Muirfield Village Golf Club

Dublin, Ohio

Seminole Golf Club (Juno Beach, Florida)

Seminole Golf Club logo Golf Course Review by: Billy Satterfield

Rankings: 

     

The Takeaway:  A true American treasure, Seminole is Donald Ross' finest work and most masterful routing. With an idyllic setting on Florida's coast and two prominent sand ridges running through the property, Ross delivers shots of multiple elevations to some of the finest, and fastest, greens and complexes in the country.  Grade A+

Quick Facts

Designer:  Donald Ross 1929

Cost:  Private

Phone Number:  561-626-0280

Course Website:  Official Website - Visit Seminole Golf Club's official website by clicking on the link provided.

Directions:  Get here! - 901 Seminole Blvd, Juno Beach, Florida  33408 – UNITED STATES

Photos:  See additional photos of Seminole Golf Club

What to Expect:  Seminole is one of America’s finest clubs with its focus being on one thing and one thing only; the golf experience. From the old school open locker room with accompanying bar, to the quaint pro shop, to the 3.5 hour pace of play standard, Seminole is all about getting together with friends to enjoy golf and not be distracted by anything else. The routing created on the property perfectly utilizes the two large sand ridges that run through the otherwise flat terrain. Ross incorporates the ridges in a manner that creates several compelling elevation changes while making the course a pleasant walk. Rather than just saving the ridge holes for the end, Ross takes players up the ridges and back down multiple times during the course to keep players interest the entire routing; climaxing at the coastal par three 17th which is widely considered one of the best one-shotters in the country. Water hazards come in contact with over half the holes and bunkering is so frequent throughout the routing that I can hardly imagine a golfer playing all round without employing the services of their sand wedge at some point. From a conditioning standpoint, Seminole is absolutely top notch with greens that are slick and require players to be precise with their approach shots while constantly considering what the wind is doing. Speaking of wind, Seminole is notorious for being a brute in the wind as there is nothing to block the breeze from rolling in off the ocean; including the palm trees that are thinly scattered across the property to create shape to the fairways. All in all, Seminole is easily a Top 25 classic design and one of the finest old school clubs that embraces its history.

By the Numbers

Tees Par Yardage Rating Slope
Gold 72 7295 75.4 144
Blue 72 6600 72.4 138
White 72 6010 69.7 129
Red 72 5445 67.2 122
Red (Ladies) 72 5445 72.6 131

Individual Hole Analysis

Signature Hole:  17th Hole – 195 Yard Par 3 – One of the most famous and beautiful par threes in the world, the 17th at Seminole is a hole that no one forgets after playing it. Playing straight south along the coastline, the 17th is known for being especially difficult when the wind off the sea is blowing in from the player's left with nothing to slow it down. The putting surface is virtually encircled by sand with nowhere safe to land except right on the green considering the edges are quick to sweep balls in one of the surrounding bunkers. Trust your caddie's advice on club selection and how much to account for the wind and make a confident swing. Carding a birdie here is journal worthy.

17th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (195 Yard Par 3)
17th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (195 Yard Par 3)

17th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (195 Yard Par 3)
17th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (195 Yard Par 3)

17th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (195 Yard Par 3)
17th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (195 Yard Par 3)

Best Par 3:  13th Hole – 170 Yards – A good uphill par three is challenging to design with the reduced visuals and additional carry, but Donald Ross nails it here at the 13th. Missing the raised putting surface will almost assuredly result in your ball finishing in sand, although there is some space at the front left of the green where balls can come to rest on tightly mown grass that will test the touch of your short game. The green features sloping edges off the front and side so players get an added sense of the carry they need to find the center of the green in order to have the most success here. The front left corner of the putting surface is closer to the tee than the rest of the green, so taking enough club to get well beyond it while likely playing directly into a stiff wind is the shot required. With the turquoise Atlantic Ocean creating the backdrop, it is indeed a beautiful setting.

