TPC Treviso Bay vs. Old Corkscrew: Which Naples beast has more might?

By Travel ArticlesMarch 29, 2012, 4:00 am

ESTERO, Fla. -- Without a doubt, the TPC Treviso Bay in Naples and Old Corkscrew Golf Club in nearby Estero are the two toughest bullies on the block for public players visiting southwest Florida.

It's not a coincidence, either. Both big-name designers -- Jack Nicklaus at Old Corkscrew and Arthur Hills at TPC Treviso Bay -- were hired to create challenging tracks geared toward tantalizing and teasing private club members who are generally better players than Average Joes.

Some first-timers get so beat up by Old Corkscrew and TPC Treviso Bay they swear never to return. Too bad they'll never learn to appreciate the nuances of each place.

Everyone is encouraged to play up a tee box by starters at both courses, but even then, the slope ratings from the forward tees are exceedingly high. The gold tees, the third set at the TPC Treviso Bay, boast a slope of 141 from 6,421 yards. The whites, the equivalent at Old Corkscrew, play 6,262 yards with a slope of 129.

Why do golfers tolerate so much abuse?

It's simple: Old Corkscrew and TPC Treviso Bay remain two of the best (if not the best) public golf courses in the region. They're situated in serene, natural environments with no houses in sight. Their routings are good enough to host top tournaments. And they're conditioning remains on par -– or better -- than most private clubs.

Old Corkscrew Golf Club

Stewart Cink has never broken par after several rounds on the 7,393-yard Old Corkscrew, managed by KemperSports. Jack Nicklaus shot a 9 on the fifth hole, the no. 1 handicap, at the grand opening in 2007.

Yep, this is one tough hombre, a perfect mix of forest, natural bunkering and wetlands. Environmental restrictions helped the 275-acre golf course earn status as a Certified Audubon International Silver Signature Sanctuary from Audubon International.

The softening of Old Corkscrew continues. Early on, danger zones along some fairways were cleared of scrub and underbrush. Previously shaven hillsides -- such as the par-5 third -- now grow free, adding rough to catch errant balls that once rolled back into the water. More recently, fescue growing on bunker edges has been removed for more playability.

The greens remain borderline controversial, however, considering their speed, wild undulations and hidden breaks. The most notorious offender is the plateau green at the 445-yard 14th hole. Fortunately, two strong, risk-reward par 4s on the back nine make up for this nuisance.

Old Corkscrew still demands harrowing approach shots to no. 3, no.5, no. 9 and no. 11, but for the most part, it's just a fun challenge.

TPC Treviso Bay

The TPC Treviso Bay, opened in 2008, feels even more secluded and pristine than Old Corkscrew. Hills and Hal Sutton, player consultant, were handed a virtual jungle five miles east of Naples bordering the 110,000-acre Rookery Bay National Estuarine Reserve.

Thick scrub vegetation, tree cover and wetlands make up this stunning 7,367-yard layout. The first impression of the place is a doozy: all the fountains, bridges, fancy homes and Mediterranean architecture along the two-mile drive to the course.

The club hosted the Champions Tour's 2009 ACE Group Classic before financial troubles derailed its plans to stay private. A new owner, Lennar Homes, opened the club to the public last June.

There are no immediate plans to finish the shell of a clubhouse, although the practice facilities and course make up for the issue. Water steals the show throughout the round, especially on the Cape hole at no. 11 and the long par 5s at nos. 12 and 18. Finishing the round with the same ball you started with is almost unheard of around here.

'It is one of those courses you need to see a couple of times,' said Director of Golf Mark Wilhelmi. 'We joke that you've got to get your practice round in. It's a tough course.'

Treviso Bay vs. Old Corkscrew: The verdict

I vote TPC Treviso Bay the toughest. There's more water, hence more heroic shots.

My group -- including three single digits who played from the 6,792-yard blue tees -- lost roughly 20 golf balls. To be fair, we were all shaking off our winter rust.

Wilhelmi did tell me later the course was in 'tournament condition.' Dormant grass made it play firm and fast, so many balls rolled down slopes into water and bunkers. He said it is more player friendly later in the year when the grass grows longer.

The greens are the biggest detriment to scoring at Old Corkscrew. You might actually score higher at Old Corkscrew than the TPC, even if you don't lose as many balls.

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Watch: Reed races in 40-footer to put away Spieth

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 10:19 pm

Three up with three holes to play at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Patrick Reed missed an opportunity to close out his match with Jordan Spieth when Spieth won the 16th hole with a birdie.

But Reed wouldn't let the match move to 18. Putting for birdie from the apron, 40 feet from the hole, at the par-3 17th, Reed raced in this putt to end the match.

With the win, Reed moved to 3-0-0 for the week and advanced to the weekend at Austin Country Club.

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Garcia's win-win situation: Move on or baby time

By Rex HoggardMarch 23, 2018, 9:45 pm

AUSTIN, Texas – Given his status as one of Europe’s preeminent Ryder Cup players, Sergio Garcia’s record at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play is nothing short of inexplicable.

In 15 starts at the event, the Spaniard has played the weekend just once – in 2010 when he lost in the semifinals to Ian Poulter – and since the event pivoted to round-robin play he’s never made it out of the group stages.

His fortunes have changed dramatically this year, with Garcia going undefeated in pool play and cruising to the Sweet 16 following a 3-and-1 victory over Xander Schauffele on Friday.

“I would love to have done a little better than I have,” said Garcia, who will play Kyle Stanley in the Round of 16 early Saturday. “I have had some good weeks here. But not probably as good as I should have. So hopefully this week it will be better.”

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Full bracket | Scoring | Group standings

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play: Articles, photos and videos

Garcia made no secret of the source of his turnaround following the birth of his first child last Wednesday, a girl named Azalea. Even on Friday when he found himself 2 down through 11 holes and in danger of not advancing he kept an upbeat attitude.

“The way I looked at it, when I was 2 down, we're going to try to turn it around, but if we don't, it means that I get to spend more time with [his wife] Angela and Azalea for the weekend,” Garcia said. “I tried to look at it in a good way.”

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DeLaet: WGC's robin-robin format 'sucks'

By Grill Room TeamMarch 23, 2018, 9:20 pm

Graham DeLaet isn't teeing it up at Austin Country Club this week because he didn't qualify for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, but that doesn't mean he lacks an opinion on the event's format.

DeLaet hopped on social media Friday during Day 3 of the WGC-Match Play to torch the round-robin format that's been in place for three years, saying he much preferred the single elimination that was in place when he played in 2014.

"Played Match Play in Tucson in 2014. Early group on Wednesday, lost. Threw clubs in my car and was on my couch in Scottsdale by 2:00 pm. Collect 30K and spend the weekend at home, he tweeted. "That’s a good format. This one sucks."

DeLeat's comments may be the strongest to date, but he's not alone in his opposition to pool play. Several players lamented Friday's "meaningless" matches earlier this week, and Henrik Stenson cited the lack of a do-or-die atmosphere as his reason for skipping the event.

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Watch: Kuchar makes ace at WGC-Dell Match Play

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 23, 2018, 9:09 pm

In his bid to advance to the weekend at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Matt Kuchar aced the par-3 seventh hole Friday at Austin Country Club.

With an 8-iron from 181 yards, Kuchar landed his ball short of the flag and watched it roll and roll ... and drop.

The hole-in-one moved Kuchar 3 Up in match against Ross Fisher. 

The last hole-in-one at the Match Play came in Sunday's consolation match last year, when Hideto Tanihara aced the same hole before later losing to Bill Haas.