If variety is the spice of life, then Innisbrook Golf Resort in Palm Harbor, FL, will satisfy even the most particular golf appetite. Covering 900 wooded acres on Florida’s west coast, Innisbrook is home to not one, not two, not three, but four tastefully diverse golf layouts.
Copperhead is Innisbrook’s most famous drawing card as the 7,200-yard golf course that draws millions of fans on television each March as part of the PGA’s Valspar Championship. What’s great is that Innisbrook’s golf paradise doesn’t stop at the tour favorite Copperhead. The Innisbrook property also offers three equally pretty sister courses, with their Island Course, North Course, and South Course.
Golf, culinary, and relaxation diversions abound at this sunshine Mecca which has charmed vacationers, golfers, and convention attendees for over 40 years. Located 30 minutes northwest of Tampa International Airport, Innisbrook has grown into a destination favorite for even the non-golfer. In addition to its 620 lodge-style hotel rooms, Innisbrook amenities include three restaurants, a Loch Ness pool for the kids, 100,000-square feet of meeting space, and the luxurious Salamander Spa.
Once, Twice, Four Times a Golfer
Copperhead Course –
If you’ve secretly longed to play where the big boys and girls play, then the course dubbed “The Snake Pit” is your chance to live the dream. Ernie Els called Copperhead “Florida’s best golf resort.” Curtis Strange placed Copperhead on an even higher pedestal when he said, “If I could only play one course for the rest of my life, it would be Copperhead.” Copperhead will make you ponder each shot with its abundance of sand traps, scenic vistas, and one-of-a-kind opportunity to recreate the same shots you witnessed from the game’s greats during the Valspar Classic.
Innisbrook’s Island Course is an interesting change of pace from Copperhead. The word “island” is especially prevalent at the beginning of the front nine when Lake Innisbrook comes into play. The Island’s back nine features Pinellas County’s highest elevation as you take in the view from the 10th green. Your next shot on number 11 features a severe right to left slope, followed by a wall-to-wall water guarding your approach shot into the green. The back nine’s 16th tee box is home to your best photo opportunity as you step next to the towering Copperhead “Snake Pit” statue.
Innisbrook is bursting its buttons with pride over the just completed renovation of the North Course. All 18 greens were replanted with TifEagle Bermuda grass, the same putting surfaces the professionals play in the Valspar Championship. During the five month renovation process, the North Course revitalization also included conditioning of the bunkers, overall manicuring, and green expansion throughout. This Larry Packard design features tight fairways and a historic feel.
Innisbrook’s South Course is your chance to take a walk on the wild side. The South Course wild comes in the form of an eclectic mix of creatures such as people-friendly fox squirrels, herons, cranes, raccoons, osprey, and alligators.
The South Course steps up its wild side personality as it evolves into a links style course on holes 5 through 13. The wild attitude culminates at the end with a rare Par 3, 185-yard finish over the water on 18.
Go Home With an Improved Game
Innisbrook Resort offers a wealth of golf packages for the vacationer and business meeting attendee. One of their best options is a Four Day/Three Night Golf Instruction special at their award-winning Golf Institute.
Led by Instructor Dawn Mercer, Innisbrook’s Golf Institute is ranked as one of the Top 25 Golf Schools in America by Golf Magazine. What could be better than enjoying a Florida vacation and coming home a better golfer?
Salamander Spa’s Golfers Delight
After pouring your heart and soul into four glorious golf rounds at Innisbrook Golf Resort, how does unwinding your muscles and rejuvenating your inner golfer sound? The 18,000-square foot Salamander Spa has something special designed just golfers.
In addition to their luxurious line of treatments, therapies, facials, manicures, and pedicures, the Salamander Spa offers a Golfers Muscle Melter Massage. This specially designed treatment relaxes muscle tension and mobilizes joints. This invigorating massage utilizes pressure and light stretching to improve range of motion, circulation, and flexibility.
You are bound to work up an appetite after golf and your relaxing spa session. So what’s a golfer to do when hunger calls? Packard’s is Innisbrook’s signature restaurant. Situated next to Copperhead Golf Course, Packard’s is named after the golf course designer who called the resort home, and is one of three bistros overseen by Executive Chef Thomas McKinney-Stehr. Innisbrook’s personable chef will tailor a menu to suit your group’s needs.
McKinney-Stehr is a culinary risk taker and he’ll prepare as many delightful courses as your tummy and imagination handle. Innisbreak also has two other strategically placed restaurants to satisfy your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and Happy Hour needs.
Score Four for Fore
If you’ve never experienced a Florida vacation getaway, why limit yourself to one course when Innisbrook Resort and Spa delivers four terrific options? You’ll find that playing 72 epic golf holes on 900 pristine acres is good for the soul. After experiencing Copperhead, Island, North, and South Golf courses, the chances are excellent that your new favorite number is fore.
Story by Tim Cotroneo