The Dunes Golf Club Soars Above Hernando County

By: Tim McDonald


The Dunes Golf Club in Weeki Wachee has nothing to do with Florida's beach dunes. It's a big, brawny course set down inland, in the sand hills of west central Florida.

Hills in Florida? Actually yes, there are many. The Dunes sits atop the Brooksville Ridge, a series of dunes rising north and south more than 300 feet above sea level – serious elevation for Florida.

Millions of years ago, these high dunes were islands surrounded by an inland sea. Now, they provide scenery and drama for the visiting golfer.

The course itself has more than 50 feet of elevation change, reminiscent of a Carolina layout. The ubiquitous waste areas are natural, and serve as both scenery and strategic obstacles. Don't be surprised if you find one or two in the middle of the fairway.

The course is an Arthur Hills design and he's used the spectacle of the natural landscape to come up with one of his better designs. The course was renovated and reopened in June of 2008 and now it's even prettier and more challenging. Don't try this one from the back tees unless you can play like Tiger.

The fairways bend and buckle and often tilt dramatically, on occasion toward one of those huge waste areas. It helps if you can work the ball here.

Aside from the dunes, the layout barrels through 1,100 acres of pine forest with hardly any homes around the perimeter to disturb your idyll. If you're lucky, you might glimpse one of the many critters who call this place home, like wild turkey, fox, coyote and deer.

If you're thinking about a golf vacation in Hernando County, and I would definitely encourage it, this is one of the must-plays.


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