Belleview Biltmore Golf Club unearths Donald Ross
I love playing Donald Ross courses, especially those that have gone to lengths to maintain the integrity of his original design.
The Belleview Biltmore Golf Club in Clearwater is such a course. Ross designed the layout back in the Roaring twenties, 1925 to be specific, right down the road from a course that claims to be the first in Florida, the Bellair Country Club.
The Biltmore shut down the course for about a year in 2001. Over time, bunkers had shrunk and some had disappeared altogether, because of maintenance costs.
But, the biggest problem was that modern technology had rendered them obsolete – oversized drivers meant golfers were simply blasting their tee shots well past the bunkers, taking them out of play.
So Chip Powell, who oversaw the renovation, with help from the Donald Ross Society, moved them back to where they would again serve their purpose.
It’s a fine golf course that showcases Ross’ elegant talents, from the bunkers to the playing corridors to the gracefully contoured, crowned greens. Playing a Ross course usually means that you have to pay more attention to the nuances of the game, more so than simply blasting the driver on every hole. Ross makes you think about your short game.
Look for the full review coming soon.
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