Every golf course has its niche, and The Preserve at Turnbull Bay has carved out a reputation as a layout of choice for some of the Daytona Beach area’s best players.

The Gary Wintz design is the type of course quality golfers appreciate. The challenge is straight-forward, the course is in outstanding condition, and risk vs. reward choices are aplenty.

Playing through a nature preserve on the Turnbull Bay, the course is devoid of severe doglegs but it is home to water on 17 of 18 holes, amplifying the challenge. The impact of the water can be seen in the course's slope rating (the measure of layout’s difficulty for a bogey golfer), which ranges from 116 on the orange tees to a brutish 151 from the 6,580-yard green tees.

It’s the nature of the challenge at Turnbull Bay golfers find so appealing, and we aren’t talking about the water.

This is a shotmaker’s course.

Playing just 6,589 yards from the tips, Turnbull Bay can reward players who hammer the driver, but it’s not a necessity to play well. The fairways are straight but tight and trouble lurks on the edges of the course. Hitting the ball straight is a prerequisite for success and if that means playing a 3-wood or 5-wood off the tee, don’t let your ego get in the way.

The par 3s, none of which play longer than 148 yards from the white tees, reward precision as golfers strive to play to the proper spots, setting up makeable birdie putts.

Turnbull Bay’s par 5s present opportunities but danger is always lurking in the form of water or tree lines that threaten wayward drives.

On a day full of memorable challenges, the 288-yard (white tees) 17th hole may be Turnbull Bay’s most unforgettable. The length of the hole begs players to be aggressive, but over the final 100 yards, less than 40 yards separates the pine trees on the left from the water on the right.

Everyone walks to the 17th tee thinking birdie, but the possibility of a big number is also real.

That type of challenge, along with some of the area’s best greens complexes, is at the heart of what makes Turnbull Bay so popular with golfers.