North Shore Golf Club has been on our radar for a long time. We played the course a couple of years ago and were excited to get back out there.
North Shore is located only minutes from Orlando International Airport and built on a wetland area common to Orlando. Built in 2001, and designed by Mike Dasher, this links style course offers numerous challenges to all players.
According to the North Shore website, the 18 holes were designed in Carolina-style championship course. The front 9 holes are more open and play throughout a native marshland. Conversely, the back 9 is built through a more wooded area of century old oak trees. Water hazards come into play on 12 holes.
Range balls at North Shore are bright yellow. We felt the balls in the bucket we hit while warming up were newer and in good condition. The driving range was in great shape. The practice area included a chipping green that had several elements comparable to the golf course. On one side, shots had to be hit to get over a raised front. Another side had areas where players could practice flat shots. Near the chipping green was a sand trap to allow players to practice sand shots. We felt the quality of the putting green was virtually the same as conditions we experienced on the course greens. The ball could be stroked and rolled true. After a few minutes on the putting green, players should be ready to putt on the golf course greens.
North Shore has 4 sets of tee boxes with slopes ranging from 136 (Black tees) to 118 (Red tees). All tee boxes play to a Par 72. The Black tees measure 6,898 yards, Blue tees measure 6,518 yards, White tees measure 5,833 yards, and Red tees measure 5,023 yards. North Shore offers Par 3s that The Golfing Dads like, 2 long ones and 2 short ones. This golf course has 2 long Par 3 holes (over 200 yards) and 2 short Par 3s (less than 170 yards). Our analysis felt the website course description is very accurate. The front 9 is open and back 9 more tree-lined. We felt the landing area for tee shots was generous.
We were disappointed with quality of tee boxes. They showed excessive wear and lots of divots. On the 6th tee box, a player was able to put his foot into a divot and the hole covered the sole of the shoe. At first, we thought the poor tee box quality might be attributable to the course not moving tee box markers around. The more we played, we realized virtually all tee boxes were in equally poor shape. There were even areas where the grass looked dead and some part of the tee box was primarily dirt.
Fairways were in good shape. Although the fairways were soft, balls did roll but we found dirt on our ball. We did not have to roll the ball to find a good lie. On a couple of holes, there was maintenance occurring and ground was under repair. Dormant Bermuda grass in the closely cut rough offered a stark contrast to the green fairways.
Holes 1 and 10 offer a good but fair start to each nine. A good drive will leave a player with a short iron into the green. The first green is well undulated and slopes all different ways. The 10th green is elevated and undulated. Players can’t roll the ball onto the 10th green.
The third hole is a good Par 4 measuring 454 from the Black tees. There is water down the entire right side of the fairway. Any pulled tee shot could end up in bunkers down the left hand side of the fairway. Following a good tee shot, players hit to a green that is blocked by a mound on the left side. The frouth is another good Par 4 that measures 424 from the Black tees. After a benign tee shot, players are faced with a second shot to a green with mounds all around. Anything shot the back or sides leaves a player with a difficult chip. Hole 6 is a 235 Par from the back tees. The shot requires a player to hit over a marsh area to somewhat oblong green that looks very small from the tee box. Hole 8 measures 138 yards from the back tees and is a fun golf hole. The 9th hole measures 611 from the Black tees. There is water down part of the right side of the fairway and driving range down the left side of the fairway. The green is slightly elevated and guarded by several bunkers.
On the back 9, the 11th hole is 569 yards from the back tees. This Par 5 has trees on either side of the fairway for the tee shot. Once past the trees, there is a waste bunker on the right-hand side of the fairway. We felt the green was well undulated. Holes 12 and 13 seemed to be the same holes but with different lengths. Both were tree-lined off the tee but open to the green. Hole 14 is another short Par 3 (170 yards). The green is longer and has water on the left side. Fifteen is a Par 5 that requires a player to hit a well-placed tee shot. Measuring only 525 from the Black tees, longer hitters might try to go for the green in 2 with a good tee shot. The closer a player gets to the green; however, the more trouble comes into play. There are trees ling both sides of the fairway and water in front of the green. The 17th is a long Par 3 measuring 201 yards from the back tees. The tee shot is hit over a marsh area. The marsh goes from the front of the green around to the right side. Finally, Hole 18 measures 461 from the Black tees. The tee shot is wide open with no trees guarding the fairway. There is a big bunker on the right hand front side of the green that seems to swallow a lot of 2nd shots. This green is well undulated and smaller in the front than back.
For the most part, greens were in good shape. We found many greens with cup size plugs around the outside of the green. On a couple of occasions, there was ground under repair on the edge of the greens. Other than these issues, we felt the main areas of the greens were in good shape. Putts rolled true to the line you rolled them on. On many greens, there were subtle breaks that weren’t easily seen when lining up a putt.
Dad’s Say So, if you are in the area or just visiting, you need to play North Shore Golf Club. Other than the tee boxes being in poor shape and areas around the greens being plugged, the course offers players a good test of golf. Offering links play makes the course fun. To score well, players must keep the ball in play, putt well, and when necessary, chip to well undulated greens with subtle breaks. For more information about this golf course or to book a tee time, check out www.golfatnorthshore.com.