By Bill Sangster

Heading to Davenport, Florida from The Villages is a short trip down the Florida Turnpike to Rt. 429 to Interstate 4 west. In this central Florida town you’ll find the beautiful village Community of and its Mike Dasher-designed Providence Golf Club.

Providence Golf Club has been winning rave reviews since it opened in 2008. That year, Golfweek included Providence in its list of the top 50 new golf courses in America. “The variety of style and tree canopy throughout the course creates an ever-changing pallet that will provide for memorable holes as well as strategic golf,” Dasher wrote.

Providence is a gated Community that will require you to spend a moment introducing yourself to the gate guard. This is a nice way of being introduced to a community that cherishes its security while encouraging you to spend a day on its golf course. Once inside, you will find a majestic country club and well-stocked pro shop awaiting your arrival. The club boasts a top-flight practice area and putting green which are both located directly behind the pro shop and adjacent to the golf carts and starter area.

The Providence Golf Club will test your game as it winds through land featuring ancient hardwoods, fresh water creeks and wetlands. It is common to encounter deer, otters or wild turkey during a round, Dasher says, “I would characterize Providence as a hybrid course, part prairie style (otherwise referred to as heathland), part old Florida, and part parkland,” he said.

After getting all the preliminary requirements in place it’s time to hit the first tee and see for yourself what this course is all about. The opening holes are a casual introduction to well manicured fairways and some of the best winter greens around.

This course has something special going on and you’re about to experience it. The par 3 fourth hole is the first indicator that placement of approach shots will be paramount to scoring low. Attacking the pin becomes a secondary goal right after insuring that you hit a lofted shot that will hold on a fast green. Thus the realization that this course will require your total concentration on all approach shots on most greens. More