How Can I Play The Copperhead Course At Innisbrook?

We examine how you can play the Valsper Championship's Copperhead Course - Snake Pit, alligator encounters and all

The statue of the snake that greets golfers at the Copperhead Course's Snake Pit
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship takes place at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club’s Copperhead Course annually to conclude the month-long Florida Swing.

The resort has four 18-hole courses, each designed by Larry Packard, with the Copperhead Course the second to open, in 1974. Regarded as one of the best courses in Florida, the Copperhead is well known for its pine-tree lined fairways and water hazards of lakes and ponds. Meanwhile, it’s players occasionally encounter an alligator during their round - hardly unheard of in the Sunshine State. It’s a long course at over 7,200 yards. However, it’s would be a mistake to assume only the game’s biggest hitters can excel on it. There are acute angles to negotiate, too, while the various hazards and narrow fairways mean accuracy is another essential component of playing the course well.

The course has a particularly notorious stretch of holes – the 16th, 17th, and 18th known as “The Snake Pit.” The 16th greets you with a giant statue of a snake. If that doesn’t provide the necessary air of foreboding, each has a serpent-related name, with the par 4 16th, The Moccasin, feared on the PGA Tour as one of the hardest. A successful tee shot is no easy feat with a narrow fairway, water on the right and trees to the left. If you manage that, a dogleg right leads to an elevated green. The par 3 17th (The Rattler) is deceptive with its expansive green, but don’t be fooled – it’s protected by four bunkers making it potentially tricky, depending on the location of the pin. Finally, the bunker-lined par 4, named The Copperhead, slopes uphill, and there are bunkers in front of and behind the green, meaning there’s no respite as you reach the end of your round.

The 18th hole at the Copperhead Course during the 2018 Valspar Championship

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you fancy taking on the Copperhead Course – snake pit and all – the good news is there are options. The most convenient is to stay at the resort. The platinum golf package offers 18 holes of golf on your day of arrival or departure, with 36 on each of the other days of your stay rotating around all four courses, but with at least one round on the Copperhead Course. Prices start around $400 for one adult (and $700 for two adults) with a minimum two-night stay.

Another option is to become a member. There are three membership packages – full golf membership, resort golf membership and executive golf membership. Each offers unlimited play on all four of the resort’s 18-hole courses. Meanwhile, each is valid for the individual, spouse and children up to 25. Initiation fees are estimated to range between $10,000 and $30,000 depending on the package, with monthly dues upwards of $250. Green fees to play the Copperhead Course are $85 from Monday to Thursday and $115 from Friday to Sunday. 

Can You Play Innisbrook Without Staying There?

No. You need to stay at the resort or become a member to play on the courses. The most convenient way to play the courses is to book a stay at the resort with one of the golf packages with prices starting around $400 for a two-night stay. Another option is to become a member. 

What Courses are at Innisbrook?

There are five courses at Innisbrook – Copperhead Course, Island Course, North Course, South Course, and the nine-hole Fox Squirrel Course. If you want to play a round at Innisbrook other than the Copperhead Course, the resort’s classic golf package includes a round on the North or South courses.

Why Is It Called Copperhead Golf Course?

While the course bears a breed of viper in its name and is famous for its notorious Snake Pit, its name actually comes from the many copper pennies found while the course was being built in the early 1970s. 

Mike Hall
Mike Hall

Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.