13th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (170 Yard Par 3)
13th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (170 Yard Par 3)

13th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (170 Yard Par 3)
13th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (170 Yard Par 3)

13th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (170 Yard Par 3)
13th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (170 Yard Par 3)

Best Par 4:  6th Hole – 390 Yards – Famously known as Ben Hogan's favorite hole at Seminole, The Hawk would prepare for tournaments by hitting approach shots into Seminole's 6th green since successfully holding it was so demanding he knew that getting dialed in there would prepare him for the most challenging shots on the PGA Tour. Driver isn't needed off the tee and is flat out discouraged for long bombers that can bring the bunkers into play that pinch the right side of the fairway 90 yards from the center of the green. The fairway slopes from left to right and can push balls away from the waste area up the left side towards the tree line on the right. More challenging though is hitting an approach shot from the sloped lie to a long, narrow green that slopes towards the sand on the right side. Additional sand is found on the left where getting up and down for par will require the touch of an angel to accomplish. The shaping and sloping of the green and fairway paired with top shelf bunkering makes the 6th hole one of the finest two-shotters in golf under 400 yards.

6th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (390 Yard Par 4)
6th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (390 Yard Par 4)

6th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (390 Yard Par 4)
6th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (390 Yard Par 4)

6th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (390 Yard Par 4)
6th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (390 Yard Par 4)

Best Par 5:  3rd Hole – 560 Yards – Another brilliant use of the sand ridge at Seminole, Donald Ross takes players from a high point at the property and sweeps them down to a midpoint, and then back up to a greensite that sits a bit lower in elevation from where players started. Sand frames the entire right side of the fairway in an effort to discourage players from getting too aggressive trying to cut distance off this hole that bends that direction while the left of the fairway is the opposite with balls tumbling to the left. The putting surface slopes quickly down the hill to the left, so approach shots that finish on the right side above the green will present a brutally difficult shot to get close to the hole on the next shot. The ideal approach shot will split the bunkers in front of the green and land soft enough so that it doesn't get pulled down the left side and into the awaiting sand. This is a shotmaker's hole and a supreme use of the terrain in the routing.

3rd Hole at Seminole Golf Club (560 Yard Par 5)
3rd Hole at Seminole Golf Club (560 Yard Par 5)

3rd Hole at Seminole Golf Club (560 Yard Par 5)
3rd Hole at Seminole Golf Club (560 Yard Par 5)

Birdie Time:  14th Hole – 510 Yard Par 5 – The first of back-to-back par fives, the 14th is reachable in two, especially with the prevailing wind being at your back. Bunkers are found on each side of the landing area for most drives so players will need to either bomb it past them or make sure they hit a shot that stays between them. From there players will find themselves with an iron or hybrid likely in their hand with an opportunity to attack the elevated green with their second shot. With sand surrounding a majority of the green, players may elect to lay up short of the bunker and wedge it tight with their third shot, but those trying to get home with their second should try to just carry it onto the front edge of the green so allow for maximum forgiveness in the runout since it is downwind. Even being in a greenside bunker isn't a bad spot to get up and down from, so employ the strategy you feel most confident in and go pick up a bird.

14th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (510 Yard Par 5)
14th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (510 Yard Par 5)

14th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (510 Yard Par 5)
14th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (510 Yard Par 5)

14th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (510 Yard Par 5)
14th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (510 Yard Par 5)

Bogey Beware:  11th Hole – 465 Yard Par 4 – The 2nd and 11th holes are both strong par four that travel northwesterly towards the natural sand ridge that run through this portion of the property. While the 2nd hole features a green perched halfway up the ridge, the 11th requires players to ascend to the top of the ridge to reach the greensite. The tee shot features water nearly the entire length of the right side while bunkers on each side of the fairway stand ready to catch drives that drift off their line. The approach shot ascends over 20 feet to a putting surface that is mostly blind with bunkers flanking the near, narrow end of the bulbous green. With the wind generally at your back, it is extremely difficult to craft a shot that has enough juice to reach the top of the ridge but is then willing to sit once it lands on the firm ground that awaits. It is a beautiful use of the natural terrain at Seminole and shows players with the perception that Seminole is flat, is anything but.

11th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (465 Yard Par 4)
11th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (465 Yard Par 4)

11th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (465 Yard Par 4)
11th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (465 Yard Par 4)

11th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (465 Yard Par 4)
11th Hole at Seminole Golf Club (465 Yard Par 4)

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