By Bill Sangster

VERO BEACH, Florida – Willie Nelson’sOn the road again” has become my favorite song as I travel throughout Central Florida visiting, playing, and writing about golf courses along the way.

It is difficult to comprehend the number of private, semi-private, and public courses there are just in this one area of the Sunshine State. This morning, I headed out to Pointe West Country Club, a private golf course located about two hours southeast of Orlando just off Interstate 95 in the beautiful city of Vero Beach.

Pointe West offers golfers over ten acres of practice facilities which include an extensive practice area, realistic target greens, numerous sand traps, chipping areas, pitching areas, three practice putting greens and a wedge tee dedicated to working on those all-important scoring shots. A visit to the pro shop was met with a smile and a warm greeting along with a chance to spend some time browsing through a well-stocked inventory of golfer’s equipment and clothing.

Rising from an old citrus grove, Pointe West was developed in 1999. Golf course architect John Sanford had a vision for a uniquely sculpted course, elevated tees, elevated landing areas, undulating fairways and elevated greens. Unique bunker complexes were created to highlight subtle mounding while water plays a significant role on a number of holes which requires an increased level of accuracy off most tees.

A testament to the variety of holes created by Sanford is Pointe West’s par 5s. Both the second and the ninth holes are reachable in two solid shots; the tenth hole requires two long strategically placed strikes to get home and the mammoth 598-yard 16th is a true three-shot test. Multiple tees throughout the course ensure an enjoyable yet challenging game for golfers at all levels.

Playing in a foursome with two friends who are members of Pointe West played a key role in my ability to negotiate a challenging golf course. The first order of business was to spend some valuable time on the putting green trying to manage the “Lightning Fast” Bermuda greens. This was my first intimation that it could be a long day. More