New Smyrna Beach Municipal Course a Classic, Donald Ross Design

    By Tim McDonald

    To most students of golf architecture, the name Donald Ross stands above all others. Ross is a Scot who emigrated to America and designed around 400 courses in his career, including the famed Pinehurst No. 2 and the highly-acclaimed Seminole Golf Club here in Florida.

    One of Ross' designs is the New Smyrna Beach Municipal Course. The course opened in 1948 and is a classic Ross work, with slightly elevated greens open in front – making them perfect for the bump-and-run. They drop off in the back and on the sides.

    In other words, you need to be accurate on your approach shots.

    It's a relatively short track at 6,200 yards, so it's ideal for beginners, women and juniors.

    It's well-treed but manages to keep an open feel in the interior, and it is very well-kept for a muni; they plowed it under several years back and completely re-done by Bobby Weed.

    It's a flat course with palm trees lining the fairways, and the layout is dotted with little creeks.

    It's an active facility, with tournaments held throughout the year for both pros and amateurs. They have good practice grounds, and yearly and summer-only memberships are available. Or just show up, pay and play. Cheaper twilight rates are available as well.

    Don't forget Tiano's Restaurant; I didn't get a chance to sample it, but the aromas coming from there were delectable, and the locals swear by it.