During Memorial Day holiday I had the opportunity to visit the “Manatee Capital of the World” and experience an extraordinary country club in eco-friendly Citrus County on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Citrus Hills Golf & Country Club in Hernando offers two 18-hole championship courses that take full advantage of the countryside’s rolling hills and spectacular vistas. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned golfer, you will find an ideal opportunity to experience challenging play on these well maintained and distinctively different courses, Meadows and Oaks.
The pro shop located on the ground floor of the lovely Citrus Hills Clubhouse is fully stocked with apparel, accessories and anything you might need for your round. Head Professional Wayne Larsen and his fine staff can help with lessons, rentals, tournaments and special ‘Member for a Day” plays. The coffee shop right around the corner from the Pro Shop opens early to get that favorite latte, beverage or nosh needed to fuel your round. There is a practice green to check how the ball is rolling and get your putting in sync before venturing out on the course.
Citrus Hills isn’t just a name. It really represents the topography of Citrus County unlike most of Florida with either flatlands or wetlands to deal with. Here the hills reach over 250 feet above sea level and the golf courses play up and down providing an abundance of different looks and lies. You won’t get bored.
The Meadows course is just under 6,000 yards at a par of 70 and a real joy to play for mature golfers, ladies and players learning the game. The spacious fairways are bordered by age-old oaks with huge canopies narrowing the ball flight, with gentle doglegs leading to medium size-greens. The course rating is 68.3/117. My wife and I enjoyed our round on Meadows with the homes set well off the course which allows for less stress. The tifdwarf greens were open at some holes and others protected by bunkers with a few aesthetic ponds to contend with. We played in the afternoon on a lovely breezy day and finished our round in just over three hours. What a joy.
The Oaks stretches out to 6340 yards and is a par 71 with a rating of 70.7/126. The Oaks will give the golfer all the challenge one might want in an 18 hole game, with bunkers along the narrow fairways which are flanked by Florida pines and majestic oaks. Precision and smart golf is key if you want to score well on the Oaks. PGA Head Pro Larsen says you will use every club in the bag to play this classic layout with a great mix of long and short holes to contend with. When I got on the tee at some holes, I thought I was in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains rather than Florida. Another fun course.
The Citrus Hills community has a total of 63 holes of golf. There is a 9 hole golf course in the Brentwood village and the 7,000 yard Skyview Golf & Country Club which plays out of its own clubhouse in the gated Terra Vista area and will reopen around Labor Day after a renovation of the course which includes all 18 greens being planted with new TifEagle Bermuda grass to insure the ultimate conditions for future play.
Dining at the Citrus Hills Golf & Country Club is really an experience you won’t want to miss. Both courses are available for the “Member for a Day” program which includes lunch in either the nicely decorated Grill or the 4,500 square foot Tiki Hut. We had the opportunity to lunch at both with freshly prepared items from their menu of delectable choices. Managers Kathy and Maria and their excellent staff took great care of us with outstanding service.
The Clubhouse has dinner specials and live music on certain nights and there is always some type of activity going on. There is plenty of meeting space for small, medium or large groups. Weddings are special because they can use some of the natural locations on the golf course for those unique memories, like the bridge over the pond at the beautiful 18th green on Meadows. The fine event and catering staff at Citrus Hills can make that special evening the very best. The Primo Vita Fitness Center has the latest equipment and experienced instructors to help keep in shape, and the tennis complex has four courts to enjoy.
Go to CitrusGolfCentral.com to check out the VIP offers and Memberships.
While visiting, my wife and I stayed in one of the Discovery Villas in the gated Terra Vista community of Citrus Hills. The extraordinary amenities allow residents of Citrus Hills to choose from a wide variety. The Central Activity Center includes a large heated outdoor pool, 300 seat auditorium, media center, card room, pool tables and pickle ball courts. The Skyview Golf & Country Club has a well stocked pro shop, large driving range and lessons from PGA/LPGA Professional ‘golf coach’ Mary Slinkard. Right next to the Skyview Clubhouse is the gorgeous Tennis Complex with its own pro shop, Director of Tennis Bruce Payne and qualified tennis instructors, eight Har Tru lighted courts, and shaded seating area with light fare and beverages.
Talk about impressive. The 50,000 square foot Bella Vita Spa & Fitness Center that sits at one of the high points of Terra Vista, is amazing. This world class complex has it all: a beautifully appointed lobby for check in; three specially designed aerobic studios; two indoor racquetball courts; a heated indoor six-lane lap and sports pool; jacuzzi; and locker rooms complete with showers, steam rooms, saunas and towel service. There is a separate spinning room and an enormous fitness and exercise area with Certified Personal Trainers and Instructors. The newly opened 5,000 square foot Spa is a full service luxury retreat for pampering and services for those personalized treatments for body an soul. All these facilities surround a courtyard with a soothing water feature.
The variety of homes available in Terra Vista run from the 1600 square foot villas to personally designed 4,500 square foot luxury homes. The unique thing here is no matter what size home you desire, the same builder is the contractor and assures the same quality no matter your wants. Citrus Hills is the ideal location for active adults or families with children in a safe environment in a spectacular eco-friendly area. For more information go to CitrusHIlls.com.