*Cabot Citrus Farms Comes to Fruition*

When you hear “Cabot”, think not of cheese, but of a premium golf experience. Cabot’s four, and soon to be five, luxury golf destinations are the opposite of cheesy.

Ben Cowan Dewar developed a passion for golf early on and fueled his wanderlust by reading the World Golf Atlas. He partnered with Mike Keiser of Bandon Dunes’ fame to launch his first Cabot creation along the northern coast of Nova Scotia in Cape Breton. Cabot Links was named after the explorer John Cabot who landed there after 50 days at sea in 1497. Ben added Cabot Cliffs, ranked 10 in the world by Golf Digest, and a short course called The Nest for a golf trifecta there.

The Cabot Collection has since grown with Cabot Highlands in Scotland, site of the Castle Stuart Golf Links, andCabot Saint Lucia by the Caribbean Sea. While Revelstoke is in the works in the Canadian Rockies, the first U.S. golf site opened in January to preview play.

The Floridian marvel is Cabot Citrus Farms, formerly World Woods. Two courses by Tom Fazio already claimed honors there but Ben knew they could be better and brought a time-tested team to reimagine the courses and property.

Kyle Franz reinvented Fazio’s original Pine Barrens course, now named Karoo for the sound of the regal sandhill cranes frequently seen strutting their stuff. Kyle started his career with Tom Doak at Bandon and shared that on Karoo, he was going for a little Pinehurst 2 and a little St. Andrews’ link style. He uses a sandy strip trick from Mackenzie to make it look harder than it really is. His playful greens are tricky too, especially on number 16 where a cylindrical cauldron in the front center gives new meaning to the term undulation.

Cabot Citrus Farms is an inland site with water on only one hole. A pond flanks the number 3, par 3 making it the number one handicap hole. In contrast, there is plenty of beachy sand everywhere. In fact, traversing with golf carts is like sand surfing. At first glance, Karoo might conjure Lawrence of Arabia and Hannibal Lecter in a battle of dunes and berms, but since the sand is considered waste area, not bunker, grounding your club provides an advantage.

Caddies provide another critical advantage – course knowledge. John O’Neal, a caddy from Jersey has an engaging personality and a stellar track record, having served in Bedminster and Augusta – one of our best forecaddies ever. Cabot locations have quality personnel in common. From the greeting to the goodbye, and everywhere in between, they make you feel like family.

Karoo has a tee option for everyone’s individual length, from 7562 yards at the tips to the most forward 4223 yards, permitting good scores. Whatever the score, at the end of the round, most would agree with the sentiment, Wahoo for Karoo.

In addition to Karoo, golfers can now request tee times for the shorter courses designed by Mike Nuzzo. Ten par 3 holes on The Wedge are lit at night with access to about 11pm. Hang out at the firepits and enjoy a cocktail after the round. His nine holes on The Squeeze have a mix of par3s, 4s and 5s that range from 100-550 yards. Both play over rolling terrain for rollicking fun when time is short or for bonus golf after Karoo.

A second 18-hole course, Roost, is under redesign by Franz and Nuzzo along with Ran Morrissett as Golf Course Architecture Advisor. It is expected to open in early June.

At Media Day in January, Ben Cowan Dewar shared, “So excited to be here at Cabot Citrus Farms as we open up preview play for the year ahead and look forward to a grand opening in September. Great to see folks out on the Karoo today, and to see people on The Squeeze and on The Wedge as it all comes to life; in the last two years since we bought the World Woods property to see the transformation and the work that Kyle Franz and Mike Nuzzo and all of their teams have done, I think it’s an unbelievable location in central Florida and we’re absolutely honored to be a steward of this landscape and give golfers a brand new destination just north of Tampa.”

Real estate is at a premium as Phase 1 of the cute, 2-bedroom cottages have already been sold out for $1.5m and up in the front porch, laid back community. 4-bedroom homes lining the putting area and track man range are near build out and going fast at around twice the price of 2-bedrooms. Cabot’s anticipated ROI for the owners’ rental program is high. David Bennett, General Manager says, “The whole village area is going to be green open space, a lot of walking, easy access to all of our locations from the back of your porch.”

To begin with on the culinary front, a generous comfort station is strategically positioned on Karoo to serve guests at four holes with an array of food and liquid delights. The Porch is an area front and center for fun and games with food trucks and a beverage jeep. More dining options are on the drawing board to include a Grange Hall, Golf House, Pool Bar and Village Square Grill & Terrace.

The 1200-acre property is being reconceptualized by Ben and his creative team to become a lifestyle sanctuary. Cabot Citrus Farms is nestled between forests in an Audubon setting for outdoor activities. Of course, it is close to the gulf coast so there is always a quick trip to the beach. And while in the area, we highly recommend the otherworldly experience of swimming with the manatees at Crystal River.

In addition to the cottage inventory, Cabot Citrus Farms will partner with local hotels. To visit, fly into Tampa or Orlando, 50- and 80-minute drive away respectively or private jetsetters may land in Brooksville-Tampa Bay regional airport, an express 20 minutes away.