Recently, we had the opportunity to play Forest Lake Golf Club in Ocoee, FL. It is located off Exit 26 on SR 429. Due to the highway, 5 holes are on the west side of the road and remaining 13 holes are on the east side. Unlike other courses we’ve played, there does not seem to be a degradation in the hole length or quality due to the highway bisecting the already built course. We found the pro shop staff to be both courteous and knowledgeable.
The driving range was large and could accommodate 20-plus golfers who want to warm up. Hitting areas are well maintained and players can hit off grass not mats. Throughout the driving range, there were appropriate distance markers to help a player gauge distance of various clubs while warming up. The only drawback is the driving range is wide open and offers no shade.
Forest Lake has two practice putting greens. One offers undulations and up and down hill putts. The other was much flatter. This concept seemed very practical. For new players, they could work on their putting stroke without worrying about putts breaking. As the player progressed, the course offered a little more challenging putting surface. We feel offering a good driving range and two different putting green levels as a plus to growing the game of golf.
Forest Lake offers 5 sets of tees. The green tees plays at a total distance of 7,221 yards (Slope rating 133). Many of these tee boxes offer a challenging angle to hit a tee shot. There are tee boxes for seniors that play to 5,779 yards (Slope rating 119). Ladies tees play to 5,065 yards (Slope rating 117). One of the good points to Forest Lake is distance between tee boxes and greens is very close. Other than between holes 2 & 3, 7 & 8, and 14 & 15, the distance from a green to the next tee box is minimal. In many situations, a player can walk off a green and right onto the next tee box.
Central Florida has set records for lack of ran during the spring 2017. Despite this lack of rain, we found course conditions good. Overall, tee boxes were well maintained. The ground crew appeared to move the tee markers around to prevent overuse in one area of a tee. Fairways were well cut and maintained. In all cases when hitting a shot from the fairway, a golf ball “sat up” nicely and didn’t need to be rolled to get a better lie. There were distance markers in the ground for 200, 150, and 100 yards to the center of the green.
In each golf cart, there was a course GPS to inform the player about yardage and suggestions on where to hit shots. With the increased use of hand held range finders, carts with GPS is almost non-existent. We felt using the cart GPS enhanced the golfing experience. With newer players, we feel cart GPS helps teach the player distance control and grow the game.
Greens were receptive and well maintained. At no time did we find the ball bounced excessively after a putt was hit. Flat or putts with undulations were consistent with the practice greens. Grass around the greens was well maintained and cut evenly. Forest Lake used a red, white, and blue flag system to denote hole locations on greens. In conjunction with the cart GPS, we found this system to be very accurate.
Dads Say So if you are in the area we would recommend playing Forest Lake. With the conditions of the golf course and challenge faced it is a great place to get out and play a round of golf. The course offers challenging holes and amenities to players of all skill levels and abilities. To book your tee time go to forestlakegolf.com and set your time up for a fun round of golf that you are sure to enjoy.