'Mountain Golf' in Florida? Not Quite, But Check Out These High-Flying Courses

By: Tim McDonald

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More than a few people have misconceptions about the geography of Florida. My wife, for example. When she moved here from Nebraska, she thought she would see nothing but palm trees and sand.

Same with golfers. Actually, Florida has a very diverse golf terrain. We aren't exactly New Mexico down here, but there are many excellent courses with substantial elevation changes. Here are some of them.

- Black Diamond Ranch and Country Club: The Quarry course at this 45-hole facility will stun you the first time you play it. Four holes on the back nine play around an old quarry, showcasing dramatic elevation changes.

- Sanctuary Ridge Club in Clermont: This course actually bills itself as "Florida's mountain course," with nearly 200 feet of elevation change.

- Highlands Reserve: Highlands Reserves sits high in the air, relatively speaking, looking down on the Green Swamp below, toward which almost all putts break.

- Golden Hills Golf and Turf Club: This course is built on high ground, some of which is the highest in Marion County. It's a challenging course, at more than 7,300 yards from the back tees.

- Sugarloaf Mountain: This is the first Ben Crenshaw-Bill Coore design in Florida. It's built on and around 312-foot high Sugarloaf Mountain and the rolling hills west of Orlando.


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