Warning: Alligators and snakes on course! For a boy from up north, not a sign I wanted to see as I approached the starter shack. When I asked about any danger and what I might encounter on the course, I got that stupid Yankee tourist look. The starter who barely took the time to speak with me, grinned and said, “the gators are probably finished sunning themselves so just stay out of the rough and bunkers. Their website states, “The Course welcomes locals and visitors alike”. I did not get that impression today.
The facility consists of three 9-hole courses: River, Dolphin, and Lakes. I only had time for nine but the cost to play eighteen holes was less (ok?), so I thought I’d play as many as possible. We started on the Dolphin 9 with a wide-open 460 yard par 5. There are a few bunkers down the right side and a big one just left of the large green. A nice well-designed hole to start a round. The par 3 second is a birdie waiting to happen as long as you clear all the sand fronting the green. And speaking of sand…it is soft, fluffy, and a pleasure to play from (I did forget the starters advise). It’s no wonder the pros make bunker play look so easy – it is if you play from this type of sand. I’m used to playing from bunkers made of concrete.
Hole #3 gets a little more difficult as there is water down the left side. This can be a problematic hole from the back tees – so choose wisely. At holes #4 and #5 you can run into water and sand trouble (and you can probably say this about every hole). So I will continue with this theme at hole #6. As the number one handicap your approach shot will need to clear water to a green that is guarded by sand and more water.
As if we needed more hazards, when we approached the 324 yard par 4 seventh, it started to rain. By the time we reached the par 3 eighth, it was raining sideways and Karen was soaked but being the trooper she is we continued on…to the clubhouse that is. Hole #9 looked like a challenging hole with another approach over water but we didn’t stay to find out. We joined the huddled masses under the entrance awning to wait out the storm.
Ace: We never did make it back to finish our round. If the Lakes and River courses are anything like the Dolphin this is the place to play during your visit to Space Coast. We were attending the exciting MAVEN2Mars launch at Cape Canaveral. An adventurous day in the Cocoa Beach area consists of a morning 9 holes at Cocoa Beach Country Club and the afternoon spent exploring the heavens at the Kennedy Space Center.
5000 Tom Warriner Blvd., Cocoa Beach, FL 32932; 321-868-3351; www.golfcocoabeach.com