innisbrook_copperhead2012

This is a strange course.  It’s in Florida but it looks like it belongs in the North Carolina or Virginia due to the elevation changes that are unusual for the region.  It’s extremely challenging, but also fair.  Copperhead is a great design that’s going to challenge the players to hit a variety of shots and really plot their way across the course.  While it’s one of the more difficult stops on the tour, it gets universal praise because it’s smartly designed and fun.  Compared to Jack’s PGA National, which is hard for the sake of being hard, Copperhead is challenging but will reward good shots.  That’s the important thing.

Copperhead is a par 71 that measures 7,340 yards from the tips.  I’m a little conflicted though, on whether or not I think the fact that it has FIVE par 3’s is cool or not.  On one hand, I think that’s awesome to have that many par 3’s, but then again, they’re all of the 200+ yard variety, which is incredibly boring.  I really wish the guys setting these tournaments up would get creative with their tee placements, as 200 yard par 3’s aren’t fun whatsoever.  Why not get really tricky with pin placements on a 160 yard par 3?  I understand you can’t just up and change holes, but when 85% of par 3’s on tour are like this, you long for a little variety.

This isn’t getting the royal treatment, but that doesn’t mean it’s a poor course.  I’m a big fan of Copperhead, and it should provide a good setting for this weekend.  While Copperhead doesn’t have the aesthetic quality of Doral, it’s an equal in terms of quality, so enjoy it this week.  It’s as pure of a golf course as you’ll find.

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