Golf - Resort Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Review of Tiburon Golf Course - Naples, Florida
Tiburon Golf Course sits on 800 acres of Florida’s native topography which offers some stunning natural beauty with tall pines with draping Spanish moss, swaying palm trees, a variety of colorful native fauna, lakes and wetland. And Tiburon is home to two outstanding Greg Norman designed courses, 27,000-square foot Mediterranean-style clubhouse with three superior dining rooms, private member locker rooms and lounge areas and a fully-equipped golf shop as well as the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort which has a great stay and play package.
What an outstanding golf experience where you'll find beautiful well manicured and maintained landscaping, sparkling lakes, and an innovative and inspired course layout designed by the legendary Greg Norman. The Black and Gold courses feature unique stacked sod wall bunkers, pine cone and needle lined natural areas, plenty of tricky coquina shell waste bunkers, lots of water, and dense natural areas that will devour your golf ball and ruin your score. The absence of roughs, which are replaced by the coquina shell waste bunkers, and the meticulously maintained turf present you with a variety of challenging shots, especially around the greens. Tiburon is certified as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary by Audubon International which reflects Tiburon's strong commitment to enhancing and protecting the natural resources of the area's wildlife through education, research, and stewardships.
The Gold Course at Tiburon is the home of the Merrill Lynch Shootout which is still affectionately known as The Shark Shootout. The Gold Course is the longer of the two courses but is regarded as the easiest (a slope of 137 versus 147 for the Black Course) thanks to wider more forgiving fairways and more of a resort course look and feel - the Ritz-Carlton looms in the background on most holes. However, you'll still encounter water on every hole, plenty of strategically placed bunkers, some forced carries, dog legs, and the signature coquina shell waste bunkers. We hope to play this course on our next visit to Naples.
We really enjoyed the Black Course because it offers a little bit of everything that makes golf fun, frustrating, scenic, challenging, memorable, and expensive, for example:
The fairways on Tiburon Golf Club's Black Course range from very tight and tree lined to ample and let-er-rip but don't miss! When we played they were in near perfect condition and soft. They are relatively flat to gently rolling.
The greens seemed smaller than normal and were all shapes and sizes. Except for a couple greens which had some significant contour and ridges, most are relatively flat with gentle slope and subtle breaks. Unfortunately, they had suffered some stress and were not in the best of condition, which is not normal. They were a tad slow and bumpy but are slowly coming back to what we heard was excellent condition and fast at 11 to 12.
Norman seemed determined to bring a little of Australia’s style and charisma to south Florida and created open approaches to the greens that are designed to encourage the bump and run techniques so popular, not only in Down Under, but in Europe as well. Most of the greens are well guarded and typically there is trouble if you overshoot them.
The bunkers were in perfect condition, strategically placed in the fairways, or guarding the greens. The lips ranged from thin (I rolled out of a couple of them) to steep and nasty! The sand is soft and fluffy. The 19 coquina shell waste bunkers are everywhere and several run from tee to green! However, they are much too nicely maintained and landscaped to be called waste bunkers!
Bottom line - the Black Course at Tiburon is a fantastic layout that's scenic, fun, demanding, and memorable - a must play if you're in the area.
Rates: $40.00 to $190.00
Service is good, the clubhouse is spectacular, the GPS is excellent, the practice facilities are good - spend some time here before heading out or take a lesson at the Rick Smith Golf Academy.
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!
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.