Belleair Country Club, Florida’s First Golf Club
By Mike Dojc
“That’s Donald ‘F’ Ross for you,” playfully grouses my playing partner while shrugging his shoulders. He tacked on the fictional middle initial, voiced with emphasis as a pejorative, after one too many times of his approach shots failed to hold one of the golf architecture great’s vaunted plateau greens. When it comes to slipping off the dance floor at Belleair Country Club, my new buddy is in excellent company.
Arnold Palmer, a frequent sight on this Tampa area course back in the day, had also been known to fall prey to the left side, right side, green side fandango. The good-natured way he took his comeuppance on hole No. 11 on the West Course, (since revamped), a par 4 toward an elevated green on a plateau with nothing around it has since become the stuff of club legend. The King got off to a great start, hitting his tee shot just shy of the green complex. But then his fortunes changed.