RBC Heritage

Harbour Town Golf Links



Cabot Citrus Farms: Karoo

Brooksville, FL Public

Overview

When arriving at Cabot Citrus Farms you’ll understand why Ben Cowan-Dewar sought this property for decades. A prehistoric ridge in Brookville, Fla., created rolling topography on sandy soil—a golf developer’s dream. In the early 1990s, World Woods opened with two acclaimed public courses and what was once the world’s largest driving range that hosted Tiger Woods commercial shoots. But playing conditions had deteriorated at World Woods. Its Pine Barrens course, once the 75th-best course in Golf Digest's ranking of America’s 100 Greatest Courses, quickly fell off that list in 2013. Cowan-Dewar inquired about the property with the previous owner, Japanese businessman Yukihisa Inoue, in 2014 and 2016, to no avail. Others also tried to buy it. Finally, as COVID-19 restricted travel, Cowan-Dewar chatted with Inoue through translators over Zoom and negotiated to purchase the property in 2021—giving his burgeoning Cabot resort and real estate empire its first U.S. offering.

That decades-long courtship has now paid off with Cabot Citrus Farms’ Karoo course, which opened this winter. Kyle Franz—known for his meticulous remodeling of North Carolina Sandhills courses such as Mid Pines, Pine Needles and Southern Pines—transformed the existing Pine Barrens course with Karoo, the first course to open. He reversed playing corridors in some cases, completely changing what was in the ground in many cases.

You see that immediately on the first hole—a massive double green for the first and sixth holes. Franz dubs this design style as “adventure golf.” Eleven holes boast double fairways—and the 18th has a triple fairway. “George Thomas was doing massive double fairways 100 years ago,” Franz explains. “So this was a really fun way to make people think a little differently while still staying rooted in good, classical architecture.”

The modern trend of pushing width and options is amplified with “super width” here, with some fairways over 100 yards wide, though strategy is still present—as large, exposed sand hazards often split the playing areas. Choosing the ideal side of the fairway will often open up an easier approach. —Stephen Hennessey

For a complete review of the newly opened Karoo course, click here.

About

Holes 18
Length 7562
Price $165
Facility Type Public
Year Opened 2024
Designer Kyle Franz

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