Innisbrook Resort - South Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.7

Golf - Resort Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 71
Palm Harbor, FL

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Innisbrook Resort - South Course Review

Review and Rating of Innisbrook's South Golf Course

Innisbrook Resort is home to some great golf stay and play accommodations, excellent dining options, and lots of fun amenities (like tennis courts, pools, racquetball, a Spa, fitness center, and more), but best of all it has four outstanding golf courses. And it's not surprising that the Resort and Courses have received a number of awards and accolades including Golf Magazine’s “Top 100 You Can Play” and Golf Digest’s “Top 75 Golf Resorts in America.”

Each of the four courses is very different from the others and each has it’s own unique personality and characteristics, for example:

  • the Copperhead Course is probably the best known thanks to the PGA Tour’s Transitions Championship Tournament that attracts some of the best golfers each year – but it also has excellent conditions, some very fun holes, and a few holes that are very challenging - here is our link to the review of Copperhead Golf Course
  • the Island Course is regarded as the toughest of the four courses thanks to some narrow fairways with little wiggle room off the tee, strategically placed bunkers, and lots of water on the front nine – to learn more, read our review of the Island Course
  • the North Course is a short but a real shot makers course that requires good course management skills, favors accuracy over distance, and requires some precision shots to score well - here is a link to read why we loved the North Course
  • the South Course is the easiest of the nines but it’s no walk in the park thanks to 10 holes and lots of bunkers and the back nine has a links feel to it

The South Course at Innisbrook, after the first three tree lined fairways, has a links look and feel to it with more open grip it and rip it fairways, rolling terrain, and plenty of sweeping fairway bunkers.  The South Course is regarded as the easiest of the four Innisbrook Golf Courses and it's short at 6620 yards from the tips, but it's no walk in the park.  You'll be up against 48 bunkers, Gulf Coast breezes that can play havoc with your shorts, 10 water hazards, elevation changes, tight fairways, some tempting risk reward opportunities, and challenging green complexes.  

The front seems pretty easy if you can stay in the fairway, avoid the bunkers, manage the wind, and stuff it on the small greens.  The South Course front nine is fair but demanding and there are some great holes like:

  • #2 is a 500 yard par 5 with a blind shot off the tee, then downhill, and across a lake to a green with a huge bunker in front of the green, one on the left, and trouble if you're long
  • #5 is a short 170 yard par 3 but it requires a precise shot to stuff it on the skinny oblong green guarded by 6 treacherous bunkers
  • #8 is a fun 525 yard par five with a hidden water hazard and a slight uphill shot to a green with 4 nasty bunkers

The back nine is longer by by 400 yards and has a good mixture of fun and demanding holes.  You'll encounter collection areas, lots of wind, mounding, swales, elevation changes, dog legs, water hazards, and plenty of bunkers.   I found a large majority of the bunkers, took a lot of sand home with me, and got a lot of raking practice. 

When we played in early March, the fairways were in very good condition as were the roughs.  They are ample, but if you miss you're in the trees, water, sand, or in the back yard of huge beautiful home. 

The South Course greens are all shapes and sizes and are well guarded.  They were in great condition, running true and smooth, and at a good speed of around 10 or so. 

The bunkers were in excellent condition and filled with soft fluffy sand that was a pleasure to hit out of.

You’ll want to play the South Course a couple times and you should also play the other three courses, so why not stay a few days in one of the excellent lodging options at Innisbrook Resort. They have a great stay and play package, excellent restaurants, 6 pools, 3 bars, a spa, and lots of other recreational activities. Read our review of Innisbrook Golf Resort & Spa 

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Blue 6,340 70.9 128
White 5,900 68.9 126
Gold 6,620 72.3 130
Red 4,975 68.9 128

Course Information

Course Architect:
Larry Packard
Greens Type:
TIF Eagle
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
Beware of water on 7 holes and the 48 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.7 out of 10
Fun to Play:
Front Nine Rating:
Back Nine Rating:


Approximate Weekend
$100.00 to $220.00

Service is excellent, the pro shop has everything you can think of every needing to look good and play well, and the practice facilities are great. The bar and restaurant are excellent - the patio overlooks the putting green and 9th hole and is perfect for lunch or drinks after a fun round.



Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating

The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this:  links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses! 
Texas Outside rates courses on the following:

  • Beauty – tall trees, rolling hills, beautiful houses, waterfalls, and similar stuff would score high; a 1 would be flat, bushes or cactus instead of trees, and some grass but mostly weeds
  • Difficulty – a straight, 300 yard par 4 with no traps or hazards, no out of bounds or water would probably get a 1; if it is a 460 yard par 4 over two ravines, with water along one side, natural hazards on the other, strategically placed traps or that dreaded tree right in the middle of the fairway, we are talking a 10. 
  • Variety – what would you give a course where all the holes looked and played exactly the same (“I thought we just played that hole!”); were side-by-side, which is good for finding or dodging other people’s balls, but not much fun; and you can see the flag from every tee box?  That’s right, it gets a 1.
  • Fun Scale – a 10 is where you walk off the course and say “now that was fun” and you can’t wait to get back, or you immediately turn around and play another 18 holes
  • Value – a 5 is $50 to $60, a 10 is $20 to $30, and 1 is $200 or so – of course all of this is dependent upon how you liked the course.  For example, if a run down, boring municipal course, with six players on each hole was only $10; it would still get a value rating of 1.
  • Condition – this one’s pretty easy – what condition are the fairways. A 10 commands very lush perfectly manicured fairways, compared to a 1, which has fire ants, weeds, and more dirt than grass!
  • Condition of Greens and Difficulty – very hard to read greens with lots of undulation and tough pin placement, rate very high on the difficulty scale.  Condition is self-explanatory.  

All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course.  In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40.  We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking.