Photo Heavy Course Photo of the Day: Tuscany Reserve Edition

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Junkyard

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Nestled just off of I75 south of Bonita Beach Rd in Naples you will find a luxury golf community surrounded by massive mounding that separates a little slice of paradise from the outside world. Originally built as Tuscany Reserve, it experienced financial issues, was sold and renamed Talis Park. Lucky for me, it was included for two years in the Shark Shootout pass book.

From the time you enter through the massive steel gates at the front entrance you are surrounded by touches that make you feel like you are in Italy. From the architecture, orange groves and water features this course is one of the most beautiful I have ever played.

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As for the gates - they send a message that they don't let just anybody in:eek:
 

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If you've got the correct answer for the security guard, the massive gates open and you are invited inside. On the drive to the clubhouse you are afforded numerous glimpses of the course, which you can see is in immaculate condition.P1020397.JPG
As is expected for a course that struggles financially, the course shows no signs of wear and tear from play and the range is no exception. The only other place I have been with turf this impeccable was Augusta National.
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Junkyard

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One design element of Tuscany that really stands out is how every part of the property flows into the next. Unlike a traditional golf course, the tees appear to be dropped onto the start of the fairway, and the greens are a natural extension at the other end. There is no gnarly rough to be trampled down around the green complexes. The next tee seems to be right there just a few paces off the green which is a comfortable feeling.

The first tee greets you with a beautiful waterfall adjacent the tee boxes and an inviting fairway.
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Junkyard

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In this photo you can see the other waterfall adjacent to the green complex. You can also start to get an idea about how everything just flows; I believe that the grass used throughout is all of the same type. The grain of the fairway grass is actually so tight that the cart rocks back and forth simply driving straight down the fairway.
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Junkyard

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Once you reach the second tee you are exposed to some of the features that give the course the Italian feel - the orange trees to the right side of the fairway and the stone bridge closer to the green. Again, as is typical for a Florida course the fairway is wide and forgiving - you are only tested with your approach to the green by two bunkers in front and water extreme right.
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Junkyard

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A look back at the tee box
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One design element of Tuscany that really stands out is how every part of the property flows into the next. Unlike a traditional golf course, the tees appear to be dropped onto the start of the fairway, and the greens are a natural extension at the other end. There is no gnarly rough to be trampled down around the green complexes. The next tee seems to be right there just a few paces off the green which is a comfortable feeling.

The first tee greets you with a beautiful waterfall adjacent the tee boxes and an inviting fairway.
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Amazing Junkyard. Thanks, for sharing. How do we get on?
 

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Amazing Junkyard. Thanks, for sharing. How do we get on?
I am still trying to figure that out. There does appear to be a fair gap in one of the barriers surrpounding the course at one of the corners, but then we’d have to carry our clubs and play really, really quickly. I did find it on a MLB auction a year or so ago, so there’s always that possibility. Also rumour has it Rocco has a home on property so if you’ve got him on speed dial it shouldn’t be an issue :p
 

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The third hole at Tuscany is, in my opinion, spectacular. Sure, you go to Western Canada and you've got mountains as your backdrop. You go to Eastern Canada and you have the Gulf of St. Lawrence to hit over. But for Florida, this is at the top of my list.
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Playing 153 yards from the member tees, this hole seems to have it all. A small waterfall feature feeding into a hazard that must be carried, deeply sculpted bunkers surrounding the other three sides of the green. And you can stop on your way to the green and grab a fresh orange off one of the trees.P1020454.JPG
 

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The fourth is a short par 4 playing parallel to the third hole around the same water hazard, only in the opposite direction. Measuring 298 from the member tees, any drives pulled left will surely find a watery grave.
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To discourage the longer hitters, the end of the fairway is protected by two large fairway bunkers. The best play is a long or mid iron of about 175 yards leaving a good angle and about 100 yards into the green.
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The par 5 fifth playing a short 460 from the member tees gets some golfers licking their chops on the tee box. A long strip bunker may save your drive from finding the water on the left side of the hole, but if you play toward the right side there is another water hazard that comes into play if you hit it really long.
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Here from the centre of the fairway you can see the second water hazard that protects the right side for the second half of the hole.
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I believe my avatar photo was taken along the right hand side of this photograph, about a third of the way to the bunker from the right side of the photo. I put the shot into the first bunker, hit my next shot to 4 feet and made the putt for a sandy bird.
 
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Precision is required on your approach shot otherwise you will find one of the many bunkers surrounding the green. A good opportunity for birdie, but also a satisfying par.
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The sixth hole is a 150 yard par 3 that allows the golfer to relax. While there is water visible, it should not come into play as the direct line to the green has plenty of grass for shots that come up short.
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While not ideal, there are two bunkers to catch pushed shots before they find the water.
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Junkyard

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Although not fully visible off the tee, there is a large closely-mown collection area left of the green if your brain tells your hands to bail out of the shot halfway through your swing.
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Thanks, Junkyard. Can a course conditions getting any better? It looks amazing.
The Colony in Naples is the only other course that I have had the pleasure of playing that would give Tuscany a run for it's money. Fortunately the pictures are able to convey just how good the agronomy is. I almost felt guilty taking a divot.
 

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Those of you who have played in Florida are familiar with the "comfort stations" they scatter throughout the course where you can get ice, water and use the restroom. Well, Tuscany takes it one step further - no water/ice machines to maintain for them; strictly bottled water. Wouldn't want to inconvenience a member making them fill their own glass....
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The seventh hole plays 407 from the member tees and finally gives you a hole where you don't have to contend with a water hazard. Pretty much straight-away, there are two smallish fairway bunkers on the left side and a single bunker to the right of the green. Otherwise it's just pristine hybrid Sea Dwarf Paspalum grass.
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Yes, you could practice putting on these fairways!
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The par 5 eight plays at 516 yards with water down the right hand side. There is lots of room however and there is really no advantage to be gained by trying to hug the right side, a good line is the left edge of the middle trap (where the carts are)P1020489.JPG
Safely on the short grass you are now faced with a decision: go for the green and bring the corner of water potentially into play or lay up and remove all of the bunkering from the equation.
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Just kidding - unless you play to the extreme left hand side you're still going to have to negotiate at least one or two of the green side bunkers. On the positive side, should you find one it contains some of the finest bunker sand you may ever experience.
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I believe that the original plan for the clubhouse was something over-the-top, like 60,000 square feet or something ridiculous like that. Prior to the sale to new owners, to the best of my knowledge this was a high as the clubhouse ever got.
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Playing at 355 yards, the par 4 ninth hole returns you back to what was going to be the massive clubhouse site. Water down the right hand side shouldn't really come into play as the fairway offers lots of width.
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