Hernando Oaks a Hilly Pleasure in Hernando County

By: Tim McDonald


Hernando Oaks Golf and Country Club is one of those fine, unusual golf courses in Hernando County, a fairly rural area a little north of the big city of Tampa without the big-city green fees.

The Scott Pate design is unusual because it plays through the wooded hills of west central Florida, known as the Brooksville Ridge. Not many areas of the state have the sort of hills featured here.

The layout winds through some homes on the front nine, but they rarely intrude and the back nine has hardly any homes at all, so you get a very natural feel throughout the routing.

In fact, most of the course's dangers are comprised of natural water hazards, and the course was laid out by Pate to slide around and over the existing water. No bulldozers here scooping out mounds of earth to make artificial water.

You'll find these water hazards throughout the course, a few on the other side of forced carries; the three closing holes all feature marsh and water.

You need to pay attention to the pin sheet here that shows you the various pin placements. Hernando Oaks members say the large greens accommodate a variety of pin placements, which keeps it interesting on a day-to-day basis.

The greens can be a challenge. They throw only moderate undulation at you, but some drop off abruptly, some to deep bunkers or those water hazards, like No. 2, the most difficult hole on the course.

Like other courses in Hernando County, the course has very low green fees; they're always less than $50 and usually less than $40.

For that, this course is an excellent bargain.

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