Willie Nelson’s “On the road again” has become my favorite song as I travel throughout Central Florida visiting, playing, and writing about golf courses along the way. My latest stop: Viera East Golf Club.
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. Believe me when I tell you, there are some courses that even your GPS system will have trouble finding. This morning I headed out to Viera East Golf Club which is an hour southeast of Orlando on the shores of the Indian River in Brevard County.
Viera East Golf Club has an 18-hole championship golf course that was designed by Architect Joe Lee who also designed the Walt Disney courses. It was easy to see that he left his signature on this course the moment you step on the first tee. The wide-open fairway, that fits like a puzzle piece into the natural setting that is indigenous to this golf course, was the first clue that this was to be another Joe Lee masterpiece.
The first indication that this course would be different then expected was when my golfing partner said “it plays longer than it looks.” At first I shrug it off as just another golfing cliché until I found myself hitting my fourth shot to the 1sthole par 5 from 120 yards. This was my first indication that he might be right.
The next two par 4 holes were into a head wind that made the bunkers and water hazards more difficult to negotiate. A well placed second shot was imperative to giving yourself a chance for birdie putts on extremely fast greens that required your undivided attention coupled with a little luck!
The 4th, 5th, and 6th holes all played as expected but certainly caused some long approach shots as the wind picked up. The greens also continued to make each putt more difficult due to the undulating surfaces that made ball speed extremely difficult to judge. More