Duffer Dan – September 2008

Duffer Dan at DubsDread

We took a step back in time this month to visit Orlando’s pride and joy- Dubsdread. Since 1924, it has been the city’s golf course with a rich history and a great track no matter what your ability. The course is a par 70 with 6153 yards from the tips, and will challenge even the best with narrow fairways, smallish undulating greens, and some new hazards recently added with the 2008 remodel by on course resident and ASGCA member Mike Dasher. Dash has designed such beauties as North Shore, Eagle Dunes, Providence and Highlands Reserve in the Central Florida market and has years of experience in the construction and design of courses throughout the country. He had his hands full with the routing of Dubsdread but his unique handiwork is to be applauded for the outstanding new look.

First of all, the practice area has been enlarged to allow players to work on all phases of their game. The old eighth green and approach are now fitted with target pins to shoot at from a much larger and lighted driving complex. Between the range and the clubhouse you find a chipping area, bunkers and putting surface to work on your entire short game. A new practice-putting surface is huge and right next to the first tee-a perfect place to continue your warm-up prior to being called to your tee time. Cliff Stevens, Head Golf Professional, and his fine staff are available for lessons and have a full range of group and individual lesson packages.

The thing you notice at #1 is that all the tee boxes have been elevated and are in perfect shape. There are four sets of tees to give everyone a fair chance. The par 4, 353-yard hole is much the same as before with that lake still looming on the left and a much-improved putting surface on the very accessible green. If you take a look to the back of the green, there is no road between 1 & 2, or cutting across the fairways at 17 & 18. Hooray! No more ball marks on local residents’ cars, or waiting for the traffic to clear.

The par 4, 2nd and the par 3, 3rd are much the same, but the 435-yard dogleg left 4th is a totally new play. A lake running all the way to the green borders the left side of the fairway. Players are still bailing to the right, but now that spot is a good location to reach the new putting surface. The fairways have mounding, more bunkers and ponds to make shot placement a greater premium. The fifth hole, a 137-yard par 3 over water is totally new. The sixth hole is a new par 4 at 353 yards and the road that used to cut across the old sixth is also gone and it is now #7 at 366 yards with a whole new tee complex. Hooray again! The only par 5 on the front is #8, the old 514 yard #7, with new tee boxes, a bit more water and that small-elevated green protected by bunkers on either side. The old 8th tee boxes have been redone and now are the 9th, which has been turned into a 328 yard par 4 with a tight fairway bordered by water on the left and a large stand of trees on the right with a whole new green.

The bathrooms were redone. There was separate cart service on either side and we saw our cart lady 3 times on the front. The old starter shack has been turned into a halfway house where you can purchase your favorite beverage and snacks, which is a prerequisite for the Duffer. Over 500 new indigenous plants and trees were added, at the same time other non-indigenous ones were removed. Excessive undergrowth and trees were also trimmed to allow the new greens and tees to maintain their consistency.

The back nine was pretty much kept the same. The lake that was around 10, 11, and 12 has been cleaned of excess growth and its shoreline defined. All the fairways have been replanted and mounded, greens redone and expanded. Now, when our city fathers speak of all those high price venues for sports and performing arts, they can include a championship golf course in the same sentence. Kitson & Partners was hired to manage the course and they brought back Rodney Reifsnider, who is from the area and worked at Dubsdread before, as the General Manager. Give Dubsdread a try and walk in the footsteps of Didrikson, Hogan, Snead, and Palmer. To make a tee time call 407-246-2551 or to learn more www.DubdreadGolf.com. Duffer Dan at 50 Florida Golf Central • September 2008