Juliette Falls: Friendly Golf for Any Level
By Pat Farnan
Just after daybreak, the entranceway to Juliette Falls golf course was still. No traffic, no people milling about, just one course worker riding a mowing machine, heading my way.
Suddenly, he broke into a big smile and began cheerily waving his hand and arm. Did he think this visitor was his long lost brother? Was there trouble ahead? Could the course be closed for repairs?
Nope. He was just saying good morning.
Among the most striking features of the Juliette Falls golf community, nestled in the rolling hills of western Marion County two hours north of Tampa, is the friendliness of the staff. From the golf pros to the kitchen staff to the maintenance workers, the people seem to take pride in exuding a warm, helpful manner.
“The mission of Juliette Falls and its employees is to continuously strive to provide its members and guests with a friendly, professional atmosphere… ” says a mission statement included on menus. “Everyone who visits Juliette Falls should be made to feel welcome and comfortable.’’
And then there’s the golf course.
Virtually every hole is an elegantly framed theater, well-manicured and held to high aesthetic standard. The first hole, appropriately, is a visually arresting dogleg that offers a nice mix of the many challenges to come, a glimpse into the next four hours.
The course design, by John Sanford, uses extensive waste bunkering that promotes a natural look and feel and offers golfers a fair and different challenge. The strategically placed bunkers guarding fairways and greens help frame many of the holes on this par-72 layout, which opened in 2007 and once was named by Golf Digest as one of its “Top 10 New Golf Courses You Can Play.”
The greens offer considerable contour and a variety of pin positions that can dramatically change your approach to the hole. They also feature bordering roll-out areas which allow golfers to use a putter, hybrid or iron club to chip or pitch to the hole. You will need at least a couple of trips around this layout to get a feel for the greens.
For all of its ambitious design and considerable challenge, Juliette Falls is a golf course playable for virtually every level of golfer. Five tees per hole can accommodate everyone from the power hitter, who will face a layout stretching 7,236 yards, to a short-hitting but strategic player, who will still be challenged by the 5,071 yards.
Karen Sjogren, a New Hampshire resident who winters in Florida with her husband, John, appreciates the teeing: “It really helps me enjoy the whole golf course, to experience the many challenges of the course, even though I don’t hit the ball a long way.’’
And if you’re working on your game, or just learning, Juliette Falls offers an extensive and well-maintained practice area to improve your sand play, short game, putting, or work out the kinks in your swing. A staff of PGA pros can help, be it with lessons, the latest equipment, or fashionable styling from a fully stocked pro shop.
The fun doesn’t end at the completion of your round. A full-service bar offers a variety of your favorite cold beverages. If you’ve worked up an appetite, Juliette Falls will take care of you.
For a hot cup of coffee and a day starter, consider one of the popular breakfast bowls, or delicious omelets or flatbreads, or a breakfast sandwich. The lunch menu ranges from a New York Rueben to a variety of juicy burgers, salads or even sesame-encrusted ahi tuna. For dinner at the popular Romeo’s restaurant, named after a rail line that formerly ran through the property, the offerings only get more sumptuous, from steak, pork and chicken entrees to a range of pasta dishes or a Romeo’s favorite, Chilean sea bass.
If you go…
6933 Southwest 179th Avenue Road
Dunnellon, FL 34432