Old Corkscrew Golf Club – Southwest Florida’s Nicklaus Tour de Force
Written by Gordy Ginsberg
Old Corkscrew Golf Club is the latest Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course to spring from the grounds of southwest Florida. This championship layout is perhaps the finest public course in the area if you are looking to challenge every aspect of your game.
Old Corkscrew is located inland from the resorts and beaches of nearby Naples, Fort Myers and Bonita Springs. It is just a half hour drive from the Fort Myers international airport but feels as if you have entered a world unseen by most southwest Florida golfers (or anyone for that matter). The drive in to Old Corkscrew takes you deep into the forests and uninhabited interior wilderness and far away from the hustle, bustle and developments known to most area visitors. There are no homes on the course and the feel here is more like that of being in the middle of the Everglades.
What You Will Find
This Audobon International certified property winds through an amazing array of waterways, cypress, pine and oak trees and abuts a seemingly endless expanse of citrus groves. The Audobon designation is meant to “assist golf courses and golf course developments in providing wildlife habitat, protecting water quality, and improving overall environmental performance” and it does this in spades. Don’t be surprised to see egrets and herons fishing while being watched by alligators (or were they crocodiles) sunning themselves on the banks of the course’s waters. Talk about a hazard!
I got to play my round with former NHL goalie Don Edwards who now serves as Old Corkscrew’s Director of Sales and Marketing. Don is an exceptional player and the perfect guide as we navigated the ever changing array of holes. The course has a few open holes like those at nearby Tiburon and Raptor Bay but the majority wind themselves through a wooded wonderland of white sand bunkers, doglegs of every direction and an outstanding collection of par 3’s. The variety of hole designs is this course's strength and is also what differentiates it from the typical Florida golf course.
Awards and Recognition
Opened in 2007, Old Corkscrew has already garnered many coveted awards and recognitions including:
- Best Course That You Can Play That You Have Never Heard Of - Golf Magazine, 2011
- One of America’s Best New Courses in 2007 - Golf Digest
- Southwest Florida’s # 1 Best Course You Can Play - Golf Magazine 2010
- 2008 Florida Golf Course of the Year - National Golf Course Owners Association of America
It is also has been the host site for:
- 2011 (and 2012) Qualifying Site - ACE Group Championship – PGA Champions Tour
- USGA – 2010 Sectional Amateur Qualifier
- USGA – 2009 Sectional Open Qualifier
- FSGA – 2008 Florida State Amateur Championship
- FSGA – 2007 Florida State Senior Open
I highly urge you to take the time to visit and play Old Corkscrew. The course conditions are amazing, the practice facilities excellent and the greens are as challenging as any I have played. If you are lucky enough to reside in the area, Old Corkscrew also offers an array of membership and loyalty programs for individuals and corporations. This is a top notch and challenging venue and a welcome escape from the typical area golf courses, gated communities and resorts.