3 of 4 before going OB

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 18, 2018, 8:30 pm

Starting Sunday five off the lead, Tiger Woods teed off in his final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a laced 2-iron and a par at No. 1.

Woods hit the green at the par-3 second but left himself a 50-foot birdie putt and a 6-footer to save par, which he walked in.

A two-putt 4 at the par-5 fourth gave Woods his first birdie of the day and moved him to 8 under for the week. Apparently energized, Tiger pulled driver at the short par-4 fifth and unleashed this violent swing.

A pitch from the thick rough hit a sprinkler head and stopped on the apron, leading to this birdie try, which fortunately hit the pin but unfortunately didn't fall.

Looking to pick up another stroke - or two - at the par-5 sixth, Woods took his drive 317 yards over the water and hit this second shot from 227 yards to 13 feet, leading to another two-putt birdie when his eagle try burned the right edge.

Returning to his trusty 2-iron, Tiger found the fairway at the par-4 eighth and then threw this dart from 176 yards to 6 feet and rolled in his third birdie putt of the day to move to 10 under.

His momentum was slowed by his first bogey of the day at No. 9, the product of an errant drive and its ensuing complications. As a result, Woods made the turn 2 under on his round, 9 under for the week, and still five off the lead, like when he started the day.

But Woods wouldn't wait long to make up for his mistake, immediately responding with another flagged iron and another birdie at No. 10.

He continued his assault on Bay Hill's par-5s at the 12th, getting up and down from the sand for a birdie-4 that moved him to 11 under par, just two off the lead.

And with this roll at 13 giving him his third birdie in four holes, the charge was officially on, with Woods just one back.

Just when it looked like Woods was primed for a late run at his 80th PGA Tour victory, Woods stepped to the tee at the par-5 16th, where he had missed wide right three days in a row, and sniped his drive out of bounds into a backyard miles left.

He made 4 on his second ball for a bogey-6 to drop back to 11 under, three behind.

(More coming...)

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Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 18, 2018, 5:00 pm

Tiger Woods will start Sunday five off the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. How will he follow up last week's runner-up? We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

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McIlroy: Time for Tour to limit alcohol sales on course

By Ryan LavnerMarch 18, 2018, 1:50 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rory McIlroy suggested Saturday that the PGA Tour might need to consider curbing alcohol sales to stop some of the abusive fan behavior that has become more prevalent at events.

McIlroy said that a fan repeatedly yelled his wife’s name (Erica) during the third round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

“I was going to go over and have a chat with him,” McIlroy said. “I think it’s gotten a little much, to be honest. I think they need to limit the alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something, because every week it seems like guys are complaining about it more and more.

Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

“I know that people want to come and enjoy themselves, and I’m all for that, but sometimes when the comments get personal and people get a little bit rowdy, it can get a little much.”

This isn’t the first time that McIlroy has voiced concerns about fan behavior on Tour. Last month at Riviera, he said the rowdy spectators probably cost Tiger Woods a half-shot a round, and after two days in his featured group he had a splitting headache.

A week later, at the Honda Classic, Justin Thomas had a fan removed late in the final round.

McIlroy believes the issue is part of a larger problem, as more events try to replicate the success of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which has one of the liveliest atmospheres on Tour.

“It’s great for that tournament, it’s great for us, but golf is different than a football game, and there’s etiquette involved and you don’t want people to be put off from bringing their kids when people are shouting stuff out,” he said. “You want people to enjoy themselves, have a good day.”

As for a solution, well, McIlroy isn’t quite sure.

“It used to be you bring beers onto the course or buy beers, but not liquor,” he said. “And now it seems like everyone’s walking around with a cocktail. I don’t know whether (the solution) is to go back to letting people walking around with beers in their hands. That’s fine, but I don’t know.”

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Confident Lincicome lurking after 54 holes at Founders

By Randy SmithMarch 18, 2018, 2:45 am

PHOENIX – Brittany Lincicome is farther back than she wanted to be going into Sunday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but she’s in a good place.

She’s keeping the momentum of her season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic victory going this year.

Her confidence is high.

“Last year, I won in the Bahamas, but then I didn't do anything after that,” Lincicome said. “I don't even know if I had a top 10 after my win in the Bahamas. Obviously, this year, I want to be more consistent.”

Lincicome followed up her victory in the Bahamas this year with a tie for seventh in her next start at the Honda LPGA Thailand. And now she’s right back on another leaderboard with the year’s first major championship just two weeks away. She is, by the way, a two-time winner at the ANA Inspiration.

Missy Pederson, Lincicome’s caddie, is helping her player keep that momentum going with more focus on honing in the scoring clubs.

“One of our major goals is being more consistent,” Pederson said. “She’s so talented, a once in a generation talent. I’m just trying to help out in how to best approach every golf course.”

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Pederson has helped Lincicome identify the clubs they’re likely to attack most with on the particular course they are playing that week, to spend more time working with those clubs in practice. It’s building confidence.

“I know the more greens we hit, and the more chances we give ourselves, the more our chances are to be in contention,” Pederson said. “Britt is not big into stats or details, so I have to figure out how to best consolidate that information, to get us exactly where we need to be.”

Lincicome’s growing comfort with clubs she can attack with is helping her confidence through a round.

“I’ve most noticed consistency in her mental game, being able to handle some of the hiccups that happen over the course of a round,” Pederson said. “Whereas before, something might get under her skin, where she might say, `That’s what always happens,’ now, it’s, `All right, I know I’m good enough to get this back.’ I try to get her in positions to hit the clubs we are really hitting well right now.”

That’s leading to a lot more birdies, fewer bogeys and more appearances on leaderboards in the start to this year.