Duffer Dan – October 2008

Duffer Dan at Lely Mustang Golf Club

One of my favorite cities for golf, fine dining, and luxury accommodations is Naples. This Southwest Florida mecca has some of the finest golf in the state. The Lely Golf Resort is truly a masterpiece among many fine facilities. If first impressions have anything to do with what your experience will be, the minute you turn into the main entrance and see the magnificent full scale bronze sculpture of a herd of mustangs, you know you are in for a real treat. Lely has two outstanding courses; Flamingo Island, designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., and Mustang, the only Lee Trevino designed golf course in Florida. Both of these 7000 yard plus layouts are great golf experiences and very different in their design.

In order to really enjoy a golf vacation at Lely, I highly recommend Green Links Golf Resort, Naples’ only luxury condo resort overlooking the Flamingo Island course and adjacent to the Lely Golf Resort Clubhouse. Green Links has 1, 2 & 3 bedroom condominiums with everything you need to enjoy a stay and play opportunity. With lovely dining, living and kitchen areas included in every condo, you will feel comfortable as being at home. The outstanding staff at Green Links will help with any needs you might have and direct you to excellent dining and shopping opportunities in the Naples and Marco Island communities. They have a free form pool with waterfall, outside jacuzzi, tennis courts, a poolside grill for an evening cookout, a fitness center and a brand new reception center. The reception center has conference rooms and a function area available for parties; meetings with catering that can be arranged by the staff. Bring a camera for a special photo op of the bronze golfers around the green at the entrance. If you book your golf through Green Links, they will get you a discount while you are there. To find out more contact www.GreenLinksNaples.com, or call 888-992-2099.

The service at Lely is impeccable. The player assistants took care of our clubs, showed us to the practice facilities and directed us to the fully stocked pro shop. The clubhouse is huge with an excellent dining room and bar. The 54,000 square foot practice facility includes a massive range, bunker, chipping and putting areas. American Golf, which manages the property, has a full staff of PGA professionals to assist in group or private lessons. Our play this day took us through the tunnel to the Mustang course. Both nines begin with par 5’s that have wide landing areas that allow all levels of play an easy first shot. You can choose from 4 tee boxes that range from 75.1/138 to 69.8/120 to try and tame the Mustang. The play is kept moving by the use of the ParView GPS system on all the golf cars, so you don’t have to search for a yardage marker. There are 12 lakes on the Mustang that either border the fairways or come into play on tees shots but none are unmanageable. The course is also bordered by lovely homes but are set back far enough that even the sometimes wild Gang didn’t get near.

After a few bogeys on the first and next three par 4’s, I finally gained some confidence on the par 3, #5, a 162 yarder, by parring it. Keep your ball in the fairway and you won’t have to deal with the long Bermuda rough. The course was in great shape with plenty of service from the cart lady. The bathroom facilities were nice and clean and you passed them twice on each nine. The reason I mention this, is that unless you want to go back to the clubhouse after the par 4 ninth, the course continues on. Both nines were enjoyable, but the Gang whipped me on the back 9, so it was my turn to buy the beverages. The course was ours this day and play was quick and painless for all but the Duffer. No matter if your group is a foursome out for some great golf or a large bunch of duffers or dufferesses wanting to have some fun along with a little play, the folks at Lely Golf Resort can make your outing a memorable one. Visit them at www.Lely-Resort.com. Duffer Dan at Lely Mustang Golf Club 50 Florida Golf Central • October 2008 O