Florence Golf Links (formerly Sandpines Golf Links), located in Florence, OR tells a tale of three layouts while still maintaining a coastal feel throughout your round. Forested surroundings, coastal dunes and water create one of the most diverse layouts on the Oregon Coast. The front nine at Florence Golf Links winds through the trees, where shot selection and accuracy come at a premium. As you make your way to the middle of the course, Florence Golf Links opens up and invites you to bomb away at its coastal dunes. The final stretch at Florence Golf Links is among the best in the region with water coming in to play on every shot to the green during the closing holes. Add in prevailing coastal winds, particulary in the afternoon, and these holes are among the most challenging closing holes you can ask for. Florence Golf Links is one of the most popular destination golf courses on the Oregon Coast and it only takes one round to see the appeal.
Florence Golf Links provides many of the landmark challenges of a coastal links course, including rolling terrain, rugged sandtraps and even a natural dune or two. Where many coastal links courses rely on these natural features to penalize their players, Florence Golf Links also brings in to play a bevy of water hazards. Many of these hazards are blind from the tee box, causing concern for players new to the course. Add in the forested front nine and there are plenty of opportunites to lose a golf ball. While never particularly tight, miss too far off the fairway and you will be penalized, particularly on the front nine. The fairways have a rolling characterisitic to them throughout the course, causing uneven lies while rarely unfair. Sand from the nearby dunes fills the sandtraps, so more often than not the sand is genearlly fluffy on a dry day at Florence Golf Links. The greens run very true, although you may have to put a little more on each putt than you would in the valley.
Playing Florence Golf Links
The front nine at Florence Golf Links has two personalities, weaving through the forested west side of the property. After an open Par 4 to begin your round, play moves into the trees for the next six holes. The second hole brings water into play for the first time, forcing a decision to go for the pin and risk being short in the drink, or playing the more coservative shot to the right side of the green. After a Par 5 you move on to the fourth hole. This hole features pond unseen from the teebox just past the trees on the right. Missed drives to the right can make it to this hazard, so misses should be to the left. The first Par 3 of the day meets you next, a daunting 200 yard one shotter with nothing but water between you and the green. Swing away on Hole #7, an open Par 5 with natural dunes lining the left side.You front nine ends with a long Par 4, protected by pine trees on all sides.
The back nine at Florence Golf Links begins a much more open side of the golf course. Open doesn’t mean easy however, as the elements come in to play. Rolling fairways and wind become a bigger factor, with many holes protected by only a hillside from the next. This allows players to be a little more agressive, particulary on Holes 10-15. As you approach the closing holes, get ready for a fight. Hole #16 is a short Par 4 punctuated by a daunting approach. Water on the right side and bunkers to the left protect this elevated green. Hole #17 is a long Par 3, again protected by water through the green. A bail out area on the right allows for conservative play but almost guarantees Par at best. The closing hole at Florence wraps around the water for a final time. Agressive players can cut the corner on both their tee shot and approach to reach this Par 5 in two. Bunkers on the left side penalize the conservative play, so balance risk versus reward accordingly. Anybody playing the closing holes at even par should walk off of Florence Golf Links happy.