NEW SMYRNA BEACH GOLF CLUB:
A REFRESHING RETREAT ‘FORE’ GOLFERS

Story by: Mike May

“Magnificent Golf, Superb Facilities, and Outstanding Service.”  That’s the message that you will see when you visit the home page for the New Smyrna Beach Golf Club (1000 Wayne Avenue, New Smyrna Beach, Florida; 386-410-2693).  If a club is bold enough to make such a proclamation, then golfers should be bold enough to go play this course -- one of the 53 golf courses on the Florida Historic Golf Trail.

The Signature Hole is the 2nd hole – a medium length par four which features a lake to the left and out-of-bounds to the right. (Photo courtesy of Gary Wintz)

The roots of this 18-hole, par-72 layout (www.newsmyrnagolfclub.com) can be traced to 1948 when W. Tydings gave the City of New Smyrna Beach 150 acres of land for the construction of a golf course.  As an incentive for city leaders to act quickly, there was a stipulation in the agreement which stated that the land would be returned to Tydings, if a golf course was not built within ten years.

Soon after acquisition of the land, James B. McGovern, a longtime design associate of legendary golf course architect Donald Ross, visited New Smyrna Beach on behalf of Ross and then signed a deal that Donald Ross and Associates would oversee the design and construction of this golf course.  Ground breaking and construction began later that year.  Nine holes were opened in early 1949, but, because of a dispute over the title to a part of the property, work on the back nine came to a stop.  Four more holes were then opened in 1953.  The remaining five holes weren't completed until 1956 and then opened for play in the spring of 1957.

Like all municipal golf courses in Florida, there’s always a twist or quirk to these courses that helps them stand apart.  The New Smyrna Beach Golf Club is no different, as the early developers of this golf course included a horse stable and a bridle path that encircled the entire golf course.

Today’s golfers who visit the New Smyrna Beach Golf Club are playing a golf course which measures from 4,700 yards to 6,500 yards and was completely renovated in 2006 by Bobby Weed.

Today’s golfers who visit the New Smyrna Beach Golf Club are playing a golf course which measures from 4,700 yards to 6,500 yards and was completely renovated in 2006 by Bobby Weed.  In 2016, the greens were replaced with platinum paspalum grass and all the bunkers were softened, according to New Smyrna Beach Golf Club head pro Gary Wintz.  The greens were also enlarged to give more pin positions.

There is a certain amount of symmetry to the New Smyrna Beach Golf Club as the first three holes of both the front and back nine open up with two consecutive par fours and a par three.  And, both the front and back nine conclude with a par five.  Of the 18 different putting surfaces, only one green – the 13th – is bunker free.  At this golf course, all four par fives are legitimate birdie opportunities as two of these par fives are under 500 yards long.  Water comes into play on eight holes.

The Signature Hole is the 2nd hole – a medium length par four which features a lake to the left and out-of-bounds to the right.  On your approach to the green, you must negotiate a pine tree that protects the entrance to the green.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do if that tree ever dies and goes away,” admitted Wintz.  “The tree is part of our logo.”

Personally, Wintz’s favorite hole is the long par three 15th hole.

“From the back tees, it’s more than 230 yards to the pin,” added Wintz.  “The green is protected by bunkers short right and short left.  Par is a great score.  Not many people birdie the 15th.”

The New Smyrna Beach Golf Club's Clubhouse

Whether you play this course in the spring, summer, fall, or winter, you can always expect a golf course in great shape.

“Our greens are absolutely perfect and when we overseed with rye grass in late October, the course is lush,” noted Wintz.  “We are constantly working to make this course in better shape.”

Right now, this golf course has been labeled as a haven for local and visiting golfers alike.  If you fall into the category of being a local or a visiting golfer, make plans to visit this haven where you can expect magnificent golf, superb facilities, and outstanding service.

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