LAKE MARY, FL – When Colby Beckstrom teed it up at Timacuan Golf & Country Club Tuesday in the first round of the NGA Hooters Tour event, he was flying in the dark.
"I’d never seen the course. I didn’t get a chance to play a practice round. Heck I didn’t even know I was in the field until Monday," said Beckstrom. "But as it turned out, I loved the golf course. I really loved the golf course."
It showed. Beckstrom, a native of Muskegon, MI, put together rounds of 66, 68, 65 for a three-round total of 199 and a two-shot victory in the NGA Winter Tour event, which concluded Thursday. The first-place prize was $12,000 out of the $78,000 prize fund. Nick Gilliam of Gainesville finished second and took home $6,000.
Timacuan, one of Florida’s top-ranked courses located in Lake Mary, just north of Orlando, hosted this event in 2005 as well.
"This is a great course to have a tournament on," said Beckstrom, the 2005 Florida Open champion. "It is definitely a course that requires accurate tee shots. If you put the ball into play off the tee, you can put up a good number. And driving is my strength, so it really fit my game.
"I also like the fact that you have to hit fades and draws – the course requires all the shots. It was a lot of fun to play."
Gilliam, a Hooters Tour regular, agreed.
"It is a very good layout. You have to hit it straight off the tee," he said. "The par 5s are reachable for players of our length, so you can make birdies. But you have to put it in the right place off the tee."
The Timacuan community and club are located off Rinehart Road near State Road 46-A in Lake Mary. Timacuan is ranked among the top courses in all of Florida. Designed in 1988 by Ron Garl and refurbished by Bobby Weed in 1995, Timacuan is a par 71 that features two distinctly different nines.
Prior to starting work on the layout, Garl spent time in Scotland studying Links-style architecture, and that research is very evident on Timacuan’s front nine. Sprawling bunkers, generous landing areas, oversized, undulating greens, and framing mounds combine to create a challenging and memorable nine holes.
The back nine has more of a Carolinas Low Country feel, with beautiful oak trees and tall pines providing the framing. One large body of water comes into play on 15, 16 and 17, demanding accuracy.
Nearly every green complex has closely-mown fringe areas, allowing for a variety of shot selections when players miss the green.
"Timacuan is a semi-private golf club with a private-club feel," Johnson. "Our visiting guests receive the same first-class treatment as our members. That’s one of the reasons we see the same players return year after year during the season. They seem to love the service, and the uniqueness of the layout at Timacuan."
For more information about Timacuan, visit www.golftimacuan.com