Grand National Golf Club
Grand National Golf Club host to the Barbasol 2015 PGA Tour event, occupies a fantastically beautiful tract of land where towering pines line the intricate shoreline of the 600-acre Lake Saugahatchee. The Clubhouse sits surrounded by woodland above the lake; all around glorious golf holes fall away to the lake shore and back up the gentle slopes.
On a warm day, with the pines scenting the air and sunlight slanting through the woods onto the ultramarine waters of the lake, this just has to be a corner of golfing heaven.
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Grand National, by all accounts, was the single greatest site for a golf complex Robert Trent Jones, Sr. had ever seen. Built on the shores of the stunning 600-acre Lake Saugahatchee, 32 of the 54 holes drape along its filigreed shores. Golf World ranked Grand National, which is home to two fantastic golf courses, the Lakes and Links Courses, as the top public golf course in the 2009 Golf World Readers' Choice awards which is testament to the quality of golf on offer here. Grand National also offers golfers the chance to tackle a third course, the par 3 Short Course, which while overshadowed by the two main courses, is a thing of beauty. This 18-hole course of one-shotters might be the finest anywhere in the country.
With 12 of 18 holes hugging the shores of Lake Saugahatchee, the Lake Course is one of the most scenic courses you could hope to play anywhere in the world. Gently undulating fairways wind their way around the lake meaning any sufficiently stray shots will be severely punished. Accuracy then, is paramount. While each and ever hole on the Lake Course is beautiful in its own right, the par3s in particular are spectacular. The 230-yard island green 15th may be the single prettiest hole on the Trail and is a lot of fun to play as well.
The cornerstone of the complex is the Links Course, which is without a single weakness. Trent Jones makes excellent use of the lakeshore and the gently undulating slopes around it. Some holes climb up and away from the water; others bring you back down again in spectacular fashion from wonderfully elevated tee-boxes. Several elevated greens jut out into the lake, with pin-positions that deliberately tempt your aim close to the water's edge. More sensible golfers will p[lay these holes cautiously. Mature pine trees separate the well-bunkered fairways on both courses, often providing a stylish backdrop to the greens, which are typically large, undulating and as slick as you can get.