By Bill Sangster

The PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship will tee it up at the Copperhead Course at the Innisbrook Resort March 17-20, with 19 of the world’s top 50 players set to compete.

. After attending Valspar Championship Media Day on Feb. 28, I had the opportunity to play the exquisite and famed Copperhead Course, and it was a real treat.

The “Snake Pit” is where tournaments have been won and lost. A large snake statue stands by the tee at No, 16, the first hole of a three-hole stretch that poses a memorable challenge.

Designed by Larry Packard, the 18-hole par-71 Copperhead Course features five tee boxes for golfers to choose from and runs nearly 7,300 yards when the pros play during the Valspar Championship. Both the fairways and greens at Copperhead are seeded with Bermuda. My round was played from the white tee boxes over a distance of 6,243 yards.

The first hole, “Innisbrook’s View.” is a 521-yard par 5 that quickly takes you into the world of a PGA golfer. The fairway looks endless as it slowly curves to the right, blocking your view of the green and leaving you with bunkers to the left.

A well-placed drive will give you a good chance to leave your second shot in striking distance to a raised green protected by a “Bear Claw” bunker across the front.

The second hole, “Second Thoughts,” is a 359-yard par 4, and No. 3, “Narrow Neck,” is a 386-yard par 4. The two holes share a water hazard that runs along the right side of each fairway. Tee shots on both holes need to be down the left side of the fairway. A 200-yard drive on both holes will still leave you with a long approach into receptive greens.

The fourth hole, “Bunkered” is a par 3 that’s 140 yards long. It’s appropriately named: Bunkers surround the entire front of the green starting 40 yards from the front. A front pin placement on this hole will make you think long and hard about your club selection.

The fifth hole,“Longview,” is a par 5 that, at 526 yards, is a monster. The fairway leads straight up a steep incline that starts out with two fairway bunkers waiting for an errant tee shot. Your second shot is over the top of the hill to a fairway that curves just enough to the left that a well-struck ball could find the trees. More